Welcome to the roundup of the 24th edition of Novel Food, the literary/culinary event that Lisa of Champaign Taste and I created in 2007 and that I continue to host with great pleasure, as it brings together two of my passions: literature and food. Novel Food is about literary works (prose or poetry) that provided inspiration in the kitchen.
Please, follow me on a short literary/culinary tour. For each contribution, I offer a small bite to whet your appetite for more: follow the link to read the details of the special connection between written word and food that each participant has created.
The book tells "an incredible story. It was about Australians in a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma death railway. It was brutal and moving. There were times I had to shut the book and walk away. But it kept me wanting to read more... I wanted to make an Australian cookie so I went to Google and found the recipe for Anzac Biscuits." They "were really, really good. So good that they may be part of this year's Christmas tray."
After hearing the author speak at an event, "I set out to explore some of his lesser advertised novels. In this particular case, that would be Corduroy Mansions, a description of the lives of an eccentric group of Londoners and one precocious dog... Two of the novel characters, Caroline and James, spend an afternoon making cookies. Not just any cookie, though, but Lemon Gems from Nigella Lawson's cookbook, How to Be a Domestic Goddess, which just happens to be on my bookshelf."
"I enjoyed Albert's recent approach to character voice, shifting between the various leads, which brings more depth and insight to the story. She also includes her usual interesting segues into different local and cultivated herbs, as Cat's Claw, which give each book its title.
Also included at the back of these novels are several recipes mentioned in the course of events. None of which, in this case, called my name for dinner. However, the thought of oven-fried, spicy Texas style chicken did. Big Time. Love that smokey chipotle flavor."
"The cast of characters is quite colorful and the protagonist, aptly named Sugar, tries her best to bring the smile back to their faces. Among them, Ruby, a young woman robbed of her smile by anorexia. The few 1/8 of a rice cracker portions she doles out to herself daily made me want to bake bread for her, the quintessential nourishing food of the culinary tradition in which I grew up, and sweeten it lightly with honey."
"Eilish's worries about surviving end once she moves into the house in Craven Street, where, among other things, she eats buttered bread for breakfast and tea. Erin finds "natural-yeast bread" in her brother's kitchen, a sign that the new treatment he is undergoing with Dr. Berrick includes a healthier diet. So, I decided to create a bread for the two E's of the book..."
My special "thank you!" goes to the event's participants: I hope you had as much fun as I always do when I host this event. You will find a link to this roundup and to those of the earlier editions on this page.
The next edition of Novel Food will be in late summer: 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 dishes, enjoy good food and otherwise savor life's local and seasonal offerings.