Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Feast Fit for Redwall

During our history lessons last year my son, then 8, discovered The Redwall series by Brian Jacques.  We listened to the first novel on cd and he was captivated.  Since that time he has made a steady diet of the rest of the books in the series.  He devours everything Redwall.  In the course of his reading, we learned so much about a wide variety of animals with which I was totally unfamiliar.  Stoats, pinemartens, voles, sables, ermin, sloworms. 

We also learned about an entirely new kind of food. Pasties, ales, custards, tarts, leeks, nunnymolers. The Redwall books are full of feasts.  The descriptions that Jacques includes in every one of the books is sure to leave even the pickiest eater drooling.  Even the everyday meals are worth a few lines. 

A few days ago, I was online reserving the Redwall books that S9 hadn't read yet.  In my search, I came across The Redwall Cookbook.  S9 was beyond thrilled.  The opportunity to taste what he'd been reading about for the last six months was a dream come true.  He spent hours reading the cookbook then he pulled me into his plan.

A feast fit for Redwall was his goal.  He'd gone through the book and picked out fifteen recipes that he thought would be perfect for our Redwall feast.  While I appreciated his appetite and his vision, I couldn't get my mind around cooking fifteen dishes, many of which included things like turnips and currants.  After some discussion we decided that having several feasts and a tea or a special snack might be more manageable.  We made a menu for each meal and tea and then S9 made the grocery list while I read the recipes. 

Tonight was our first Redwall feast.  S9 helped me with all the preparations.  It was the first time he'd spent that much time helping me with a meal.  His job is usually setting and clearing the table.  Meal prep was new to him.  He loved the roll of chef.  He peeled carrots and turnips, cracked eggs, stirred custard, sauteed onions.  His culinary skills doubled in one evening.  

Our feast consisted of salad, cornbread, Shrimp'n'Hotroot Soup, Mole's Favourite Deeper'n'Ever Turnip'n'Tater'n'Beetroot Pie, Honeybaked Apples with Custard Sauce and Mossflower Mulled Cider.  I think we were all surprised by how much we enjoyed the food.  Not everyone liked every dish but everyone found something that they enjoyed.  S9 ate everything and asked for seconds of the Shrimp'n'Hotroot Soup and then asked for thirds.

Our Redwall feast was a total success.  I might even add Shrimp'n'Hotroot Soup to our regular meal rotation.  We've got plans for several moreRedwall meals.  S9 can't wait to take on the roll of chef again and I'm looking forward to enjoying the delicious tastes of Redwall.

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