Welcome to the roundup of the 15th edition of Novel Food, the literary/culinary event that Lisa of Champaign Taste and I created in 2007. Novel Food is about literary works (prose or poetry) that inspire the preparation of dishes.
Like all its predecessors, the current edition of the event includes an lovely set of readables and edibles. Please, follow me on a short literary/culinary tour. For each contribution, I will offer a small bite to whet your appetite for more: follow the link to read the details of the inspiring work of literature and of the inspired recipe. I hope that by the time you reach the end of this post, you will have a nice reading and cooking list to be used in the near future.
Jasmine leaves behind "the comfort of knowing who she is" to spend a summer with her family in the country of her mother. She also leaves behind a business and her love. She resists the challenge of the new environment, but not its food.
"In each chapter, the reader is taken through each room of the house and regaled with its evolution and history of use, the various materials and inventions that adorn them, and the colorful characters that invented them."
Reading the book, "makes you feel like you are visiting friends at their summer camp on Maine's Mount Desert island." It is "an atmospheric account" of the author's "courtship of, marriage to and many felicitous summers spent with fellow author Frances "Frankie" FitzGerald."
"A curl-up-in-a-comfy-chair-on-a-stormy-night kind of story, and a lovely escape to the south of France. If you enjoy Provence, beautifully descriptive writing, Gothic tales and ghost stories, and/or have a sense of mystery, you will like this book."
The book tells the story of Leonard Walsh and the Locanda San Vigilio of which he was host for 50 years. It "also gives a romantic and fascinating glimpse of the life in Garda during the same time. There are photos, newspaper clips and letters received by Leonard from the more or less famous people that came to visit the Locanda during all those years."
"Inspector Montalbano is good at his job of solving crimes that come his way in Sicily. In addition to the way he does his job, I like the way he enjoys his food. He doesn’t mind company when eating, however, he prefers silence during the meal, so that he can concentrate on it."
"An impassioned and compassionate study of the mandate of French resistance played out in a provincial village with only three main characters: von Ebrennac, an idealistic and naive Wehrmacht officer billeted in the home of an elderly man and his niece, whose names remain hidden from the reader."
The novel is about an 11-year-old boy, “green as he could be about the world,” on a sea voyage in the early 1950s. "If the captain's table is the place to sit on a sea voyage, then Ondaatje's cat's table is just the opposite: one of the least privileged dining assignments aboard the cruise ship Oronsay."
In the story, the protagonist learns that the advice "never eat more than one thing for luncheon" is subject to personal intepretation. Her guest's interpretation costs him a whole month's savings.
Libby of Libbysbookblog contributed three posts
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks and Waves of the Danube Cake
"The novel is about is an actual book: the Sarajevo Haggadah. A Haggadah is a book that everyone uses to follow along and read from during the seder, the Jewish ceremony held during Passover." While in Vienna, the protagonist tastes "is served coffee and Waves of the Danube Cake."
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and Matelote
"This classic French fish chowder is not as well known as Bouillabaisse, but it is wonderful--often known as the fisherman's coq au vin. Coming from an inland region of France, it traditionally uses eel or other fresh fish--and either red or white wine."
Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway and "Islands in the Stream" cocktail
"Try to find coconut water that has 'pulp.' The pulp is little cubes of young, soft coconut... Hudson says that the angostura should make the drink look "rusty." So, you need three good 'glugs,' I think."
In the novel, Gaskell takes a close look at labor tensions in Milton, a (fictional) industrial city in the north of England... The two protagonists, John and Margaret are on a collision course every time they meet. Still, their relationship evolves towards the satisfying novel's final scene.
"And sure enough, afloat on the placid sea a league away, lay a great city, with its towers and domes and steeples drowsing in a golden mist of sunset."
My special "thank you!" goes to the event's participants. The next edition of Novel Food will be in the summer: I will announce it here and on The Food Blog Diary, so stay tuned. The Food Blog Diary is the lovely event announcement site created and maintained by Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes. Visit the site to read about current events and let her know about your event and she will post it on her well-organized site. Thank you, Jacqueline!
In the meantime, read good books (maybe with the next Novel Food in mind), cook good foods, and otherwise savor life's local and seasonal offerings.