Consuming Fiction

    Martian Food

    The Martian: Potatoes & Treats

    Lauren, Sep 18, 2015 | Consuming Fiction

    The Martian will be in theaters on October 2nd, and the critics are saying it is a spectacular film. The novel, The Martian, written by Andy Weir, is an excitingly tense read filled with scientific problem-solving and a ton of action. Weir’s amusing narrator, astronaut Mark Watney, finds himself stranded on Mars, and the story is the tale of his struggle to survive.

    You still have time to read The Martian before Ridley Scott’s film the hits theaters, and I strongly recommend you do, especially if you enjoyed survival stories like My Side of the Mountain when you were young, or Into the Wild as an adult, and also like action-driven narratives. 

    Book clubs or viewing parties should definitely have potato dishes on the menu! We are potato maniacs at All Toasty and some of our favorites are: Potato, Bacon and Chive Salad; Potato, Cheddar and Chive Soup; Potatoes with Oregano and Parmesan; Potato Gratin with Sage and Onions; Creamy Leek and Potato Soup; and the Potato-Gruyere Gratin! 

    A brilliant member of my book club brought a delicious German Chocolate Potato Cake. Mars bars are a cute addition, too. I thought it would be an easy thing to bring to my book club meeting, but discovered that the American version of Mars bars were sold exclusively at Walmart for a while, but have been discontinued. There are still Canadian, British, and European versions in production. I was happily able to find some Mars bars at a local French market that sells European goods.

    Enjoy the potatoes! 

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    Serbian Spirits for The Tiger's Wife

    Lauren, Dec 23, 2014 | Consuming Fiction

    Gavran Gailé, the deathless man, may have preferred water, but nearly everyone else in Téa Obreht's fascinating novel, The Tiger's Wife drinks rakija, so I was delighted to find this tasty hot toddy recipe for the traditional Serbian drink, Vruca Rakija. Vruca Rakija is a wintertime staple that is often served at Christmas. Rakija, rakia, or rachiu is a common alcoholic beverage throughout the Balkans. There are a number of different fruits used to make different versions; slivovica is made with plums.

    Obreht's beautifully written first novel is steeped in magical realism and set in an unnamed Balkan province similar to the one that Obreht herself lived in as a young child in the former Yugoslavia. Obreht tells the tale of Natalia, a young doctor who has grown up in a country ravaged by war, as she begins to come to terms with the death of her grandfather.

    I loved the complexity of The Tiger's Wife and certainly recommend it to anyone prepared to be immersed in heavy themes. I recommend the Vruca Rakija to anyone who enjoys sugary hot toddies, or plans to spend an evening alone at a crossroads waiting for the deathless man.

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    Katniss's Carrot Soup

    Food for The Hunger Games

    Lauren, Nov 20, 2014 | Consuming Fiction

    Fans are gearing up for the newest film adaptation of the Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay Part 1, which is out in theaters this weekend. This installment follows Katniss’s arrival in the famed District 13, and the continuation of the rebellion against the Capitol.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading Collins’s trilogy and watching the first two films, but as is often the case, the first book was my favorite. I think that first books are often the most cherished because that first reading is when we fall in love with the characters and the exciting worlds in which they live.

    In Collins's first book, The Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta are served their first fancy Panem meal as they ride on the tribute train towards the Capitol to compete in the Hunger Games. Their first course? A "thick carrot soup" (Collins 44). With this in mind, I began searching for a carrot soup worthy of Capitol cuisine. William Sonoma's Carrot Soup with Bacon and Chestnut Cream fits the bill. It is absolutely delicious and would be appropriate gracing any Capitol table. This is a lovely choice for a book club meeting, viewing party, or brunch. It can be made twenty-four hours in advance of an event, and is sure to please any crowd.

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