Have you ever made a meal that you’ve read about in a story? I haven’t, but I love the idea of it. The food in a story can reveal a lot about the characters’ social circumstances, setting, time period, culture, relationships, and more. Reproducing a meal from a story can bring you a step closer into the character’s world, connect you with their perspective in some small way. The activity just might lead to the discovery of a new favorite meal, too.
In her new book, “Voracious,” writer and cook Cara Nicoletti shares tales and recipes that have come from cooking meals from stories that she’s loved over the years. I began reading it this week, and I’m still on chapter one, but I’m already excited by it! The first chapter covers meals from children’s books such as the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’m already dreaming of homemade sausage with sage and maple *yum*. Cara is not only a talented writer, but also a butcher and runs her own shop in New York city, which makes her one of my new heroes because I’ve been interested in learning how to butcher my own meat for a while now. It might be time to finally read the enormous book on meat that I bought a year ago. That, and finding a butcher shop in Eugene that offers classes or wouldn’t mind me awkwardly standing around while they cut up a pig.
Bottom line, Cara’s book has me feeling inspired and eager to try my hand at some literary meals. I’m juggling 4 books right now (typical), and I’d like to pay a little more attention to how food plays a role in the story telling. If you come across any great food scenes in what you’re reading, do let me know so we can swap recipes and book suggestions.