Friday, November 27, 2015

Our Favorite Fandom Foods

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, you may not be interested in hearing, thinking, or seeing any more food for a long time. But if you're not stuffed full of well... stuffing, we've gathered together some of our favorite foods found within books, movies, and TV shows for one fandom-y feast.

(Graphic created by Sky Destrian using Canva)

Who hasn't read a delicious description of a meal in a book (Come on, I definitely want to try the lamb stew from The Hunger Games) or seen a glorious feast in a movie? (How about the dwarf meal in Bag End, complete with a song to clean-up the mess)? Fandom is full of food, both real and fictional, that we'd love to eat. Someone should start a fandom-themed restaurant for the sake of our sanity.

In the meantime, here are some recipes we'd like to try:

Anna Catherine: Snow White's Gooseberry Pie
Pie is something that everyone likes to eat on Thanksgiving! Snow White's pies always make me want to try my hand at baking one. By the way, the only reason I chose the pie on the right for the photo comparison is because it looks just like the pie from the movie. However, the pie on the right is an apple pie, not gooseberry like the ones Snow White makes for the dwarfs. A great gooseberry pie recipe is found here. You can use toothpicks, forks, knives, and your hands to make your pie look like the one in this picture. I think this would be wonderful for a Thanksgiving treat!

Livia Alegi: Panis Capitoli (Bread of the Capitol)

In The Hunger Games, bread is always present. Katniss shares bread with Gale before the reaping of the 74th Hunger Games, but also it is one of the typical foods sent by sponsors or included in feasts during the games themselves. As if that weren't enough, the country itself is named after bread: Panem means bread in Latin. The books and movies have shown us various types of bread from the districts: District 3's bread is shaped like small cubes, District 4 typically prepared loaves with seaweed, and the impoverished District 12 makes drop biscuits. In Catching Fire, two girls show Katniss that they are on her side by presenting a cracker with a Mockingjay on it.

The Capitol would obviously have bread too, though fancier. It would probably entail complicated designs and exotic ingredients. As soon as I discovered this recipe, I thought about how it would fit in perfectly in The Hunger Games world: the main ingredient would be unobtainable in any of the districts.

To make the panis Capitoli (bread of the Capitol) you will need Greek yogurt and self-raising flour in equal amounts (Keep in mind that to make 12 flatbreads you will need about 135g of both). Once you mix the two ingredients, you will obtain a firm dough (Don't forget to add salt), which you will then need to cut into smaller pieces and roll into pancake-like shapes. Then you'll just need to cook the flatbreads in a no-stick pan for a few minutes for each side. In the Capitol, these flatbreads would be eaten with extra virgin olive oil with herbs (such as sage, rosemary, thyme and anything the chefs have). For Thanksgiving, you could eat it with turkey and veggies.

You'll have a feast alright this Thanksgiving, just not a Hunger Games one...

Bethany Baldwin: Neverland Feast

When it comes to fictional food, I could probably come up with many things. No matter what anyone else might say about the film Hook (I say bangarang!), there is one scene that always sticks out in my memory. That scene is the dinner scene where the Lost Boys and Peter sit down for a meal. Unfortunately for Peter, that meal seems to be imaginary. He watches as the boys eat air with gusto. Of course, as soon as he learns to imagine, the food comes to life in eye-popping color. We're suddenly exposed to delicious foods of all sorts, but mainly some kind of creamy jello dessert that just looks plain good. I would love to try some imaginary food from Neverland-- and get in an imaginary food fight too!

Jaime Heller: Turkish Delight and Lembas Bread

Ever since I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I've been curious about turkish delight. Before the 2005 movie released, I had no concept of what turkish delight actually was. I could daydream of what it must taste like to deserve such a title as delight. However, when the movie showed the treacherous food Edmund eats, I grimaced. This was nothing like how I imagined. (I don't care much for jelly-like foods.) Still, I wonder what it does taste like and whether it's worth betraying my siblings and Narnia over...

There is one fictional food I've had the privilege of trying--and making--before: lembas bread. While my recipe doesn't necessary fill your stomach with one bite or keep you energized over long periods of time, it sure does taste good and might fill you up if you eat one or four pieces. (Maybe we're all just hobbits?) I've made this bread multiple times in the past few years to celebrate various Middle-earth related holidays. It's become a favorite of people at my school; they expect it. One of my professors told me he looks forward to the days I bring lembas bread with me.

It's a simple recipe and doesn't take long either. And if you've got any Elvish leaves (Lorien or Mirkwood) lying around, you could wrap your bread in them to take it with you.


2 ½ cups of flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
¼ teaspoon of salt
½ cup of butter
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon honey
2/3 cup of heavy whipping cream
½ teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and mix well till fine granules (easiest way is with an electric mixer). Then add the sugar and cinnamon and mix them thoroughly. Finally add the cream, honey, and vanilla and stir until a nice, thick dough forms.

Roll the dough out about 1/2 in thickness. Cut out 3-inch squares and transfer the dough to a cookie sheet. Crisscross each square from corner-to-corner with a knife, lightly (not cutting through the dough). Bake for about 12 minutes or more (depending on the thickness of the bread) until it is set and lightly golden.

Let cool completely before eating, this bread tastes better room temperature and dry. Also for more flavor you can add more cinnamon or other spices.

Anna Gensimore: Metheglin

What's a good feast without a tankard of something cold and frothy? My fictional food (well, drink) comes from the Kingkiller Chronicles, the series I mentioned in the other Thanksgiving piece, by Patrick Rothfuss. In the first book, The Name of the Wind, Kvothe spends quite a bit of time in a pub called The Eolian earning his pipes (the right to play and interest a patron). What does one do in a pub such as this? Of course, one drinks, and as a musician, these drinks are often free.

Metheglin is a kind of mead mentioned specifically in reverence. I would like to try it simply based on a description from the book alone: it is said to be a magical combination of honey, fruits, and spices delicious enough to make a man come back from the dead. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Patrick Rothfuss posted his own recipe to make a real life version of this lovely libation. His blog post about his own experiences making it and creating the recipe are rather entertaining. Just to warn you all, this may not be something that you'd like to try unless you have a little experience brewing or the guidance of someone who has. This is an "adult" beverage, but I'm sure we could make a younger person friendly version. Metheglin may just be the source of inspiration your feast needs to start everyone singing or the encouragement needed to get everyone telling tales of their own.

Sky Destrian: Shawarma

Ever since watching The Avengers, I've been craving a food I've never had: shawarma. Shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish made out of meat roasted on a spit, which is typically served with vegetables and flatbread. It can also be eaten as a wrap or as a sandwich. Whether you're wanting a regular snack or you need to replenish your energy after battling aliens in New York, look no further: shawarma can fill all your fandom food needs.

I'm currently searching for Tony Stark and the rest of the Avengers so we can go get shawarma together. (If you'd like to come with, please feel free.) In the meantime, here's a recipe for you to make shawarma on your own, courtesy of The New York Times.

Rica Wiersema:

The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson
Janner joined Leeli and TInk at the table to gobble down the cheesy chowder. After the day he’d had, this seemed the finest meal he had ever eaten. A vat of steaming soup filled the kitchen with a rich, buttery smell, and a fresh loaf of butter bread had been sliced and set on the table.

1 lb. sliced Bacon
1 cup diced Onions or Leeks
2 cups Potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1-2 cups Water
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cup Sour Cream
1 3/4 cup Milk
1 cup Velveeta Cheese (or Cheese of choice; white cheddar is also recommended)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Pepper to taste
Optional: Shredded Cheddar Cheese, extra Bacon

1. Cut the bacon into small pieces and fry it up at the bottom of a giant soup pot, not in a frying pan. Once the bacon is done, scoop it out to cool elsewhere (but keep the grease in the pot).

2. Put the onions/leeks in the pot to fry next. Once they’re soft and lightly-browned, scoop them out and set them aside.

3. Pour 1-2 cups water into the pot and add the potatoes, making sure that the water just covers the potatoes. (Note: the amount of water should be roughly half of the amount of potatoes. Two cups of potatoes means 1 cup of water.)

4. Bring the potatoes to a boil, then lower the heat and let them simmer for 10-15 minutes or until soft. (The smaller the pieces, the quicker they cook).

5. Optional: during this time, you can use a blender to puree the leeks with a bit of milk. Or, once the potatoes are softened, you can use a hand mixer to mash them while they’re in the pot.

6. Add the canned soup, sour cream, milk, salt, and pepper to the pot and mix. Keep the stove on medium heat until the chowder thickens, stirring occasionally to keep the bottom from burning. (Try not to boil it.)

7. Cut up and add the cheese once the milk and cream aren’t cold anymore. If you’re not using something soft like velveeta or brie, then it’s recommended that you melt the cheese with a bit of milk and chowder in the microwave first so that it will mix more readily with the rest of the pot.

8. Once your Cheesy Chowder is thick and hot, serve with a garnish of bacon and shredded cheddar. Don’t forget to have warm bread on the table to go with it!

(courtesy of Rica)

Forget turkey sandwiches; this is what people ought to make after Thanksgiving. I wish Afterday Soup was fictional because then people would actually try to make it for themselves after seeing it in the theater! In the spirit of Thanksgiving, allow me to share with you the holiday food that I’m most thankful for!

Thanksgiving Dinner
Optional: Noodles

1. While the Thanksgiving dinner is being cooked, be sure to save all the vegetable scraps and potato peelings. And once all of the meat is separated from the bones of the turkey, save the bones as well. Yes, I’m completely serious.

2. On Thanksgiving evening or the next day, put all of the bones and peelings into a pot, cover them with water, and set it to boil for as long as four hours to create a soup stock (broth).

3. Once the broth is complete, pour it through a strainer to remove all of the gunk until you’re left with a magnificent turkey stock.

The next step is up to you because you can either make a whole pot of Afterday Soup or just an individual bowl. I’ll proceed as if you’re making a whole pot, but just know that you can make your own with small doses of leftovers if your family isn’t willing to join in.

4. Put the pot back on the stove and keep the heat on medium to low. If you’d like to add noodles, you can boil them separately now and add them at any point during the rest of the process.

5. Chop up and add the leftover turkey meat. Even if you don’t follow the other steps, this in itself is a pretty great soup. But I always like to go a step further.

6. Add mashed potatoes, gravy, and any vegetables that you think might go well with the soup (like shoepeg corn, pearl onions, mushrooms, or maybe green beans. I wouldn’t add sweet potatoes if I were you, though). Stir until thick.

7. Once the soup is warm enough, pour yourself a bowl with some reheated rolls on the side — or ladle your soup over some warm stuffing!

9. Enjoy your little dose of Thanksgiving in a bowl.

Hungry yet? Let us know a favorite fandom food you're starving to try in the comments below. (If you have a good recipe, share it with us!)
Special thanks to Anna Catherine for thinking of this lovely collaboration idea. 


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