Amazing Capitol dishes: Katniss’ favorite stew with plums, almonds and watercress, over wild rice and peas; a really beautiful broccoli, lentil and red pepper soup.
Because this week there is – literally – nothing else more important than Mockingjay, I also attended a Hunger Games-themed potluck and book discussion last night, courtesy of my fellow publishing co-workers!
It was a total blast bringing themed district food to the steps of the Highline Park and watching passerby go gaga over our delicious spread. We even displayed our blue hardcover copies once we realized we were drawing major attention. A highlight of the night – watching a very excited group of hip college kids slowly figure out that we were, in fact, not just having dinner (wait, this is all about one book?!).
Yes, we were nerding out this Thursday night, and I am damn proud.
Also, I am not going to review Mockingjay at all so I can stay spoiler-free (plus, this one-word summary says it all)… except to say that if you haven’t read the Hunger Games, OMGSERIOUSLYITWILLCHANGEYOURLIFE-JUSTDOYOURSELFAFAVORANDREADALLTHREETHISWEEKEND! Please.
Check out more photos of food and folks below!
A bunch of children’s publishing kids who all agree that this is the best thing to happen to them since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Check out their Hunger Games read-along blog here.
The limit of my culinary skills – District 11 fruit juice.
Lots and lots of “Peeta” bread (TEAM PEETA), Prim’s goat cheese, and possibly-poisonous berries. Not pictured: cupcakes frosted by Peeta himself!
In celebration of my foodie obsessions . . . here’s a top 5 list for the kids!
Top 5 Food-Related Children’s Books I Love:
1. How Are You Peeling? by Saxton Freymann and Joost Eiffers (Arthur A. Levine Books) – Foods with moods. I am more than happy to find daily reminders of this creative childhood obsession on the counter of Pratt’s Pie Shop cafe.
2. Strega Nona by Tomie DePaola (G. P. Putnam’s) – I got my nickname “Strega Nona” from manic episodes of all-nighter pasta-making . . . and shouting children’s book references (“I’m f*ing Strega Nona!”) as I attempt to cook my own recipes.
3. Jamberry by Bruce Degen (HarperCollins) – A small child’s bacchanalia. Really.
4. Gingerbread Houses For Kids by Jennifer A. Ericsson and Beth L. Blair (White Birch Press) – Shameless plug for my mother’s self-published cookbook. But seriously, making gingerbread houses is my favorite winter activity, and no one does it better than they do.
5. Chicken Soup With Rice by Maurice Sendak (HarperCollins) –
In July I’ll take a peep
Into the cool and fishy deep
Where chicken soup is sellin’ – cheap!
Selling once, selling twice, selling Chicken Soup With Rice!
I have to a confession to make.
Despite my inedible baking disasters (ask my sorority sisters), perpetual lack of groceries/clean dishes (ask my roommate), and habit of buying all my meals at the deli (ask my bank account . . . and the guy who knows my sandwich order by memory) – I’m obsessed with the culinary world. Maybe it has something to do with the fascination of watching an art that I can’t seem to master. Maybe I’m just always hungry. But it started with Top Chef . . . and now it’s taking over my book choices, too.
Yesterday, I finished my latest (free! gotta love publishing) subway read, Food Of Love, a light and enjoyable romance by Anthony Capella. In a predictable, but lovable, series of comedic twists, flashy waiter Tommasso seduces a beautiful American art history student, Laura, by pretending to cook the food of his quiet chef friend, Bruno. Naturally, Bruno’s in love with Laura, Laura’s in love with Bruno’s food, and all hell breaks loose like a boiling pot of pasta.
I couldn’t help it – just like the gotta-watch-it appeal of a Bravo TV Show, I’m completely enamored with just reading the recipes and the names of all the seductive Roman dishes – zabaione, coda alla vaccinara, abbacchio alla caccciatiore, pappardelle al sugo di lepre . . . bravo! bravo!
Now I’m on to a different take on food (one that’s not so likely to get one “in the mood”, per se), The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. I was delighted to find it sitting on my desk yesterday, as a little gift from the Penguin gods, in celebration of their 75th 74th anniversary (Happy Birthday, Penguin!). It is said to take you back to the basics of food . . . maybe it will help me improve on my own culinary skills.
Posted in book reviews, personal life, publishing
Tagged book review, food, foodie, italian food, italy, love, omnivore's dilemma, penguin, rome, top chef