The value of the myth is that it takes all the things we know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by ‘the veil of familiarity’. The child enjoys his cold meat (otherwise dull to him) by pretending it is buffalo, just killed with his own bow and arrow. And the child is wise. The real meat comes back to him more savoury for having been dipped in a story; you might say that only then is it the real meat. If you are tired of the real landscape, look at it in a mirror. By putting bread, gold, horse, apple, or the very roads into a myth, we do not retreat from reality: we rediscover it. As long as the story lingers in our mind, the real things are more themselves. This applies to the treatment not only of bread or apple, but of good and evil, to our endless perils, our anguish, and our joys. By dipping them in myth, we see them more clearly.
-C.S. Lewis in On Stories
I agree with C.S.L.—Food and stories mix well together. Even food that is otherwise sort of gross (like “cold meat” or Turkish Delight) is cool when you bring your imagination to the table. There is a huge sense of satisfaction when you are eating food that “fits” well with the scene . . . you know, a hot dog at a baseball game, or bread and meat and cheese while on a hike, next to a cool waterfall. And reliving stories by making that special food just adds one more layer of delight to a well-loved book.
I recently saw this book on Amazon, and I absolutely love the idea. I haven’t actually bought it yet . . . I’m too cheap to buy it right off, knowing that the food featured in these pages come mostly from books that I actually haven’t read or wouldn’t care to read. Classic children’s literature already holds the high ground in my heart, and fortunately, those sorts of stories are overflowing with lots of meal scenes . . . and very delicious-sounding choices they are! I have a huge list of themed meals and snacks I’d eventually like to make and photograph, but for now, here is my first offering: Current buns from “A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This is one of my all-time favorite stories!
Jadon loved helping me eat the current buns afterwards. He tried to help me during the photoshoot too, but all that he really accomplished was dumping the sugar bowl out onto the counter. I just had to laugh. I love introducing him to great literary meals. Hopefully he’ll be actually, really helping me prepare them one day!
Enjoy! Hopefully I’ll keep up the motivation and have a few more pictures in upcoming series.