Friday, November 27, 2015

When We're Tempted to Eat Our Words

While those of us in the US are so full of food we can't see straight (leftovers anyone??) by all means let's talk about MOAR FOOD. I have a great love of all things food. As a result, 0f all the things I miss about living aboard a boat a real kitchen is top of the list. Sure I have a galley - a two burner propane cooktop, a tiny propane oven, even a broiler that does a decent job toasting bread. But I miss the real thing - a four (or more) burner stove that puts out some serious BTUs. Propane burns cool. Well. Cooler than other methods common in the US. That makes it hard to get caramelization or a good sear on anything. I know. First world problems, right? It's possible I also really, really miss a dishwasher, too. Usually right about the third time in a day my sink is stacked full of dishes. Despite my whine about dishes, I do like to cook. It may be a thing passed down from the southern family.

Occasionally, food makes it into stories. It's either the bridge that allows people to find common ground, or it's the rocky crevasse no one can cross (remember the chilled monkey brains in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? Serious crevasse.)

So what book filled with food makes me hungry when I read it?

Sunshine. Robin McKinley.

Sunshine works at the family diner. The bakery is her domain. She regularly serves up Cinnamon Rolls As Big As Your Head. All sorts of bars, pies, deaths by chocolate (a few she considers trying are vampire inspired - deathly dark exterior, pierce it with a fork and raspberry sauce gushes forth - though she hasn't yet because she figures she'd have a few of the more sensitive customers fainting). She's also one of my people because she's a tea drinker. And she knows how to get the tea stains out of her favorite cups without bleach.

Sunshine's great need to feed people and to care about people via the food she offers is a great contrast to the fact that she spends most of the book being hunted by a vampire who bears a strong resemblance (in my imagination, anyway) to Jabba the Hut. She allies with another vampire to defend herself - that alliance is first cemented by her offer of food. No, no. Not her blood - a raw steak. She feeds the fanged dude a bloody, raw steak. Then, you know, magic. Lots and lots of uncanny magic. Not that the bloody steak thing is what makes me grab a bag of cookies when I sit down to read that's Sunshine's bakery goods. Gotta have tea and cookies (preferably really spicy gingersnaps) to read. Moral imperative.

So hey. When you come visit, what shall I make? Chocolate Lava Cake? Mandarin Orange Delight? Chocolate Pecan Carrot Cake? Cherry Ring? Ah. Why is it an either/or question. Gotcha. No problem. What would you make if I were lucky enough to visit you?

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