21 (Sat) November 2020
Nicodemus’s Clam Chowder, Delicious
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
Newbery 100 Medals, 100 Meals (18) (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, literally give us this day our daily bread. The dishes will be featured as posts on Give Me This Day.
Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (1972) by Robert C O’Brien. The book is mostly about Mrs Frisby – mouse, widow, mother of three – and her efforts to get the family cinder block house moved before the farmer unearths it with his tractor. She is aided by Nicodemus and his group of super-intelligent rats, enhanced through experimentation at the National Institute of Mental Health – the middle third of the book tells their backstory.
I enjoyed the book as an entertainment. However, I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t explore certain issues further, such as the ethics of animal experimentation or the right of sentient beings to live free and build their own civilization.
[paraphrased in part]
We found a small window in the back with a cracked pane, knocked out one corner of the glass, and climbed through. At first, we planned just to look for food. We found it, too, enough to last us a year or more. There was a big freezer, well stocked – bread, meat, vegetables, everything – and a whole room full of shelves covered with canned food. The cans baffled us at first, as they had in grocery stores. We could read what was in them, but we couldn’t get it out. Then we found a machine on the kitchen counter. The instructions on the side of it read: Slide can under the cutter and press switch. We tried it. The can turned slowly around in the machine, and when we pulled it out, the top had been cut free. I’ll always remember what was in that first can: clam chowder, delicious.
(See also FOODS.)
(See also PLACES.)