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Friday, February 28, 2014

High-Five Friday: Our Most Memorable Fictional Meals

Welcome to High-5 Friday, where each week we collect ideas on favorite categories in our books, films, TV shows, or lives.

In New Orleans, Mardi Gras is approaching, and among all the other excesses of my favorite holiday in my favorite city is FOOD! The biggest food tradition of the carnival season in my old hometown is the King Cake--sort of like a coffee cake topped with sugar dyed the carnival colors of purple, green, and gold. Inside each ring-shaped cake is a tiny baby made of plastic or china; whoever gets the piece of cake with the baby has to buy the next cake. At my former day-job office, Friday was King Cake day. We'd start on January 6, Twelfth Night, and eat them once a week until the Friday before Mardi Gras day. Fat Tuesday, indeed! My favorite, by the way, comes from Haydel's Bakery, located on Jefferson Highway. And they ship!

So for this week's Top 5, we're asking: what's your favorite fictional meal scene? Our Lady Scribes joined readers from my Preternatura blog and from Facebook this week, and here are the winners so far--but you have to chime in as well, for a chance at a $5 Amazon GC (or Book Depo equivalent). Also, read on for last week's winner!

The question: What's the most memorable scene you recall from a book that involves cooking or eating a meal? We had a couple of good answers that didn't make the top five--the chewing gum scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was author Samantha Grace's favorite ("You could experience a full meal with one gum," she says--"'You're turning scarlet, Scarlet!'"). Also, the chef competition from Rex Stout's Too Many Cooks.

But there was a Top 5. In order of the number of mentions...


No. 5: The disastrous dinner date between wizard DJ and the undead pirate Jean Lafitte in River Road, written by, well, me (awwww.....sweet). They travel back to 1840s New Orleans to eat a meal at Antoine's cooked by Antoine Alciatore himself, which gave me a good excuse to buy a book outlining some of the restaurant's original meals. Of course an elf had to go and ruin the whole dinner date with the undead, but that's what elves do.


No. 4: The meals cooked by Gin Blanco in Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassins series. Gin owns a barbecue joint--a great occupation for an assassin heroine!


No. 3: Anita eats so Jean-Claude can taste it, in Laurell K. Hamilton's Burnt Offerings:  “He ordered food with a childlike glee and watched me eat, tasting it as I did. In private he'd roll on his back like a cat, hands pressed to his mouth as if trying to drain every taste. It was the only thing he did that was cute. He was gorgeous, sensual, but rarely cute."


No. 2: The naked dinner scene (well, the panty dinner that Kate has to cook and Curran doesn't show up for) in Illona Andrews' Magic Burns.


No. 1: Shared by author Jennifer Lohmann and a gaggle of readers...
Any meal at Hogwarts, in JK Rowling's Harry Potter series. Pumpkin juice for everyone!

And congrats to VAMPEDCHIK for winning the gift card for commenting on last week's High 5, favorite storm scenes. Please email me at this link with your email address.

Now, for this week's prize, what's your favorite meal scene? It might be one of these, or it might be different!

21 comments:

  1. I love these weekly feature. So many books I've never heard of to add to my reading list. I'm a bit of a paranormal newbie, and it's great to see the books readers love to help guide me. :)

    The King Cake tradition sounds really fun!

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  2. Also on my list is Jennifer Lohmann's Reservations for Two. I bet that has some great cooking scenes since it's about a restaurant owner and food critic. I just bought it for my Kindle and can't wait to read it. :)

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    1. Oh, I'm going to have to check it out too--I'm such a Food Network junkie, which is funny since I pretty much don't cook if I can avoid it :-).

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    2. Thanks, guys! I like food, so there is a lot of it in that book!

      I also thought about suggesting a meal from the Nero Wolfe mysteries, but (like Harry Potter) I could figure out which meal to pick. They all sound so good.

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  3. I actually have an answer to the question this week. Probably my absolute favorite meal scene in a book would be the dinner scene on the ship "Cecily" where Captain Daniel Hillary and Lisette try very hard to get Lisette's young brother, Rafe, to eat his dinner, which includes mashed potatoes. This scene appears in none other than Samantha's Miss Lavigne's Little White Lie. Why is this my favorite scene? Well, for those of you who don't know, three of my four boys have been diagnosed with autism and a lot of autistic kids are very picky about what they will and will not eat. My twins receive feeding therapy every week, where their occupational therapist and I sit down at the table with them and try to get them to eat 8 different items. Their younger brother used to sit and help us because he would eat anything. Now he is eight and doesn't want to spend an hour helping us when he could be doing other things. This dinner scene is so spot on to what it is like trying to get these kids to eat. You try to make it fun by giving food a new name, by showing them how yummy you think it is, we have even resorted to bribery, but when there are sensory issues involved it is not an easy task. It's amazing how excited you get when your child takes the smallest bite of a new food and actually swallows it.
    Samantha this scene was so perfect and I couldn't have written it any better.

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    1. Aw, thank you , Sarah. I loved writing that scene, and I can't believe I didn't even think of it when Suzanne asked us the question. Of course it might have looked a bit egotistical to mention my own work. ;D

      I'm hoping Rafe makes another appearance some day. He is one of my favorite characters.

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    2. I would LOVE to see Rafe again. Did you say you were working on a book for one of the other Hillary brothers?

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  4. I like the meal between D.J. and Jean. Although The scenes in The Pork Pit are good too.

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    1. I really do need to read the Gin Blanco series, Sandy!

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  5. Definitely the dinner that didn't happen between Kate and Curran. Also Anita and Jean Claude!

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    1. After reading some excerpts of dialogue between Kate and Curran, I am DEFINITELY going to read this series (finally). Well, after I finish my WIP so I don't unintentionally absorb anything and use it!

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  6. i will keep my choice of dj and jean and Kate and curran ( missing ^^)

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  7. I am one of the readers who said HARRY POTTER. Food not only for thought, but the imagination.

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  8. I have to go with Harry Potter too. I loved the imagery in the scenes.

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  9. Oh the naked dinner from Magic Burns, I forgot about that one. Loved that part of the book and it's one of my favorite series.

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  10. My favorite is the dinner date between DJ and Jean Lafitte.

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  11. I'm going with Harry Potter!!!!

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  12. I need to read #3 and #4. Full agree with the others!

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  13. I love Gin Blanco's cooking in Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin series. I always get so hungry reading those books, Gin is a great cook.

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  14. There's a scene in one of the first Kate Daniels books (I think it's Magic Bites) where Curran and Kate are both on a date with other people at the same restaurant and Kate sends Curran a bowl of milk to needle him. That always makes me laugh.

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