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Friday, June 22, 2012

What Should I Serve At A Literary Barbecue?

I need a little help. I'm thinking of throwing a themed barbecue this summer for my friends (whose interests run the gamut when it comes to reading, and are familiar with everything from picture books to Harry Potter, from YA genre reading to Chaucer, from George R.R. Martin to John Grisham).

Bilbo's birthday feast, Lord of the Rings
Can you suggest some foods/beverages mentioned in novels that might be a good match for a summer feast? I've got a few recipes from Pat Conroy novels (the man is a fan of South Carolina Lowcountry Cuisine and so am I), but I need more suggestions.

Main dishes, side dishes, desserts, you name it!

I'm looking for fun, whimsical, and (of course) TASTY!

Thanks so much for your help~ if I end up doing the BBQ, I'll be sure to post a final menu list :)

32 comments:

  1. I would serve lemon meringue pie, inspired by Amelia Bedelia!

    If you're looking for books that have actual recipes in them, look at Home Cooking (by Laurie Colwyn) or Like Water for Chocolate (Laura Esquivel).

    What a fun party theme! Have fun!

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    1. Great suggestion Beth! Lemon pie is a wonderful summer dessert! And thanks for the book suggestions too :) I love Like Water for Chocolate.

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  2. I love Amelia Bedelia, she's fantastic. But I'm not sure what to recommend in terms of food for a theme. Love the idea, but sadly, my ideas fall flat.

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    1. But you work in the food industry!!! :)

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    2. I know, and that's why I nearly didn't comment. How bad is that, that I can't think of ANYTHING cool for your fun barbeque?

      :-(

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  3. I would probably look at food dishes that are mentioned in books. You'd have a lot to choose from just from LotR and Harry Potter.

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    1. Yep, that's what I was hoping you all could help me out with. I can think of several ideas, but I thought you all might have personal favorite food scenes from novels that would inspire a dish or two (no actual recipe needed~ I can improvise).

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    2. My favorite food scene is from The Hobbit where Bilbo has to feed the Dwarves. And, well, Hobbits -are- all about food.

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    3. Me too! I've always wanted to try seed cakes :)

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  4. Dessert option: November Cakes from Maggie Stiefvater's SCORPIO RACES!!! These sounded so, so, good in the book - and she's posted the recipe here:

    Maggie Stiefvater's November Cakes

    Granted, it sounds like a lot of work...but did you SEE the pictures??? :)

    And if there were a recipe for Butter Beer from HP, I'd love to try that too! Best of luck with everything - you'll have to post what you came up with!

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    1. Wow, the November cakes look FANTASTIC! Thanks for sharing the recipe! I've got a couple of butterbeer recipes, and will have to do a test run to see which is better :)

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  5. You might find something cool on here: http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/08/cooking-ice-and-fire-a-blog-on-the-dishes-of.html

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  6. Fried green tomatoes? Treacle Tarts. The monkey cookies (can't remember the full name) that Anne Shirley Blythe's son loved so much.

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    1. I LOVE Fannie Flagg books~ fried green tomatoes have been on my "must try" list since I read the book. They were not a disappointment~ I've never cooked them myself, though...might take a little practice.

      Treacle Tarts and monkey cookies~ perfect!

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  7. I'm out of my element with this request...but I'll be happy to taste anything you come up with! :)

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    1. What?? You don't have any suggestions of foods/food scenes in mystery/thriller/suspense novels? Okay, okay, thanks for offering to be a taster :)

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  8. I've been thinking about this today, and came up with a couple more ideas:
    First, from LOTR, I was reminded of the scene where Sam is telling Gollum about all the ways to serve potatoes. "Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew."
    And of course the ultimate food scene is Proust's memories of the madeleines!

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    1. Yes and YES! Perfect, thanks so much :)

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  9. How fun! Here's my contribution --

    Don't laugh me away with this one, but what about chocolate pie? If you've read The Help it'll probably gross you out, but I think it would be hilarious.

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  10. This is such a fun idea! I agree with the chocolate pie--hahahaha!

    Have fun, Jess!

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    1. You should have a literary BBQ too! I just checked, and there are lots of recipes out there for Minny's pie (minus the secret ingedient, of course) :)

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  11. I was thinking of butter beer, too! It sounds delicious! Jackson Pearce had a video on how she makes it. Yum!

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    1. I'll have to check out the video! I know it'll never happen, but I kind of wish that bars had butterbeer on tap :)

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  12. I attempted a treacle tart once for a literary-themed pot-luck dinner...and it did not come out so well. :( Maybe the proportions got mistranslated from the British measurements?

    In any case, this sounds like a lot of fun. Far easier than treacle tart would be tomato-and-mayonnaise sandwiches from Harriet the Spy!

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    1. Aw! Boo on your treacle tart experience. Oh well~ I was kind of intimidated by that one anyway. I LOVE Harriet the Spy--I just read it again a few months ago. What an interesting character she is :) Thanks for the sandwich suggestion!

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  13. Wow how fun would it be to have a hobbit themed party??? You could do fish and chips and beer. lol
    My book club always does food themes around the book selection. But with a multi theme, you could throw in just about anything. Great Gatsby is a fun theme for dress. :)

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    1. Oh! I didn't even think about having people dress up! Fun :) And isn't there a Gatsby movie coming out soon? I've seen the trailer...

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  14. Okay, so I didn't scroll through all of the comments, so my apologies if these have already been mentioned. I make Butterbeer every year for my halloween party and it's surprisingly easy (and yummy). Also, there is a ton of food mentioned in Game of Thrones -- many of them could be replicated. Good luck, I SO wish I was there so I could come!!!!

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    1. Okay, don't hit me, but...I haven't read Game of Thrones yet *ducks and dodges hurled objects* BUT at least two of my friends are huge fans, so I shall call them up and ask for foodie moments from the series! Thanks Lindsay :)

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