a feast in fairyland-below

One of my favorite books last year was Catherynne M. Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.  The story combined all of the magic of Fairyland with the heart of a brave heroine and the superior writing of a classic.  I came away in awe of Valente’s talent with words, and as soon as I heard about a sequel, I knew it would be a book to feed my soul.

the girl who fell beneath fairyland and led the revels there by catherynne m. valente book coverAnd speaking of food… there is nothing quite like a description of magical victuals, is there?  This scene comes from a Feast (which always precedes a Revel) on page 120 in The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There.

“The central boulevard of Tain, which A-Through-L could have told them was called Fool’s Silver, erupted with long tables full of the delights of a dozen cuisines.  Goblin tarts and Nuno honey in rock-crystal jars, steaming Spriggan pies of heartberry and blisspeach and pumpkin and moonkin that got bigger and smaller as you grasped for them, green and healthful Gnome soups overflowing with hexweed, passionpoppy leaves, thrallbulbs, memory-mums, and ropes of good, sweet basil and sage.  Glashtyn oatcakes and hay-muffins with golden crusts, Dryad rain-stews and sunnydaise sauces, braided flame-bread for Ifrits and seastone pastries for Marids, genuine cloud-roasts and piles of grilled dunkel-fish and the Jarlhoppes’ special feverblossom coffee.  The Scotch-wights had been saving their best Pining Peat for the occasion—and of course the Wyverns’ beloved radishes scattered here and there on the tables like drops of blood, among charm-tortes shaped just exactly like old books, brown and buttered and crackling.”

Oh, that passage makes me hungry!  Hungry for the food of never, of dreaming and seeming.  I might try a little baking magic of my own one of these days and come up with a recipe for Spriggan pies or Gnome soups (I’m sure it would involve wishing). 

Tell me, have you ever been tempted by otherworldly dishes as described in a book?

Interested in other food-related posts?  Check out Beth Fish Reads’ Weekend Cooking!

16 comments:

Alex said...

I have this book to read in my pile and now I can't wait to read it and I'm hungry to boot. This passage reminds me a little of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party in Alice in Wonderland.

Beth F said...

How imaginative. I love these names: goblin tars, flame-bread, cloud-roasts and more!

jama said...

I'd heard of this book but didn't realize it had such scrumptious food descriptions. Love the excerpt you shared. Gnome soup makes me smile :).

JoAnn said...

Magical victuals, indeed! Thanks for sharing.

Kate the Book Buff said...

I've never heard of these books, they sound fantastic!

-Kate the Book Buff
Recent Post: Confessions of a Book Blogger Who Hates “Confessions of a ______” Book Titles

Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook said...

A magical feast indeed! It does sound wonderful :)

Patty said...

have to agree with the first post - it's very Alice in Wonderland - just perfect!

Christine said...

I wonder if the Goblin tarts are made from real goblins... ;) lol j/k.

I loved the first book.. now I need to get my hands on this one!

Carole said...

You have sparked my interest! Have a lovely weekend.

Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez said...

Oh my gosh, how fun - that sounds like something I need to read! Hmmmm...otherworldy? I don't think I have. But othertimely (okay, not a word, but...), YES. ;)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

O yes! Reminds me of the fine feasts at Hogwarts.

Esme said...

That is a lovely paragraph. Did you ever read The Night Circus?

Fay said...

The passage does make me want to get into the kitchen and start baking.

Cecelia said...

Esme: No, I haven't read The Night Circus yet. I asked for it for Christmas last year (and received it!), but haven't prioritized the read. I need to get on that!

Juju, Patty & Alex: You're spot-on with those references! Love Alice & Harry Potter. Mmm... magical food is the best!

Ana @ things mean a lot said...

Wonderful description. I loved the first book and can't wait to read this one.

Mary @ My Sister's Bookshelf said...

Sabriel is a great pick! I don't know most of the others, but that's because I don't do scary! We went with costume ideas instead :)

Newer Posts Older Posts Home