Setting the Mood and the Table
Have you ever been overcome with the need to set the mood? You know, you've just cracked open some Lovecraft and to really make it work you dim your lights, maybe play something eerie from your spotify list and light candle.
Maybe you're about to start a rollicking adventure and find a tune to help set the tone. Have you ever extended that theme to your choice of snack? Some books come with their own menus built in, like the cozy mysteries of Joanna Fluke. Admittedly, some of those deserts sound pretty delicious. The "Vanilla Crack" from Apple Turnover Murder is a particular favourite of mine. Bonus? It's easy to make.
Saltine Crackers (about half a box)
2 sticks salted butter
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup salted nuts (or whatever topping you prefer, really)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 10 x 15 jelly roll pan (or cookie sheet) with foil and spray heavily with Pam.
Cover the pan completely with a single layer of Saltines, salt side up.
Break crackers to fill in the spaces. Set aside.
Combine butter, sugar and vanilla in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a full boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly.
Boil for exactly 5 minutes stirring the entire time.
Pour over the crackers (I spread the caramel out a bit to almost cover all the crackers) and sprinkle with the nuts.
Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and cool completely in pan (and your freezer if you’re impatient like me!)
When cool, carefully peel off the foil and break into pieces.
Others, like Diana Gabaldon's Outlander have become popular enough to warrant official Cookbooks as companions, see the Outlander Kitchen here. As much as I could go for a Whiskey Sour, the Succotash salad looks divine.
You can find the same type of things, though less officially, for Harry Potter. I can't count how many Butterbeer recipes I've tried.
What if you're sitting down with something less thematic though. What if it's the latest Harry Bosch or Jack Reacher? Maybe just try sprucing up your preferred coffee or tea with nutmeg, cinnamon, even all spice.
Do you have any favourite snacks for reading? I like to think that I'm good with anything that doesn't ruin the pages, but the amount of soup spatter on some of my paperbacks proves otherwise....
Leave us a comment with what book you'd like to see a recipe for or what you like to have while reading.