Fictional Food

I guess that should really be “food in fiction,” because there’s nothing fictional about the food except that it appears in a novel.

Are you one of those readers who has to ration your supply of cozy mysteries because every time the author describes some sumptuous treat in the pages of your book, your tendency is to fetch some to enjoy yourself while reading? It’s all too easy to put on a pound or two if you let fiction be your guide, and the food to which I am specifically referring on this Hallowe’en day is, of course, that treat traditional to Thisby Island, the infamous November cakes created by Maggie Stiefvater for the pages of her book The Scorpio Races.

Every October on the island of Thisby, the capaill uisce, or water horses, emerge from the sea like foam made flesh. The giant horses are a danger to anyone who comes near, being both predatory and carnivorous, but the islanders have a yearly tradition of capturing and training them to run a race along the beach on the first day of November. Winning the Scorpio Races yields both fame and substantial fortune, but the races also take many lives. Katherine (called Puck) has decided to enter her land mare in the races to earn the money to save her home, while Sean Kendrick is competing for the right to buy the water-horse stallion Corr. The two teens, both orphaned by capaill uisce, become both allies and competitors in this race for glory or death.

In the cold and damp that is a Thisby November (think Wales or Ireland climate), there is nothing more welcome than a cup of salted butter tea (thanks, I’ll stick to English Breakfast) and a hot, sweet, buttery November cake. Here is a link to the recipe, created by Maggie. They are not simple to make, nor are they cheap, but they are well worth the trouble. The description from the book:

Finn finds my left hand, opens my fingers, and puts a November cake in my palm. It oozes honey and butter, rivulets of the creamy frosting joining the honey
in the pit of my hand.
It begs to be licked.”

The Scorpio Races
Maggie Stiefvater

If your food plan doesn’t allow for such treats, at the least you can make a yearly tradition of reading The Scorpio Races, one of my favorite books by Maggie Stiefvater and perhaps soon to be one of yours as well.

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