Cooking by the (fiction) book
Every year in the fall, I re-read one of my favourite books from childhood: Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. The story tells of a young boy, Danny, and his father… who just happens to poach pheasants in his spare time. (That’s “poach” as in hunt illegally, not “poach” as in cook immersed in liquid.)
And every year when I read the father’s description of how delicious roast pheasant is, what an unmatched delicacy, I think to myself that it’s a shame I’ve never cooked pheasant. So this year I set out to rectify that. Tempting as it was to poach my pheasant, I bought one instead (frozen; fresh doesn’t seem to be widely available around here), and roasted it in a moderate oven until the thigh juices ran clear. Sadly, by that time, the breast was overcooked – a story that will be familiar in millions of American households in a couple of weeks.
Still, the flavour was good, so it’s certainly something I would try again. So far, I’m not quite as enthusiastic about roast pheasant as Danny’s father, but maybe stealing the bird adds a flavour to the meat that can’t be achieved any other way!
What meals have you cooked after being inspired by literature?