Consumer Consumption part one

So I've been thinking alot about food and literature, and the variety of ways that they are connected. One, is invariably cannibalism.

Cannibalism is a theme that has featured prominently throughout literature, and despite being sickening, it is also quite fascinating. I first started thinking about this a few weeks ago when watching one of my all-time favourite TV programmes, 'Bones'. In the third season, a cannibalistic serial killer known by the team working at the Jeffersonian Institute as 'gormagon' is introduced, provide several directions for plot development.

There are more contemporary pieces of literary work in which cannibalism is a feature: Robinson Crusoe, The Lost Boys for example. Does the scene in Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King where Gollum/Smeagul bites off Frodo's finger count?

You Are What You Eat
In 2003 the BBC published a story covering the trial of a German computer Programmer, Armin Meiwes, who allegedly murdered and ate a man who had volunteered to be eaten via an internet advertisement. Mr Meiwes had had fantasies of eating fellow classmates whilst at school, no doubt fuelled by violent horror films. According to court records, the victim went to Mr Meiwes' house and agreed to have his penis cut off. The pair cooked and ate this together, before Mr Meiwes killed the man.

German Industrial Metal band 'Rammstein' wrote a song called 'Mein Teil' based on the events. The song was popular throughout Germany, and it's status was boosted when it was nicknamed 'the cannibalism song'. Lead singer Till Lindemann agrees that cannibalism is fascinating whilst at the same time disturbing, saying, "It's so sick that it becomes fascinating and there just has to be a song about it", in explanation as to why the song was written.

For any who are interested, here is a video of the song. Somebody has helpfully provided and English translation of the lyrics:

Man Pie
Rock music aside, one of the most memorable instances of cannibalism in literature for me, appears in the BBC adaptation of The Silver Chair, written originally as part of the Narnia Series by C.S.Lewis.  Jill Pole stumbles upon a recipe for 'Man Pie'. Or some such dish, and finally the realisation dawns upon her that she and Eustace have been tricked into staying with 'friendly giants' who in fact intend to cook and eat them as part of their feast.

I'll leave you with a video clip from Tim Burton's musical adaptation of The Demon Barber of Fleet Street starring Johnny Depp as Sweene Todd. Such a fun song to sing in the kitchen!

The Cast

Returning to the original theme of this blog, I present to you the cast of my murder mystery. Just to put your minds at ease, I knew no more about the plot or the characters than my guests, when I assigned the characters.

First, we had Hughes Le Grandbutte, Deputy-Mayor of Casablanca and a French bureacrat. He is in his mid-40s, has been married for 19 years and has one daughter. The character booklet for Hughes gives two sections of information to the guest: 'What the World Sees', a.k.a. facts that are public knowledge, and 'The Truth' - which the guest was warned not to reveal unless directly questioned. I don't want to spoil the plot, just in case some of you readers ever play this murder mystery game. My lovely friend Adrian took the role of Hughes, and it was hilarious! He almost managed to maintain the french accent for the entire evening. In retrospect, I probably should have re-considered assigning him to a character that was the husband of my sister's character. But it was just too funny.

My sister Hannah, who hosted the first ever murder mystery I attended, took the role of Edith Le Grandbutte, the wife of Hughes. Edith made in perfectly well known throughout the evening that she was not exactly happily married. She did, afterall, used to be a dancer on the stage in Paris, so perhaps it was understandable that she yearned for the glamour and respect of her single life. Considering my sister is married in reality, it was rather amusing to see her take on the role of 'wife' for a man she had never actually met before. But Hannah has always loved being in the spotlight, and rose to the occasion with enthusiasm.

The daughter of Edith and Hugh, Nicole le Grandbutte, was played by one of my closest friends, Victoria (or just 'Tori'.) 18-years old, Nicole shared her mothers' opinion that being back in Paris wuld be more enjoyable than boring old Casablanca. The relationship turned out to be rather stoney between Nicole and Hugh, as she dissaproved of her father's involvement with the Germans.

Nicole had brought along her boyfriend, a 24-year old half French, half Russian poet by the name of Pierre Payanski, who was played by Tori's fiance's best friend (who I had unfortunately not met until that evening) Paul. Yeah. I actually had no idea that Nicole and Pierre were an item until the evening - otherwise I would not have cast Tori's fiance's best friend as Tori's character's boyfriend!! This apparently linked back to a joke made between Tori and her fiance when they first met, and he had claimed that if she ever met Paul, she would probably run off and marry him instead. I was unaware of that until the relationship between Nicole and Pierre was revealed in the script - Tori couldn't stop giggling and I couldn't stop apologising to both her and her fiance!

Otto Von Pinkelwurst , an officer of the Gestapo, was played by my partner, Rob. He managed to successfuly convince us all that Otto was fanatical, paranoid and quite possibly stark raving mad! Not to mention he looked awesome in the leather jacket. I think Rob's character has two purposes. In some ways, he was meant to be a 'comic relief' character in the script, as at various points he would have a random exclamation of madness. However, at the end of each round he would perform the duty of an inspector in a murder investigation, despite being a suspect, by summing things up or making extremely obvious statements, such as at the end of the initial dialogue, "Pinklewurst: No one is beyond suspicion here. As a member of the Gestapo, I say it is time we made some enquiries." Rob's German accent was brilliant. (Perhaps due to some years of instruction at Italia Conta...) I do apologise for the evil glowing eyes. But then again, perhaps it just illustrates his insanity..muahaha.

Tori's fiance, Adam, did me a great favour by filling in the position of Kirk Ramson III, an American in his late-30's. The invitation described him as a 'doomed romantic hero, nursing a broken heart and a bottle of whiskey'. The character runs 'Kirk's African Cafe' in downtown Casablanca. You remember the awkward situation I described earlier of Adam's best friend Paul playing the fiance of Tori's character Nicole? Well, casting Adam as Kirk did not help things. Because...well, my character turned out to be having an affair with Kirk. And Hughes Le Grandbutte. You would not believe the number of evil daggers being thrown at me from all angles of the room. *Sniff.* But I couldn't have known it would turn out that sticky beforehand, unless I'd ruined the surprise for myself.

Tori's mum, Carole, who is a close family friend, came to the meal as exiled Russion aristocrat, Countess Bogov. A passionate anti-communist, she was glamorous and mysterious, and also had sympathies with the Germans. Her catchphrase for the entire night was "I do not understand!" After the second or third time that Carole had said this in answer to questioning from the other characters, no one could keep a straight face. The accent and tone of voice were too perfect.

My dad played Monsieur Oily-Carte, the booking agent for the 'Le Moulin Bleu' nightclub in Paris. He was educated in England, and apparently had impeccable manners along with being extremely sophisticated. Turns out my dad had done this murder mystery before, with some other family friends. (Its no wonder, in retrospect, that those family friends declined the invitation.) Also turns out that Oily-Carte was not called Oily-Carte at all, but was infact an English Secret Agent, who's real name was 'Paddy Hashbrown'. So that I could enjoy the evening properly and make observations for this blog, my dad also did me a favour and acted as 'host'. He therefore had access to the party-planner book and was responsible for ensuring that all the ground was covered in each round of dialogue or questioning. He also distributed each of the 'clues' which were to be presented by various characters. It didn't matter too much, since he was already familiar with the plot. Besides, I had enough to worry about with the food.

My good friend Helen was able to attend at almost the last minute, as a husky-voiced French caberet singer in her mid-20s, named Cherie Boot. This was an interesting one. The invitation I gave Helen described Cherie as 'almost androgynous'. It panned out that Cherie Boot was actually Jean-Paul Satire, one of the leaders of the French Resistance who had been in contact with Nicole. None of us could believe it when the truth was announced.

I suppose, having posted pictures and descriptions of all my friends and family embarrassing themselves on my account, I would not get away with my own life if I did not put myself through the same humiliating process. All of the guests consented to having their photo taken, with the agreement that it would be posted on this blog.

My character was Ingrid Pith. I was a Danish Art-Dealer for the night, specialising in finding paindings from all over occupied Europe. The invitation said that I had to be busty and flirtatious, so I certainly did my best.  It transpired that most of the paintings I sold were stolen, by none other than the muder victim - 'The Black Cat'.

At the end of the evening, I handed out a short questionnaire and asked my guests to log onto my blog and post a couple of their answers, if they felt comfortable to do so. Of course, since it's taken me this long to actually put up my own blog post, I cannot expect them all to have the time or fresh memories of the event.

Needless to say, I am lucky in having so many loving and supporting friends. The majority of them participated without complaint - all I had to do was explain that it would help me complete a project for my degree and they were more than happy with that. I'd especially like to thank my dad and Helen for filling in at such short notice, and also Adrian for travelling all the way from London to participate. (We had a much-needed Blackadder marathon when all the other guests had left - I think I lasted until the second episode of Blackadder goes forth?!)

So I finally remembered to take the Chocolate Euphoria Cookie bars out of the fridge, to discover that the last layer of chocolate on top had burnt rather than melted (as I suspect was intended). This meant that the cocoa pops were still loose, and that realistically, the cookie bars could not be eaten without a spoon. (I did in actual fact eat one with a spoon, just to do a taste test. Without the burnt chocolate, it would have been a real chocolate euphoria.)

To remedy this, (I spent like £15 on ingredients - no way this was going in the bin!!) I picked off the lumps of burnt chocolate. I then broke up about two or three easter eggs and some random cooking chocolate I found in the baking cupboard, and melted it in the microwave. I then used a spatula to spread the melted chocolate in an even layer over the cocoa pops, and put the dish in the hot oven for another 5-10 minutes before putting it back in the fridge. It worked a treat, and the bars were done in time for Rob's birthday. (Rob is my special person.)

As you can see, they have already been rather popular. If anyone does try making these at home, I recomend using a basic 'chocolate rice krispy cake' mix for the top layer. My niece and nephew have both requested these at their respective birthdays.

Chocolate Euphoria Cookie Bars

Whilst in Camberley Library looking for a completely different set of books, I came across the Hannah Swensen mystery series in the 'thriller' section, written by Joanne Fluke. One in particular caught my eye, no doubt because I was still mulling over the contents of my third (?) blog post.

Devil's Food Cake Murder, by Joanne Fluke follows is set in small town 'Lake Eden', Minnesota, where Hannah Swensen owns a small yet highly successful bakery. Everything is perfect in her life. Her love life is blooming, and she is equally happy for her best friend Claire, who has recently married Reverend Bob Knudson. When Bob's old friend Matthew Walters comes to stay, the (insert chosen proverbial) hits the fan. Matthew has a bit of a sweet tooth, and is ironically found face down by Hannah in a plate of Devil's Food Cake, with a bullet in his head. This sort of messes up the honeymoon plans of Bob and Clare, who had been relying upon Matthew to fill in at church for Bob in his absence.

In several ways, Devil's Food Cake Murder might remind readers of a typical 'whodunnit' sleuth/detective novel. Hannah Swensen, whether through morbid curiosity or simply seeking justice for her friend' husband's friend, starts asking questions and begins to piece together a sticky trail of clues left by the murderer. What makes the novel very not typical, however, is it's inclusion of recipes randomly dotted throughout. Instead of simply including the recipes as an appendices at the end of the novel, they are interwoven into the text.

In chapter eighteen, Norman, a dentist and admirer of Hannah's, offers to help her bake some goods for 'The Cookie Jar'. He makes 'Brownies Plus', while she makes 'Chocolate Euphoria Cookie Bars'.

"What are they?"
"Six-layer cookiebars with chocolate cookie crumbs on the bottom, semi-sweet choclate chips next, miniature marshmellows on top of that, white chocolate chips sprinkled on the marshmellows, chocolate cereal layered on top with some milk chocoate chips over everything."
"Wow! That's a chocolate Euphoria, all right!"
"You'd better believe it! I tested the recipe last week on Andrea, and she said that after eating only two, she felt like she was walking on air."
(Fluke 2011: pp190)

Having read this chapter, and the conversation above between Norman and Hannah sat cross-legged in the library, I was sold. I had to make this  recipe. Joanna has done an amazing thing by integrating her recipes into the story, and the testimonies from characters such as Andrea and Tracey (neices, from what I have read) did not lessen the temptation for me. I went from the library to Sainsburies, and bought as many of the ingredients as I could get my hands on whilst agreeing with a more sensible (she thinks) voice in my brain which told me I could probably substitute some of the ingredients to save money.

The recipe is written by Joanna, as if Hannah has told her the recipe and can be found on pages 196-199 of the novel. It's a weird distortion of reality, following instructions that were written by a real person, pretending to be a fictional character who then shared the recipe with the real person. The surrealism of this is hightened through the inclusion of 'Hannah's notes', (three in total) which are completely different to the commentary-style notes of Joanna!! The bold writing in the recipe is, I think, a note of Joanna's, unless labelled as one of Hannah's.

So, I assembled my ingredients, and preheated the oven to about 170 C, (350 F) as instructed by Hannah and Joanna:
  • 1/2 Cup butter  This is where I encountered my first difficulty - when my scales, which have been threatening to die for some weeks, finally did. I didn't have the time or patience to find some batteries, and so the amount of butter used was partially guess work on my part.
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs I used Oreo Cookie Crumbs. I like Oreos. I like them very much.
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. I couldn't find these, so I just doubled up on the milk chocolate chips instead.
  • 2 cups miniature marshmellows
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups Cocoa Pops cereal
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Having melted the butter in the microwave for approximately fifty seconds, I then mixed in the oreo cookie crumbs. It took about a pack and a half of oreos crushed up to get 1 and a 1/2 cups, just to let you know.  Then I spread it in my prepared dish getting as even a coverage of the bottom as possible.(regrettably, larger than that used by Hannah.)

I then layered the other ingredients on top, just as Hannah described - chocolate, followed by marshmellows, followed by white chocolate, then condensed milk and then choolate cereal topped with more chocolate.

It then came to putting the dish in the oven, at which point I struggled. Unlike Beth, I was not lucky enough to have someone remind me to check that the oven was empty. So I opened the oven door and found it as so:
 Having made space in the oven, I then cuddled up to read some more of the novel, cuddling my dog, Scarlet on the sofa. A picture of her is necessary, so that all may appreciate her cuteness.

Learning from my Devil's Food Cake experience, I did not leave the dish in the oven for the suggested 20-25 minutes, but instead set the timer to go off after just 15 minutes, since my oven is fan-assisted and very eager to do things well. So, a couple of chapters later, and I took this out the oven.

I'm still waiting for it to cool as I type this, but I assure you I'll take a picture of the finished product when it is ready. 

"True Apothecary!..."

Poison is the order of the day. Perhaps the most famous literary poisoning is that of Shakespeare's Romeo, who, upon hearing that his beloved Juliet is dead, buys poison and then drinks it himself. (Little did he know that she was only feigning death - but thats what happens when you jump the gun.) I love the way that this scene is portrayed in 'Shakespeare in Love' by Gwenyth Paltrow. The film really does capture the whole 'play within a play' thing.

 "O true apothecary!
Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die."
Romeo and Juliet (V, iii, 119-120)

 Poison has been a popular murder weapon and suicide method throughout history, and 'Romeo and Juliet' is just one example. Other notables do, of course, include Hamlet (Not only the poison in the ear, but the poison-dipped dagger/sword used by Laertes..), Madam Bovary, and more recently films such as 'Casino Royale' and 'Chicago'.

In  'Casino Royale', 007 James Bond is poisoned during a game of cards, and when having tried drinking some water he still cannot recover and begins to go into cardiac arrest, there is a panicked phonecall back to headquarters in which he is instructed to use the supplied self-defribulation kit to restart his heart. The music in the background adds to the suspense and had me gripping the edge of my seat:

 As I think we have discussed in the seminars, poison has become the most frequented murder weapon of women in particular. Whether this is because, stereotypically, women have easier access to the food that the murder victim would be eating, or because it is simply easier on the conscience to put a few drips of poison into a drink or plate of food than it is to pull the trigger on a gun or physically stab a person, I do not know. But as famously stated by one of the murderesses in Cook County Jail, "Some guys just can't handle their arsenic". One of my favourite musicals (I'm a bit of a musical junkie - my iPod is full to the brim of musical soundtracks - some of which never even became popular in England) is Chicago. In particular, I like the 'Cell Block Tango', and no - not just because I learnt the dance back when I did ballet/jazz:

This is an excellent song to listen to when you've just broken up with your boyfriend, or found your husband cheating or have any reason to feel murderous. (Lets face it - 'hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. ' Bonus points if you know where that came from.) I find the song just encapsulates everything that Rita, the heroin from Devil's Food featured in my previous blog post, must have felt - only she got away with murder.

Unquestionably, my favourite poisoning in modern literature happens to be the accidental poisoning of Ronald Weasley, in J.K.Rowling's Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

"Ron had dropped his glass; he half-rose from his chair and then crumpled, his extremities jerking uncontrollably. Foam was dribbling from his mouth and his eyes were bulging from their sockets...[he] twitched and choked: his skin was turning blue." (Rowling, 2005: pp372)

Poor Ron suffers one of the most unlucky birthdays at the hands of Rowling: First, he unwittingly a few Chocolate Cauldrons spiked with a particularly potent love potion which were in actual fact targetted at Harry. (That's where greed will get you.) Then, just as he sobers up from his brief infatuation with (previously unknown) Romilda Vane, he is subject to a very near fatal poison, originally meant for Professor Dumbledore. (Although this is not revealed straight away.) Luckily, Harry is quick to act, and manages to find a bezoar - a stone found in the stomach of a goat which will act as an antidote to almost any poison. As if his coming-of-age could not get any worse, he then accidentally murmered Hermione Granger's name whilst in recovery, instead of his then-girlfriend, Lavender Brown's name. This, as you might imagine, caused some friction between the pair when he was fully recovered.

My conclusion for this post, is that murder is either a weapon of desperation and/or lack of resourcefulness, for example, the desperate housewife situation. Or, it is a sly, hidden way of committing murder - a coward's way out. (Sorry all you Draco lovers - he was never going to get to do it properly!)

Devil's Food.

This post is rather delayed in its publication, due to having problems accessing my blogger account. (I didn't realise that changing my email password would also change the password for, too.)

I read a delightful little short-story called Devil's Food, which is available for download on Kindle at: for as little as 77p.

Piper Downs writes the story from a third-person narrative which follows very closely the thoughts, feelings and actions of the female protagonist - a typical American housewife by the name of Rita. Rita is unhappily married to her husband. As much as she enjoys to cook and eat healthy food, she is limited to preparing specific dishes and deserts which her husband dictates. All of these are ultimately fatty and unhealthy. On Sundays when he is watching the football, for instance, he will have a bowl of freshly made popcorn smothered in fat. When her husband finally suffers from a heart attack, he asks her to help him live a healthier life by preparing salads and low-fat meals. Full of bitterness and resentment, Rita formulates a perfect murder which, if successful, will allow her to cash in the hefty life insurance policy taken out by her husband early on in their marriage.

I won't completely spoil the rest of the story - it's a delightful read, but I will provide this excerpt, from the final paragraph.

"A Devil’s Food cake waited for her by the door, a thoughtful gift from a neighbor to a grieving widow.  She considered smashing her head into the cake but instead took it inside, grabbed a fork and started gorging herself, cake crumbles and frosting spitting out of her mouth while she sobbed hysterically. "
Downs, Piper (2012-01-09). Devil's Food (Kindle Locations 200-203).  . Kindle Edition.

I read this short quite early in the semester, and then promptly forgot about it until we had that seminar on...I think it was 'The Edible Woman?' The scene at the end where Marian baked a self-portrait cake and, having first offered it to Peter, claiming that that was what he was really after (a physically edible woman) she then proceeds to eat the majority of the cake herself. The rest of the cake is finished off by Duncan, the grad student with whom Marian was having an affair. This self-canibalism, for lack of a better word, is somewhat disturbing but reminded me of the way in which Rita devoured the devil's food cake.

Both these stories made me consider what is in a name. I made my own 'Devil's Food Cake', according to Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book, pg 36. I should mention here that I am not naturally gifted at baking. I was highly jealous when I saw Thoiba's Hansel and Gretel cake, on the 4th March - Simply amazing! I'll have to try that for my niece's birthday.

Anyway, the recipe I followed called for:
  • 50g cocoa
  • 225 ml wter
  • 100g soft margarine
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbinate of soda
And for the yummy American frosting:
  • 450g caster sugar
  • 135ml water
  • 2 egg whites
And the instructions, in note form (because I can't figure out how to scan the page in as I would have prefered...):
  1. Pre heat oven to 180 oC/ 350 oF/ Gas Mark 4 and prepare baking dish with greaseproof paper.
  2. Whisk the cocoa in to the water until smooth (take a sneaky taste test here.)
  3. Place the margarine in a seperate bowl, gradually whisk and add the sugar bit by bit, until mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. Add th eggs and lightly whisk until evenly blended.
  5. Sift the flower with baking powder and bicarbinate of soda + fold into creamed mixture. (Mary Berry said you should alternate between adding a bit of the flower mixture and then a bit of the cocoa/water mixture, but I really couldn't be bothered and my arm was aching at this point, since the electric whisk packed in earlier that day when my mum made soup. So instead, I added it all together and made my arm hurt even more. )
  6. Put the mixture into the cake tins, amking sure both are even and level.
  7. Bake for about 30-35 mins. (Mary Berry didn't account for the poor people who would be using fan assisted ovens. You can guess how mine came out.)
  8. When the cake is well risen and firm to touch, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. (I used a chopping board, for lack of a wire rack.)
  9. To make the frosting, place the sugar in a large heavy-based pan with the water and heat gently. You're aiming for the sugar to dissolve in the water, but don't let the water boil until the sugar has dissolved completely.
  10. Then, bring to a boil, and boil to 115 oC. (I had no candy thermometer, and the soft-ball test usually used in sweet making(like fudge or toffee) wouldnt work here, so this was purely guess work for me.)
  11. Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
  12. Allow bubbles to settle, and then pour the hot sugar syrup on to the egg whites, whisking constantly.
  13. When all the syrup has been added, whisk until the mixture thickens and stands in 'peaks'. You'll know it when you see it - and it'll be very heavy work.
  14. Sandwhich the two halves of the cake together with some of the frosting, and then use a pallette knife to spread the remainder on the top and sides, creating an awesome spikey affect.
  15. Leave to set in a cool place, out of the reach of cats and dogs and nieces, nephews, fathers, boyfriends, or any female relatives who are on weightwatchers.
Now my cake, as you will have guessed, came out burnt. Perhaps with a little forethought I might have reduced the oven temperature, or set the timer to go off five minutes earlier. In any case, it tasted bitter like charcaol. The frosting turned out okay, but not as sweet as I am accustomed to. My mum then came into the kitchen, dipped her finger in and licked it, saying "Oh dear, you added the ingredients too quickly. Nevermind. Next time." It was at this point that I gave up on the cake. I didn't even bother putting on the white chocolate buttons which I had bought to decorate it with. Instead I put the whole cake in the food recycling bin, and satisfied myself by baking a Betty Crocker devils' food fudge cake. This turned out perfectly, despite only having two eggs instead of three. The frosting was divine. My boyfriend and I consumed the entire thing watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Boeuf Bourguignon

So my Murder Mystery Dinner Kit finally arrived in the post last week. Lesson learnt: Amazon Prime is not worth £24.99 per year, or however much it costs.

I had a quick flick through the party planner's guide, and saw that the suggested menu for the evening is:
  1. French Onion Soup
  2. Beef Bourguignon
  3. Brie and grape salad.
  4. Coffee
It all sounds very French, which is ideal considering the setting of the evening: 1940s French Occupied Cassablanca.

I spent some time researching different recipes for the main course, because the one provided seemed overly simplistic. (And contains mushrooms.) Two other recipes took my fancy: Alice Toklas' version, which promises to be very authentically french, and the recipe found on Delia Smith's website. Last night I prepared Ms. Smith's recipe, and it paid off.
I didn't actually let it stew for the extra hour, as suggested by Delia, as I had started cooking quite late and everyone was ready to commit murder by 9pm.

It was still delicious though, and I can't wait to experiment with Alice Toklas' recipe next weekend.

Regarding murder.

As Alice Tolkas states, "Food is far too pleasant to combine with horror". (Toklas, PP 37)  And yet, Food and murder are as connected as me and chocolate. One cannot occur or exist without the other, in some form. Animals are slaughtered for consumption, and plants hacked down. Living things are destroyed. I am not saying that I disagree with either of these activities, because that would be hippocritical. But before investigating the links between food and muder in literature, it is important to make this important realisation.

There is a book written by Esterelle Payany and Jean-Francois Martin, called 'Recipe for Murder: Frightfully good food Inspired by Fiction which I absolutely must get my hands on before my next blog post. From what I understand, recipes are taken from literature and transformed into real, edible and appealing food. Just like pigs in blankets on a cold Christmas afternoon. (I know, thats an awful joke.)


Toklas, A. (1954) The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook. London: Serif.