Literary Foods

Explore these foods and meals, enshrined and immortalized in great literature.  I think they taste better than regular food, or, at least, offer a richer experience.  Literature also immortalizes many wonderful drinks--mead in Beowulf, madeira in Dombey and Son, coffee in The Old Man and the Sea.  But that is for another post.  I recommend Convivial Dickens:  The Drinks of Dickens and His TimesAlso visit the Sailor's post on cooking.

From C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • A dinner: fish, fresh and pan-fried, boiled potatoes with a great lump of deep yellow butter in the middle of the table, milk or beer, a great and gloriously sticky marmalade roll, steaming hot, and tea.
  • A tea: a nice brown egg, lightly boiled, sardines on toast, buttered toast, toast with honey, sugar-topped cake, tea.
From J. R. R. Tolkien, The Two Towers, a meager supper
  • Stewed rabbit with bay-leaves, thyme, and sage.
From J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, a tea
  • Seed-cake, cake, tea, beer, ale, porter, coffee, buttered scones, red wine, raspberry jam, apple-tart, mince-pies, cheese, pork-pie, salad, eggs, cold chicken, pickles.
From J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, dinner in the house of Tom Bombadil
  • Yellow cream and honeycomb, white bread and butter, milk, cheese, green herbs, ripe berries.
From Kenneth Grahame, The Wind and the Willows, a picnic
  • Cold chicken, cold tongue, cold ham, cold beef, pickled gherkins, salad, French rolls, cress sandwiches, potted meat, ginger beer, lemonade, soda water.
From Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit, a dinner
  • Bread and milk and blackberries.
From Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farmer Boy, three dinners
  • Hot chicken pie, hot rye & injun bread, green beans, fat pork, pickled beets, pumpkin and apple pie with cheese.
  • Roast pork, applesauce, milk, pumpkin pie.
  • Roast suckling pig with an apple in its mouth, stuffed roast goose, cranberry jelly, mashed potatoes, mashed turnips, baked squash, fried parsnips, fried apples’n’onions, candied carrots, with pumpkin/cream/mince pie to follow.
From Caryll Houselander, “The Parish 1st Communions”, a breakfast
  • Banana, coffee, rolls
From Hilaire Belloc, The Path to Rome, a dinner
  • Soup, meat, vegetables, bread, and a little wine. “He gave me also coffee and a little cheese, and I, feeling hearty, gave threepence over for the service.”
From Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, the poor man’s Christmas feast
  • Roast goose with sage and onion, gravy, apple-sauce, mashed potatoes, a hot drink with gin and lemons.
From James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small, a dinner, to be had occasionally
  • Bangers and Mash
From Arthur Ransome, Swallows and Amazons books
  • For supper: meat pie or fresh fish fried in butter—if you can get it, pemmican, roasted potatoes, tea, apples, chocolate.
  • For breakfast—porridge, bacon, milk, maybe boiled eggs.
  • On the march—pemmican, hard-boiled eggs, apples, chocolate.
From Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge, a dinner
  • A bit of fish, lamb chops (breaded, with plenty of ketchup), a good salad, roast spring chicken, with a dish of sausages and mashed potatoes, "or something of that sort."
  • Apple Tart with cream (Robert Louis Stevenson, “The Cow”) or deep-dish apple pie (Jack Schaefer, Shane)
  • Blanc mange (Louisa May Alcott, Little Women)
  • Buttered Toast (Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows)
  • Fair food—like one large pickle, raspberry lemonade, sardines, cider, watermelon, popcorn, peanuts, hot waffles thickly powdered with sugar, Neapolitan ice-cream cut in slices and wrapped in paper, hot dogs or “Winnie-wurst” (Booth Tarkington, Penrod). I don’t recommend eating this all at once as Penrod did.
  • Gingerbread (P. L. Travers, Mary Poppins)
  • Biscuits, hot (Jack Schaefer, Shane)
  • Ice-cream on an Angelica Kaufmann plate (Rumer Godden, An Episode of Sparrows)
  • Lettuce, french beans, radishes, parsley (Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit)
  • Mushrooms (J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings)
  • Pancakes (Owen Stephens, The Lawrenceville Stories; The Brothers Karamazov; many Russian fairy-tales)
  • Plums (Louisa May Alcott, An Old Fashioned Girl)
  • Pound cake with ice-cream (Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farmer Boy)
  • Spaghetti (Hilaire Belloc, The Path to Rome): “I first pulled up the macaroni out of the dish, and said, “Fromagio, Pommodoro,” by which I meant cheese--tomato. He then said he knew what I meant, and brought me that spaghetti so treated, which is a dish for a king, a cosmopolitan traitor, an oppressor of the poor, a usurer, or any other rich man, but there is no spaghetti in the place to which such men go, whereas these peasants will continue to enjoy it in heaven.”



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