Thursday, August 21, 2008

Literature Inspired Food

If you haven't noticed before (perhaps in this post or that one), raspberries and I are an inseparable pair, especially during pregnancy when they both nourish me and inspire great feelings of nostalgia. It's my way of connecting with the woman who birthed me and who never got to see me give birth myself. One of the things that both my mother and I loved when I was growing up was Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. We raced each other to get through the books and watched the movies together at least once a year. I used to make fun of my mom for crying during the movies, but I'm sure she'd be chuckling now to see how misty-eyed I get just at the first notes of the movie's theme song. Yes, Mom. Now I understand. I really do.

Back to the raspberries. I was drinking my raspberry leaf tea this morning and my mind began to drift to the scene in Anne of Green Gables where Anne mistakenly gives Diana red currant wine instead of the permitted, non-alcoholic raspberry cordial. Oh, the mayhem that ensues! Bosom buddies ripped apart! Again, I'm being diverted. The point is, I kept wondering just what raspberry cordial was and how wonderful it must taste and how transported I would feel to roll the bright pink liquid over my tongue. I googled recipes, and lo and behold! Apparently, I too can learn how to make P.E.I.'s traditional raspberry cordial. W00T!

It was about this time that I remembered another literary favorite that's inspired food traditions in my family: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series. There's a chapter in Little House in the Big Woods where Ma and Pa bring in some fresh snow from the first snow of the season and allow the girls to make maple syrup candy, 'cause "maple sugar never hurt anybody." I had poured through boxes and boxes of books in the attic (before the big declutter, of course) in order to find my worn copy of Little House in the Big Woods on a whim, and after that chapter I waited desperately for the first powdery drifts of the winter to come. When it did, I surprised the kids with the making of this little treat. Thus was born a brand new (to us) first snow family tradition. You can bet that we'll be doing it again this year, and I'll be blogging about it too!

Raspberry cordial and maple syrup candy are just bits and pieces of the culinary traditions held within these favorite books of mine. Tomorrow we head to the library to pick up the two cookbooks featured above (thank goodness for the home internet accessible Marion Public Library catalog), and hopefully my morning sickness will give me enough of a break to whip up some delicious, literature inspired eats. Not only will my body and unborn baby be nourished, but so will my spirit and my inner child.

Do you have any favorite foods or family traditions inspired by literature? Please share if you do!

1 comment:

MeadowLark said...

Several days late, but I also think maple candy would be amazing. I always wanted to make it.

Hey. Maybe this is the year! Thanks for the idea.