Thursday, December 1, 2016

Meat Pies | Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin

          A few months ago for youth book club we read Liesl Shurtliff's re-imagined, fairy tale novel, Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin. It's a beautifully spun tale that, though we know the main character's full name the whole time, when he doesn't, it's still satisfying to go on the journey with Rump so he can find it for himself. There are a lot of subtleties from the original Rumpelstiltskin tales woven into the story (plus hints at other fairy tales), along with themes of loss, connection, greed, need, and self discovery.
          Food, or rather the lack thereof, plays a major role in Rump, just like in the folk and fairy tales of old, in a time when having enough food was an everyday struggle, and many people would do desperate things to stave off starvation. A few of the foods mentioned in the story that inspired the recipe below are rump roast (a name the bully's used to call Rump), goat cheese (from a goat named Milk), apples from a magical tree, and meat pies from a kind baker woman.

"Wait!" Said Martha. "Take some pies!"
Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

Monday, October 31, 2016

Leek & Potato Soup | Coraline

               Coraline's father stopped working and made them all dinner.
          Coraline was disgusted. "Daddy," she said, "you've made a recipe again."
          "It's leek and potato stew with a tarragon garnish and melted Gruyere cheese," he admitted.
          Coraline sighed. Then she went to the freezer and got out some microwave chips and a microwave minipizza.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

          I can assure you that this is not disgusting! No backup microwave food needed ;). Coraline's dad is a good guy, and creative with food, which I can respect. This little scene is at the beginning of the story and shows how picky and persnickety Coraline is. Through the course of the story though, she gets out of herself more and becomes kinder, even eating her dad's cooking at the end :).

Friday, October 28, 2016

Stormtrooper S.O.S. (Creamed Chipped Beef) | Star Wars: Before the Awakening

Before the Awakening
cover & internal artwork by Phil Noto.
"FN-2187 used the corner of a chunk of mealbread to wipe up the last of the cream on his plate. The meal, like so many others, hadn't been designed for flavor as much as efficiency—slivers of overcooked meat in a numian sauce that tasted more like chalk than anything else. But it was filling and provided energy, and that was the point."

—"Finn", Star Wars: Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka

          I love that Greg Rucka added this food to Finn's backstory while he (Finn) was still a Stormtrooper living in the barracks because it adds authenticity and more depth to the military situation he, and the other Stormtroopers are in. "Numian cream" with "overcooked meat" has a real world equivalent called creamed chipped beef, a hearty and cost effective food that has a strong connection to the US military, especially during WWII. It was often referred to by service members as $#!+ on a shingle, which Finn echoes in his sentiments in the quote above. I would like to point out though, that this food is in fact delicious, but maybe having it every day, and as a requirement, made it unappetizing after a while. Or maybe it's because the First Order didn't use butter. I can see them doing something like that.

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