Sammie and I got matched up by Jillian at Rant & Rave about Books for a blind date with each other, and despite neither of us being good at answering emails, we managed to come up with a fun post that relates to books and food – two topics that rarely lead us astray!
Sammie lives in England and loves books, food, and her adorable dogs – not necessarily in that order!
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Marilla’s Raspberry Cordial
“No. The sitting-room will do for you and your company. But there’s a bottle half full of raspberry cordial that was left over from the church social the other night. It’s on the second shelf of the sitting room closet and you and Diana can have it if you like, and a cookie to eat with it along in the afternoon, for I daresay Matthew’ll be late coming in to tea since he’s hauling potatoes to the vessel.”
Anne of Green Gables is an old favorite of mine, and isn’t the Penguin Blooms cover beautiful? Anne Shirley is a little orphan girl who, due to the best mistake ever made, gets to come and live with siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert in their beautiful home in Avonlea. As she settles into life in the small town on Prince Edward Island, Anne finds herself in so many scrapes and fusses because of her own silliness. Anne made a right mess of her life when she accidentally served her best friend Diana the very alcoholic currant wine instead of raspberry cordial, because she didn’t know the difference! Food in Literature wrote up this recipe that looks sugary and delicious, just what Anne would have wanted!
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
At a table near the window we drank tea with lemon, scalding through the thick cups, and ate our way through sardines on buttered white bread and even a few slices of torta.
To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath this recipe by Food in Literature. I reviewed The Historian in February. It’s a mad mixture of Eastern European myth and history in the narrator’s messed up family. The narrator eats this while traveling with her father when she was young, and it sounds delicious.This is the most honest-to-history Dracula story ever written, and it’s so worth the read.
Holes by Louis Sachar
It was warm, bubbly, mushy nectar, sweet and tangy. It felt like heaven as it flowed over his dry mouth and down his parched throat. He thought it might have been some kind of fruit at some time, perhaps peaches.
Nothing keeps away rattlesnakes and yellow-spotted lizards better than Sam’s onion juice, but it tastes a whole lot better mixed with Miss Katherine’s spiced peaches, don’t you think? Fiction-Food Cafe wrote this recipe for a peach-onion salsa that might come close to what Zero found under the boat in the desert so many years later. This movie came out when I was in fourth grade, and I remember reading it with my class and then seeing the fabulous movie in theaters with them. This is still one of the few movies that I enjoy as an actual book-to-movie translation.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Deep Dish Half-Sausage and Half-Avocado Pizza
When Gansey plucked a digital recorder out of the mess, a pizza receipt (one large deep-dish, half sausage, half avocado) fluttered to the seat, joining a half-dozen receipts identical except for the date.
I was listening to the audiobook for The Raven Boys a few weeks ago, and it was a great way to re-read, but this order of pizza struck me as incredibly strange. I know they’re rich kids, but who puts avocado on pizza?! It got me thinking – did they chunk up the avocado? Turn it into a sauce? How did it work? A preliminary google showed me that Food-Fiction Cafe had written a recipe for it, after learning that the avocado half was obviously Richard Campbell Gansey III’s half of the order. It’s such a weird order that I had to include it in this list!
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova
Ambrosia is the food of the Deos, and Lula seems to think it’ll be a nice incentive to get them to give answers. I doubt the gods are interested in bribes made of sugar, but she’ll try anything.
This book hasn’t actually been released yet, but my review for it comes out on Monday(review here!), so I’ll leave you with the basics, and you can read the rest of it then!
Alex and her sisters are making ambrosia to tempt the Deos into “awakening” Alex’s power. Her sisters don’t know that she is actually hiding her power because she’s terrified of what it can do. You can re
Since Labyrinth Lost doesn’t come out until September, I’ll write out the basic recipe myself. It’s a very simple recipe, one that Rose can’t help but eat, saying, “What? The ambrosia’s a metaphor for our divine offering. It’s not like the Deos are going to eat all of it.”
- 1 container agave syrup
- 1 container raspberry jam
- 1/2 can of sweetened milk
Pour all ingredients into bowl. Whip into stiff peaks by hand or with mixer. Pour into mason jars and serve.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
“It is real bakery bread, not the flat, dense loaves we make from our grain rations. I take it in my hands, inhaling the fragrance that makes my mouth flood with saliva. Fine bread like this is for special occasions.”
Okay perhaps a bit of a weird one to start off with, but stick with me here! Food is HUGE in the Hunger Games, and not just for the reasons that you might think. Food symbolism is so present in the trilogy, but especially in the first book (special mention for Katniss’ favourite lamb stew with plums here, because it sounds delicious asf).
Each of the 12 Districts have their own regional kind of bread, and Panem actually comes from the Roman turn of phrase “panem et circenses” which literally means ‘bread and circuses’. I mean come on, even Peeta’s name sounds like pitta. Bread appears consistently throughout the books in all of its deliciousness, symbolising survival for Katniss in and out of the Arena, and also highligting the differences between the Districts.
If you fancy unleashing your inner Mellark and becoming the boy (or girl) with the bread, you can find recipes for bread from all 12 Districts right here.
“And raspberry jam and apple-tart,” said Bifur. “And mince pies and cheese,” said Bofur. “And pork pie and salad,” said Bombur. “And more cakes – and ale – and coffee, if you don’t mind,” called the other dwarves through the door. “Put on a few eggs, there’s a good fellow!” Gandalf called after him, as the hobbit stumped off to the pantries.”
Tolkien’s love of food and drink translates effortlessly into both The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings series, where the descriptions of eating are so playful and brimming with joy. Other than Lembas bread, which nobody likes, obvs. If I was a fantasy character, I’d probably be a hobbit, because I am also fond of six meals a day and if was financially viable to do so, I would definitely have second breakfast, and elevenses, and afternoon tea every day…
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
“Mr Willy Wonka can make marshmallows that taste of violets, and rich caramels that change colour every ten seconds as you suck them, and little feathery sweets that melt away deliciously the moment you put them between your lips. He can make chewing-gum that never loses its taste, and sugar balloons that you can blow up to enormous sizes before you pop them with a pin and gobble them up.”
Nothing tastes as good as Wonka’s Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight sounds. The vivid and bonkers descriptions of all things confectionary have stuck with me since I was a child, and I’ve still not gotten over the fact that lickable wallpaper doesn’t exist. Definitely never licked a wall to find out…
The Famous Five books by Enid Blyton
“Soon they were all sitting on the rocky ledge, which was still warm, watching the sun go down into the lake. It was the most beautiful evening, with the lake as blue as a cornflower and the sky flecked with rosy clouds. They held their hard-boiled eggs in one hand and a piece of bread and butter in the other, munching happily. There was a dish of salt for everyone to dip their eggs into.
‘I don’t know why, but the meals we have on picnics always taste so much nicer than the ones we have indoors,’ said George.”
Despite being slightly casually racist and sexist in today’s world, the Famous Five books are great adventure stories. I read all of them as I was growing up and became more and more jealous of the picnics and lashings of ginger beer. The descriptions of food in Five always screamed British summer at me (as well as OMGDELICIOUS), so now, 15 years on, I have my very own picnic hamper for adventures. Obviously England had much better weather in the 1940’s because it’s July and I haven’t been able to use it yet. Crying.
Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
“Ron came back five minutes later, carrying three foaming tankards of hot Butterbeer. ‘Happy Christmas!’ he said happily, raising his tankard. Harry drank deeply. It was the most delicious thing he’d ever tasted and seemed to heat every bit of him from the inside.”
Haha – you thought you were going to get to the end of this post without me mentioning Potter didn’t ya? Soz! I don’t think anyone who has read the Harry Potter books can deny that Butterbeer sounds like the perfect Wizard drink. Here’s a delish sounding recipe from POPSUGAR featuring actual butter and actual beer. This is the Butterbeer recipe we all need and deserve.