Thursday, November 26, 2015

Brief Thoughts on Appetite-Whetting Fiction

Today I'm in the kitchen doing all sorts of things-- if you've read my books it probably does not surprise you that I'm into food and I'm the primary cook in the house.  I remember when I read The Omnivore's Dilemma, one "rule" he puts in there to maximize your "healthy" eating is, "you can eat anything that you make from scratch", and I though, "this does not limit me much".    In fact, I'll cop that I'm something of a food snob.  
I've made a point of including food in all my work, because food is culture, food is worldbuilding.  I've made a point of highlighting how Druthal has many different regional cuisines.  
But what books have gotten my appetite going?
I'll have to confess, it doesn't happen very often.  See above: something of a food snob.  At least, it doesn't happen with fiction.  Foodie memoirs, like Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential or Gabrielle Hamilton's Blood, Bones and Butter?  Yeah, those got me inspired to go down to the kitchen and getting to work.
I can think of one example though.  While I'm a food snob, my snobbery leans toward rustic simplicity.  There's a passage in David Eddings's Polgara the Sorceress, the second sort-of-prequel to the Belgariad, where Polgara decides that Faldor's Farm (where the Belgariad begins) is the place she's going to settle down for a bit to raise Garion, and thus she's going to take over the kitchen.  The former head of the kitchen was an incompetent drunk, and Polgara has to "audition" to take over with minimal time and mostly force of personality (which Polgara has in spades).  So she whips together a vegetable stew and biscuits, which the farmhands-- having not had a decent-tasting meal in months-- eagerly consume every last drop of.  
I felt like going down to the kitchen and making a stew after that.
All right, I've got a full day of kitchen ahead of me now, so I'm off.  Hope your days are filled with joy and delicious things.

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