Fiction-Food Café

February 25, 2013

Vi's Birthday Meal from Possession

          Half starved and escaping across an arid desert, Vi, the main character in Elana Johnson's young adult dystopian novel Possession, discovers two metal cubes that generate glorious food. It happens to be Vi's birthday so the first food that pops into her mind is the cake that her departed sister made for her when Vi was turning ten--a pink cake with purple frosting (Vi is short for Violet after all). The cake appears when summoned and she downs it quickly, followed by a steaming plate of scalloped potatoes with onions and cheese sauce. After blissfully burning her tongue, she ends her impromptu birthday meal with a large glass of whole milk.

Note: To make this meal in the absence of food-generating cubes, I used boxes instead. Specifically boxed cake mix and boxed au gratin potatoes. To clear up any confusion about au gratin vs. scalloped, au gratin translated from French simply means "with cheese", so it's something baked plus cheese. The term "scalloped" (in North America anyway) is a way to describe anything baked as a casserole with some type of sauce (cheese or otherwise). So scalloped potatoes with cheese sauce becomes au gratin. Voila!

Vi's Birthday Meal

1 box of white cake mix
1 container of white Duncan Hines Frosting Creations frosting
1 pkt. of Duncan Hines cherry vanilla Frosting Creations flavor mix
1 pkt. of Duncan Hines white chocolate raspberry Frosting Creations flavor mix
1 box of Au Gratin potatoes
1 small onion, diced
1 pkt. of cheese sauce powder (can't go wrong with more cheese, right?)
1 large glass of milk


Mix the cake as directed on the box, adding in 1/2 of the cherry vanilla powder packet and mixing til combined (the more you put in, the darker it gets until it's more red than pink, and I don't see Vi as a powerful pink girl, so 1/2 packet works well).
Bake as directed and cool on a wire rack. To speed up the cooling time place the rack with the cake on it in your freezer.
While your cake is cooling, mix the frosting with the white chocolate raspberry powder. Again, the more powder you use, the darker the coloring will be. You be the judge of how dark you want it.
Build the cake to your own taste. I cut a sheet cake in half & made an almost cube. I decorated it using a frosting bag and tip in honor of Vi's prickly personality & spiky hair (below).
Mix the potatoes as directed, stirring in the diced onion before placing in the oven.
Just before the potatoes are done baking, mix up the cheese sauce.
Remove the potatoes from the oven, scoop them onto a plate, & drench them in cheese sauce.
Pour yourself a big ol' glass of milk (whole or whatever you'd like) and chow down!

Vi started with dessert, but you can go either way, just try not to burn your tongue.
And don't forget to drink your milk!

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