Cycle 12 – Cycle 223
16 (Mon) August 2021
Hot Flat Welsh-Cakes
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
with the Family
Newbery 100 Medals, 100 Meals (64-66) (see 100 NEWBERY M&Ms)
While reading the 100 books that have been awarded the annual Newbery Medal since 1922, I am attempting to create one dish for every book, a dish that is directly referenced in or indirectly inspired by the events of the book. The dishes will be featured as posts on Give Me This Day.
This post combines 3 fantasy-based books, all in the hero + villain + quest + treasure formula in the tradition of Lord of the Rings / Dungeons & Dragons. None of them discuss food, much.
The Hero and the Crown (1985) by Robin McKinley. The book is about Aerin, who starts out as the shy, over-protected Princess of Damar, trains herself to become a powerful dragon slayer, defeats Maur (evil dragon), becomes “not-quite-mortal,” defeats Agsded (evil wizard), saves her kingdom from the demonic Northern invaders, and takes the throne as Queen.
[paraphrased in part]
It was hard to make herself eat; she was never hungry, and eating hurt, and she ate dutifully because eating was something one did.
It was okay. Although the protagonist is already a young woman as the book begins, the coming-of-age story follows Aerin’s progress towards full empowerment, with a lot internal dialogue to reflect her growing maturity. Indeed, this is the only book thus far to feature a love scene (not explicitly, but strongly suggested).
The High King (1969) by Lloyd Alexander. The book is about Taran, who, yada yada yada, defeats Arawn Death-Lord and becomes the High King. The High King is the 5th of 5 titles in the author’s The Chronicles of Prydain series.
Ugh. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really stand on its own. From the get-go, too many characters (e.g., Guri, Glew, Gwydion, Gwystyl, Gwythaint), too many plot lines, I couldn’t keep up. Imagine trying to watch Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King without knowing anything about the preceding movies. And like Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which won 11 Oscars, presumably in recognition of the entire trilogy rather than on its own merits, I’m thinking that The High King was awarded the Newbery on the strength of the series, even though I’d never heard of it prior to this experience.
The Grey King (1976) by Susan Cooper. Set in Wales, the book is about Will Stanton – last-born of the Old Ones, immortals of The Light dedicated to fighting the forces of The Dark – who must find a golden harp and play it to wake the remaining Old Ones slumbering in the hills. But Will is opposed by The Grey King, an evil lord of The Dark. The Grey King is the 4th of 5 titles in the author’s The Dark Is Rising Sequence.
[paraphrased in part]
In the warm kitchen, the smell of frying bacon made Will ravenous. He filled himself happily with two fried eggs, thick slices of home-cured bacon, and hot flat Welsh-cakes, like miniature pancakes flecked with currants.
Eh. Though the book kinda stands alone, it presumably works better when read as part of the series. Primarily about plot, the book doesn’t really explore issues or characters.
I made pancakes and added lingonberry jam in lieu of currants (i.e., raisins).
Quite good. The jam made the pancake pleasantly sweet, with every other bite delivering a small pop of tanginess from the lingonberry – just fine as is, no need for syrup or any condiment. This is my go-to method from now on.
I’m thinking that Swedes must do this all the time (right?).
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)