Welcome to the roundup of the 17th edition of Novel Food, the literary/culinary event that Lisa of Champaign Taste and I created in 2007 and that I continue to host. 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 a 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.
Lucy's main character, Hayley Snow is a food critic in Key West. She "eats a lot of meals out in restaurants. So when she's at home on her houseboat, I imagine she prefers to cook home-style food that's not too fancy but still delicious" like this "sort of Creole stew crossed with a jambalaya."
"The wedding tiers of the title aludes to Josie's wedding cake business, where she makes weird and wonderful cakes for brides-to-be... The story is full of baking, cooking, preserving and brewing, with a lovely dip into village life and all it's weird and wonderful characters."
"This is a story about girl power, family, horses, small island life and a little bit of love. The main characters, of course, are the horses. These horses are not typical horses, but rather fantastical creatures that come from the sea and take a different kind of care... and the most memorable food of the Races is the November cake."
Sally of Recipe Junkie and the Attack of the Custard Creams read The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister and made a White Cake
"A gorgeously understated and beautiful tale of an unusual cookery school where there are, in fact, no essential ingredients – only the needs and desires of the pupils. Steered on their journeys of culinary discovery by the enigmatic Lillian, the participants, of course, learn more than how to cook – they learn self-esteem and confidence."
"The book is full of interesting characters from all walks of life. The most tantalizing character to me is the investigator Pepe Carvalho who appears to have a zeal for good food a good drink... I enjoyed the dialog... It’s sharp, fun and witty. I found myself laughing aloud several times. Investigator Pepe Carvalho certainly held my attention throughout the book."
"The novel is set mostly in Venice and it seems to me that a plateful of risi e bisi will make a very nice accompaniment to my reading endeavor." The novel "is about a love affair. Not so much between the 50 year old protagonist, Cantwell, and his eighteen year old contessa... More distinct is the love Cantwell feels for Venice, a city which he considers unrivaled."
"Private detective Pepe Carvalho is an interesting character, at times difficult to fathom, which is part of his appeal... I imagined that Carvalho, allergic as he is to any kind of limitation placed upon food and drink, would leave Artimbau's studio with a craving for potatoes, so I prepared something to satisfy such craving: my rendition of frico, a traditional dish from Friuli."
"Ms. McTigue shows us that if you take a sliver of time of a sliver of space, you'll find a universe that resonates with us, regardless of whether we are dealing with someone who is sick... I came back to my kitchen determined to bake a mela al cartoccio as a special, early act of giving thanks. But... the idea came to my mind to stuff the apple cavity with cheese instead of raisins."
My special "thank you!" goes to the event's participants. The next edition of Novel Food will be in the spring of 2013: I will announce it here, on The Food Blog Diary, and other venues, 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.