20 (Sun) December 2020
Bread and Ham
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
Newbery 100 Medals, 100 Meals (27) (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.
The Matchlock Gun (1942) by Walter D Edmonds, illustrated by Paul Lantz. Set in 1756, in the midst of the French and Indian War, the book is about 10-year-old Edward Van Alstyne, whose father Teunis rides off with the militia to protect the border from invaders, leaving behind Edward, his younger sister Trudy, and his mother Gertrude at home. When the mother sees Indians approaching the house, she arms Edward with the family’s gigantic antique matchlock gun and draws the Indians into the line of fire. Edward shoots them. The end.
The book – 61 pages long, in big font, with illustrations – was quite a quick read. It felt more like the climactic chapter of a longer story than a book per se. IZ (finishing it in about 30 minutes): “That’s it?!?!”
[paraphrased in part]
John Mynderse rode down after lunch, carrying his musket in his hands, balancing it on the withers of his bright bay horse. He called for Gertrude to come out.
“Teunis says to tell you everything is all right. But the French Indians are burning the upper settlements. People have been killed.”
“We are fine. Tell me, does he want anything? “
“We could use food. There are quite a lot of us.”
She flew into the house. “Get the big loaf of bread, Trudy. And you get the ham, the big one at the end, Edward.”
The sandwich turned out pretty good. It was mostly about the bread, crispy on the outside, warm and fluffy on the inside. The ham was okay, a bit bland as Korean hams tend to be, but the air-fry gave them a slightly salty edge. Overall, a fine little snack.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)