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Old 15-09-2014, 04:47 PM posted to
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Default Salon article: "...Children's Literature, and How We Learn to Love Food"

By Sandra M. Gilbert, from her book "The Culinary Imagination: From Myth
to Modernity."

I can hardly choose a paragraph; they're all pretty fun. However (regarding
the Raggedy Ann books):

"...Yet even the cosiness of Cookie Land--one of Johnny Gruelle's most
compelling culinary fantasies--is tainted by dread. In a realm founded
on flour and sugar, appetite is a first principle of society; thus those
who long to eat may themselves have to fear being eaten. The Raggedies
are haunted by the threats of Hookie-the-Goblin, who insists he wants to
make them into noodle soup, despite their very rational assertion that
cloth dolls can't be boiled into noodles. Even more imperiled are the
kindly cookie people. When Raggedy Ann first encounters the chocolate
Cookie Man, he breaks in half, as any vulnerably brittle cookie might,
and she is obliged to glue him together with molasses. Such shattering
shadows all his family all the time: his Lemon Cookie son ends up with a
vanilla leg after his original limb cracks apart; his daughter, little
Strawberry, is stolen by the voracious Hookie, and indeed, the entire
Cookie family, along with their cookie cows, chickens and ducks and
their delicious cookie house, are always threatened by the mouth of
the goblin--and by other hungry mouths that might come along..."

Also mentioned: Maurice Sendak (of course), Lewis Carroll, Tomie
dePaola's Strega Nona, Judi Barrett's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,
Henrik Drescher's The Boy Who Ate Around, and Roald Dahl's Charlie and
the Chocolate Factory. Plus (briefly), Little Women, Heidi, Little House
on the Prairie and Farmer Boy.


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Old 15-09-2014, 10:56 PM posted to
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Default Salon article: "...Children's Literature, and How We Learn toLove Food"

I love food writing in children's literature.

Heidi - goat's milk that tastes like it has cinnamon and sugar added,
goat cheese melted over the fire, the rolls Heidi saves for Grandmother

Paddington Bear - orange marmelade

Little Women - The girls give away their Christmas muffins for breakfast
and are rewarded with a beautiful table full of ice cream and cake.
Amy's failed lobster salad, salt instead of sugar in the strawberries,
blancmange ...

Little House on the Prairie - hogshead cheese, homemade cheese, butter
churning, endless salt pork and potatoes, cracklings, vanity cakes, fresh
milk, the wheat in the wall, green pumpkin pie, baked beans, ginger tea,
vinegar water, game, fish, sourdough, Christmas dinner in May to
celebrate the arrival of the train featuring a roast turkey and apple pie
after seven months of near starvation, parched corn at Thanksgiving,
roast suckling pig, the excitement of lemonade and oranges, honey,
special sugar for company

Farmer Boy - fried apples and onions, huge daily meals, pie for
breakfast, twisted doughnuts, not those newfanged doughnuts with holes,
pulled candy, ice cream

My Side of the Mountain - fishing, foraging, boiling water in a leaf

All of a Kind Family - potato kugel, big sour pickles, broken crackers,
chocolate babies, hamantaschen, Purim baskets, latkes, chicken soup, rice
soup (Sarah wouldn't eat it), smoked salmon skin as a free treat from the
store owner, matzo, fasting, the Passover seder, limburger cheese
sandwiches, blintzes, spiced chickpeas and baked sweet potatoes from a
street vendor, candied fruit. I still wish I could have spiced chickpeas
in a paper cone from that street vendor.
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Old 16-09-2014, 03:36 PM posted to
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Default Salon article: "...Children's Literature, and How We Learn toLove Food"

On Monday, September 15, 2014 4:56:59 PM UTC-5, Tara wrote:
I love food writing in children's literature.

I loved "All of a Kind Family" and its food too.

An old post of mine, from elsewhe

For anyone who doesn't know, there's a "Little House" cookbook (and
songbook-no, not 2 in 1! :-) ). The author points out that since food
was so often scarce, "Farmer Boy" is not only about Almanzo, it's
Laura's fantasy of living the stable, prosperous life, surrounded on
all sides by food. So far, I've tried the ginger water (also, check out
the ginger beer according to the book "Reasons for Seasons") codfish
balls, & green pumpkin pie (yes, it does resemble apple, but a little
more tangy - I loved it!).

I found a recipe for the Swedish cookies Pippi made in the first book
- "pepparkakor", so I'll try that. I've made flaming plum pudding, as
in "A Christmas Carol."

Check out Barbara Nynde Byfield's "Eating-in-Bed Cookbook" - very funny
and often very exotic or simply scrumptious. (She also wrote murder
mysteries, humor and kids' books.)

Recipes include "Elizabeth Barrett's Brownies," "Swordfish Agamemnon,"
"Spilt Milk Pudding," "Curried Favor"(a very spicy lamb dish), "Cornish
Hens Suttee," "Cheesecake Under the Covers," "Caesar's Goat,"(made with
veal) "Cooked Goose Full of Beans," "Pomegranates Inferno," "Turkish
Delight," "Suleyman's Comfort"(lamb with rice, currants, pinenuts,
etc.), "Chocolate Chili," "Golden Eggs" (deviled eggs with caviar),
"Tacos for Talking To," "Shoulder of Lamb to Cry On" (stuffed with
truffles) "Nest Eggs" (with chipped beef and kidney beans), "Watermelon
Hollandaise" (with gin), "Piggy Bank Beef" (stroganoff), "Deep Sleep
Apple Pie," "Ether" (macaroons with fruit, cream and brandy), etc.

Not all the recipes are expensive, believe it or not!

However, I found it necessary to turn up the heat for both the brownies
and the milk pudding - and the latter benefited from a reduction in sugar
as well. Suleyman's Comfort also has too much rice. Oh, and for anyone
who doesn't know, a #2 can means an 18- or 20-ounce can.

Do check it out! She wrote funny comments next to every recipe. Plus a
long introduction on the art of eating in bed.


"If you've just seen 'Captains Courageous' on the Late Show and if
you're crying like a baby long before the last commercial, don't be
embarrassed. The minor woes of life are painful and deserve something
on your stomach. These (deviled) eggs, accompanied by a glass of
champagne, will wash down the lump in your throat."

I've always wanted to try poppy-seed cakes after reading the kids'
chapter book of the same name (1928). I tried baking eggs (wrapped in
20th-century foil) in the fireplace after reading about it in the only
really good book in Lucy Fitch Perkins' "Twins" series - "The Cave Twins".
No failures, but not memorable. "Cricket" magazine always had fun
things to cook.

I remember begging to go to France so we could check out the chocolate
shop from "Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang". (Yes, I tried the recipe for fudge at
the end, but I've never really liked fudge - too rich.)

Finally, I would love, someday, to cook the feast Shasta had in C.S.
Lewis' "The Horse and his Boy". Just to refresh your memory, it was
"...lobsters, and salad, and snipe stuffed with almonds and truffles,
and a complicated dish made of chicken-livers and rice and raisins and
nuts, and there were cool melons and gooseberry fools and mulberry fools,
and every kind of nice thing that can be made with ice. (Plus white wine.)"
I lived in Spain when I read that book and I thought one of those sounded
something like paella, but not quite. (There's a Narnia Cookbook by Douglas Gresham - Lewis' stepson - from 1998, plus the Unofficial Narnia Cookbook
by Dinah Bucholz, who also wrote the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook.
Unfortunately, Gresham's book is out of print, I think.)


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