13 (Sun) September 2020
Captain Nips’ Hot-Hot Potatoes!
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
Newbery 100 Medals, 100 Meals (1) (see 100 NEWBERY M&Ms)
While reading the 99 books that have been awarded the annual Newbery Medal since 1922 – leading up to the 100th winner to be announced next year – I will also attempt to create one dish for every book, a dish that is directly referenced in or indirectly inspired by the events of the book. Food plays a strong role in many of the stories; not surprising as the characters in most of the books are faced with adversity of some sort, including poverty, so they’re often very hungry and thus grateful whenever they get a bite to eat – as we all should be at every meal, give us this day our daily bread. The dishes will be featured as posts on Give Me This Day.
The Whipping Boy (1987) by Sid Fleischman. The book is about Jemmy, a whipping boy – supposedly, in certain royal courts around the 18th century, a young prince would be assigned a so-called whipping boy to be punished as a proxy for any transgressions of the prince – who is ordered by his prince to run away with him. The two embark on a series of madcap adventures and meet colorful characters along with way, including Captain Nips, purveyor of potatoes.
I enjoyed the book as a quick entertainment but didn’t find much in the way of depth.
For this GMTD project, I started with The Whipping Boy, not only because a boiled potato seemed an easy way to start, but also because we just happen to have a box of potatoes on hand.
[paraphrased in part]
Finally, Captain Nips began spearing boiled potatoes. “Salt and pepper?” He reached into one coat pocket for a pinch of salt, and into the other for pepper.
“Salt for me,” said Jemmy.
“And for you?” Captain Nips asked the prince.
The heir to the throne balked for a moment, and Jemmy knew why. He’d certainly never eaten a potato before. In the castle, roots were regarded as peasant food. “I – I don’t know,” the prince stammered.
“When in doubt, salt,” chuckled Captain Nips. And then he began calling out to the passing crowd: “Hot-hot-hot potatoes! Captain Nips’ hot-hot potatoes!”
Jemmy gorged himself, anxious to be off and not certain when he would eat again. The prince nibbled at first, with his fingers, and then threw his royal pride to the winds. He bit off whole mouthfuls.
On further thought, a boiled potato perfectly embodies the humble, fundamental nature of food and how deliciously nourishing such a simple food can be; also salt, as the most basic seasoning.
(See also FOODS.)
(See also PLACES.)