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Literature and Your Palate.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 9:15 pm    Post subject: Literature and Your Palate. Reply with quote

Several months ago I read an article about bringing a book to life. The author had the wonderful idea of making books an event by cooking a meal found in each book. Not did she enjoy it herself but it helped her children become more excited about reading.
I remember in primary school reading Susan Cooper's books describing thickly buttered scones, saffron cake and lemon aide packed up for the children to go exploring. I remember getting really hungry and wishing I had a piece of that to enjoy.
What are some memorable meals in your favorite books? Would you ever make them?
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joanne Harris describes wonderful French home cooking in her French novels. We are all familiar with the wonderful "Chocolat" (starring Erin's dream man!) in either novel or movie form but one of her other novels, "Five Quarters of the Orange" describes the preparation and cooking of many many gorgeous meals, stews and preserves, flans and tartes galore. I can only say my humble cooking abilities only allow me to attempt some of the more familiar dishes, but I think the book should be made into a restaurant!!
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Lilia Dignan



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 159
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David,

Thanks for bringing up Joanne Harris' book. I really enjoyed that book. Since there was a restaurant (very successful, at that!) in the story, it would be nice to be able to go to one with all the authentic receipes from the Loire Valley.

So, if you are thinking of being a restaurateur, all of your friends from C&Z will be coming from all over the world to visit you at one time or another - maybe even have a big C&Z party sometime.

Thanks for all the fun postings and your wonderful sense of humor!

-Lilia
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awww, shucks, Lilia, (blush) thanks! But yes wouldn't it be marvelous to bring that restaurant to life? Basic down home, mama style cooking--just the kind I hunt for when out and about. One of the most memorable meals I have had was in 2001, just outside the very depressed and depressing city of Ales on the northern Languedocien border. We stopped in Ales looking for a restaurant and in totally unFrench fashion were unable to find anything other than some really scary bars. (this was well off the tourist path and we were drawing some very strange and wary glances--okay maybe the screaming pink polo shirt was over the top) Anyway we did find a sign pointing out of town to a restaurant which we finally found. We went in and sat down and the staff just automatically plopped down a pitcher of red wine. Between my confusion, her unusual accent and my bad French we had some difficulty communicating, and there was no menu.Eventually we sorted things out, I ordered the potage and Dick the charcuterie for starters. The charcuterie was massive with stacks of good bread, the potage was a good vegie one served in a whole tureen--all you can eat! The entree was a simple grilled pork chop served with a large pasta type tossed in olive oil and covered with simple grated cheese1 Absolutely delicious. Then she plops down a cheese platter with 5 or 6 good cheeses, a nice selection--again all you can eat. Then we were offered but passed on the jello-whipped cream desert. But we did take the boiled black coffee. Almost fell over when we got l'addition--FF40 a person! Later that evening we went to a wonderful small restaurant near Uzes called L'Olivier---our apperitif was FF40. Gosh I love how these forums get me remembering wonderful moments!
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erin - it was a book I read as a child that first interested me in cooking. When Heidi's grandfather grilled the cheese over the coals it got my tastebuds interested. I've never looked back.

Someone mentioned Proust. I started reading Times of Rememberance Past 5 years ago. I'm almost finished the final book. Then I'm going to start at the beginning and read them all again. I have really enjoyed his writing but the mind does tend to wander with some of the longer sentences. I'm sure there is a lot I missed first time around.
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:31 pm    Post subject: the little-known Proust Award Reply with quote

Barbara Darling...Marcel has created a special award for people such as your dear self ~ the Order of the Madeleine (I could put those words through a translation site, however I dread to think of the outcome.. Wink )...back to Marcel,s Order ...it has deep green grosgrain ribbon and the dearest little madeleine fashioned from gold.

wear it with pride Barbara! I'm 'almost' back from the deepest journey..almost
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops! I blew it. Ales wasn't the nasty town as I stated, Ales is actually a pleasant little city. It was north of Ales in La Grand Combe where we found the budget restaurant.
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E.



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 9
Location: Chicago, IL, USA, by way of California

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara -- I know what you mean about "Heidi"! I too loved the descriptions of the toasted cheese when I was young. That book made me very hungry.

In "To the Lighthouse," Virginia Woolf writes about a dinner party that centers around a dish called Boeuf en Daube. And, it's described as a "triumph." All the emotions crystallized around that dish made me very hungry.

And the fabulous children's book author, Diana Wynne Jones, wrote a book called, "Tale of Time City." The characters are obsessed with a futuristic dish called butter-pies (from the forty-second century). The dish comes in a flower pot-like container, and it tastes buttery and toffee-like and ice cold and also warm. I too became obsessed with that dish, and it made me very hungry.

In short, books make me very hungry. This is bad because my job requires me to read a lot of novels.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

E. , The journalist that wrote the article would take that description and come up with her own butter pie. Just think of how many possibilities there could be!
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Lexi



Joined: 07 Apr 2005
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 7:31 pm    Post subject: foodie literature Reply with quote

I'm not sure of the author..but there is the old folklore tale (perhaps it was actually multiple variations that have been published) about the child and the stone soup he made..or something like that..it always used to make my mouth water ..even though it had stones in it, it talkd about chopped up carrots and celery and chunks of meat that simmered away in a big pot and go all bubbly and smelled good...I still remember to this day the book and how i loved it
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Lexi! Now you have me thinking, I remember having that told to me as a child. I wish I could remember where. I may have to do a bit of research. Was it called, "How To Make Stone Soup", or am I just making that up?
I was just thinking of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and the description of making maple candy. I lived in Washington so we didn't get very much snow so I never had much luck. I would set a pie pan out to catch some snow and pour in some Mrs. Butterworths Syrup and end up with a goopy slightly chilly mess. The worst part was when my long pretty hair went into the pan, my mom was not a happy lady. I always seemed to get into mischief.
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seastar



Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Posts: 14
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great book that I think fits very well in this category is:

Isabel Allende
Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses

A book about aphrodisiac foods. A book of lovely stories and history with gorgeous artwork intertwined with recipes.

And it's written by Isabel Allende .... what more do I need to say?
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In the whorehouses of the bakeries, I was serially, gluttonously, irredeemably unfaithful to all those chapatis-next-door waiting for me back home. East was East, but yeast was West.

On Leavened Bread - Salman Rushdie
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I was just thinking of Stone Soup yesterday. It's a lovely story for children. Here in Oz, our beloved Bananas in Pyjamas have a version, with the Rat in the Hat making the soup and asking for all the extra ingredients. My son probably has the storybook somewhere amongst all his books.
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elemenoh



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 17
Location: Scotland/New Jersey/Connecticut/Massachusetts

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stone Soup! When I was in the first grade, we read the book, acted it out and actually made the soup, complete with a (well-scrubbed) stone. School goes so much better with food...

My mom's favorite books are a mystery series featuring the Amish, by Tamar Myers, I think. They're quite funny (they've all got titles like, 'Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth' and 'The Crepes of Wrath'), and the best part is that they come with the recipes for the food mentioned in the book.
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 11:48 pm    Post subject: language Reply with quote

seastar ~ I've read and read and read again the quote you've selected. Ah those bakeries indeed.

The weaving that man does with the alphabet. A magician. I weep at its loveliness to me. How magical, that words on a screen can brings such tears...

The florist I'm about to visit will wonder at the red eyes Wink
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