Okay, okay, I’ll confess, people. I love food. And books. And I really like it when books and food are matched together.
For example, I’ll read a Frank McCourt, Charles Dickens or Dick Francis novel when I’m waiting for a meal in a U.K.-themed pub, a Mark Twain book in a restaurant decorated with Americana, or a Mary Stewart mystery in a local Greek taverna. Somehow the book seems to enhance the environment and the food, and I get even more enjoyment out of the whole experience.
A friend and I have plans to recreate a dinner from the Betty Neels novels. Betty Neels was an English nurse who turned to writing after she retired from nursing. Betty’s female heroines are usually handy in the kitchen or able to appreciate dishes such as Lobster Thermidor, winter salads, coq au vin and peach pavlovas. My friend and I just need to find the time (and we need to scour the Internet for the recipes).
I also wouldn’t mind recreating the picnic scene from Jane Austen’s Emma (I don’t recall if Jane goes into much detail about this picnic, but I could make do with hot buttered muffins and clotted cream with strawberry jam. Mmm!) or the Crachits’ Christmas dinner Charles Dickens described in A Christmas Carol with a goose and flaming pudding. Although obtaining the goose might be tricky…it’s been a while since any geese wandered around my backyard and Wal-Mart doesn’t stock them.
Or maybe some enterprising chef could make a fake goose out of tofu. I’d be willing to give it a shot. (Hey, if they can make a tofurky, anything is possible.) Although what would you call it? A “tofuoose”? Or “tofoose”? The mind boggles.
Readers: What would be your favorite meal recreated from a book and which book would you pick? I’d love to hear.