Monday, March 7, 2016
Food In Narnia
Bit by bit I'm turning into a food blogger:) Having discussed American style cooking I'm now moving on to traditional British food as illustrated by mid-20th century children's books.
I don't currently own all of Narnia stories, but I think The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe gives a great illustration of what I mean.
Apart from Turkish delight, which we aren't going to discuss today, there is a famous tea party with Mr. Tumnus the Fawn in Chapter Two, where besides tea itself other things are served, such as (lightly) boiled eggs, "sardines on toast, buttered toast, toast with honey and a sugar-topped cake." (HarperCollins Children's Books, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 2001, pp. 21-22.)
Toasted bread with butter, jam or honey is typically English, I guess. We then have dinner party with Mr and Mrs Beaver in Chapter 7. It features milk for children, boiled potatoes with butter, fried trout, bread, beer for Mr Beaver and marmalade roll with tea for dessert. It's rather simple food but every time I read about it, by some reason I always get hungry.
Somehow C.Lewis managed to create a very homey atmosphere in this story. He was apparently not insensible to domestic comforts, something which few people nowadays seem to appreciate. Those domestic comforts are impossible though without a homemaker, a person who devotes herself nearly exclusively to managing her household, like Mrs Beaver in the story.
It's interesting that as the story line progressed the books were getting less traditional, going from "wars are ugly when women fight" to Susan becoming a traitor to Narnia because she gets interested in make-up and pretty clothes (and evidently, catching a husband:), while Lucy bravely goes out to war with her bow and arrows.
Prince Caspian has some interesting ideas about food, too. In Chapter 10 we read how Trumpkin, the Dwarf wraps apples in bear meat and roasts them above the fire which makes me wonder if you could wrap an apple in a schnitzel and bake it in the oven. One of those days, I'm going to try.
And the last but not least though a bit off topic: while I didn't care at all for Prince Caspian the movie, I really enjoyed watching the screen adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. If you have any favourite children's books with interesting recipes/food ideas, feel free to share in the comments!