Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday for Fiction Foodies

By Niki Turner

We had "bangers and mash" for supper last night (that's sausages and mashed potatoes, for us Yanks). Why? Because it was mentioned in a book I've been listening to again (yes, it's the Outlander series... *blush*). Anyway, it sounded yummy, so I decided to try it out, and, in my opinion, it was quite tasty. Just like the ratatouille I made after watching the Disney flick by the same name.

As I stirred the onion gravy (something I hadn't made before), I started wondering how many recipes have achieved fame thanks to a book. During our homeschooling years we experimented with a number of historical/fictional meals. Our family favorite? The meat stew on homemade bread trenchers during our Medieval era study.

Here are a few of the more famous recipes in literature. Have you tried any of them?

Quite possibly one of the better-known fiction-inspired recipes, thanks to the book AND the movie. I love fried green tomatoes! Living in Colorado, we always have an abundance of green tomatoes, because just as the tomatoes emerge and get ready to ripen on the vine, we have a frost, freeze, or snowfall that necessitates the quick disposal of as many green tomatoes as possible.

Every time I read through the story of Abigail taking raisin cakes to David to appease his wrath I wonder what raisin cakes would taste like. Were they like fruitcake? Or were they more like raisin bread (like this recipe). Or, were they just wads of raisins mashed together in a cake-like shape?

Johnny Cakes from "On the Banks of Plum Creek" (Little House on the Prairie)
Among a multitude of other recipes from the Little House series, like homemade butter, cheese, and salt pork. I mastered homemade biscuits before the age of 10 while wearing my "Laura Ingalls dress." 

Butterbeer from the Harry Potter series
This is one I've yet to try, but it sounds delicious.

Turkish Delight from the Chronicles of Narnia
I DID make this. Once. And I still have two-thirds of a bottle of rose water in my pantry to prove it. If I was a better candy-maker it might have worked out. As it was, the goo in the pan tasted good, but it wasn't exactly transportable.

What about you? Any recipes you've read about that you have a hankering to try? Or recipes you've tried and found less-than-appealing, or any that have become real-life faves at your house? Do you notice food in books?

Niki Turner is a writer, former pastor's wife, mother of four, and grandmother of two and a half. She has thus far been unsuccessful at coming up with catchy taglines for her writing, her purpose in life, or what she hopes to achieve in the future. Suggestions are welcome.


  1. As Niki and I know (yes, we're the bad this matter) Outlander has so many mentions of food that one female chef has an entire blog devoted to a daily dose of fiction and a recipe.

    I have to admit to letting fiction drive my eating habits as well. (Darn Facebook is the worst place if you are trying to refrain from goodies). I was reading Bloom and Doom - lucky girl, that's Barb's upcoming Cozy release -- and finally had to get up and make scones.

    The bulk of my pleasure reading is British Mysteries. Dare I say nothing has jilted me into 'making haste' to the kitchen? ha ha! Poor Inspector Pitt has had to make do with toast on more than one occasion this week. Toast and tea. Well, I've got that one down pat.

    I know I'm going to have all sorts of thoughts on this in the future! I'll just return each time I am prompted to eat by an author. ..wait. did someone just mention brownies?

    1. Yes, reading Bloom and Doom had that same effect on me. I have yet to MAKE the scones, but they are on the list!

  2. I read a Mary Higgins Clark book once that had such an inviting description of blueberry muffins that I craved them for days, and still eat them hot with butter.

    1. Yum! I have a children's picture book of Peter Rabbit that never ceases to make me crave blackberries and milk.

  3. A little muffin with your murder, madame?

    I can hereby proclaim that I have yet to crave a carrot pulled out of the field, and here I am a devoted fan of Gone with the Wind.

  4. I know just which picture of blackberries and milk you're talking about, Niki! I feel the same!

    My son's class had a butterbeer party last year. Delicious stuff, and not hard to make at all. Harry Potter foods can be quite intriguing, but I've never made a treacle tart. I have an imagined taste to what pumpkin juice must taste like (more like a V8 splash).

    Regency romances always used to describe the food. Once I found out what a kipper really was, I didn't want one anymore.

    1. Now I have to go look up kippers, Susie!
      You remember those blackberries too, huh? I read the story to my grandson recently and it all came rushing back!


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