The use of food in children’s literature seems to be a hot item. I must say I also find it very interesting and worth writing about. I am particularly fond of old fashioned English books and the descriptions of food eaten at various picnics you find in those. I love the descriptions of crumbly sweet scones with clotted cream and jam, small triangle sandwiches. gingerbread cookies and all those other treats.
The Village Voice blog put together a top 10 of the best food-themed children’s books. Now I must say that I don’t know half of those, but I do agree with certain worldwide favourites as Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham.
From my childhood I remember the food used in Alice in Wonderland (who does not love the teaparty at the Mad Hatter’s?) Furthermore I fondly remember the picnics in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books and the Malory Towers books - I always wanted picnics like those!
And what about the unbirthday party in Alice in Wonderland, full of half cups of tea and buttered clocks. Somehow the Eat Me cookies never struck me as particularly interesting, I liked the Drink Me drink better as it had all those different tastes. Eat Me cookies are easier to make, though. (Heston Blumenthal proved that the Drink Me drink IS possible, however ;-)).
Now a children’s book recipe you CAN make and take with you on a picnic…
-From Roald Dahl’s Even more revolting recipes
1 packet of bread dough mix
8 rashers of bacon (optional)
1 egg yolk
1. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Make bread dough according to packet instructions.
2. While the dough is rising, cook the sausages in the oven. If you are using the bacon, wrap it around the sausages before cooking. When they are light brown (about 15 mins) take them out and allow to cool.
3. When the dough has doubled in size, weigh out 8 70g pieces. Roll each piece of dough to a 12 cm wide circle. Place the sausage in the middle of the dough and spread with the mustard and ketchup. Carefully roll it up, keeping it quite tight, and fold the sides in so that there is no chance to escape. Do the same with the rest of the sausages. Place in the roasting tin. Brush with the egg yok and allow to rise again.
4. When they have doubled in size again (20-30 mins) place in oven and cook for about 20-25 mins or until golden. Allow to cool for 5 mins before eating - tge waiting is the difficult part of the recipe. Set an alarm clock and eat as soon as the bell goes.