We’re wrapping up our Little Princess menu with the very first food Sara ever shares with her close friend Becky: sweet, delicate, delicious cake!
I love the friendship that develops between Becky and Sara. And I think it’s no coincidence that it all develops around food! 🙂 At first, Becky the maid is shy and uncertain around the well-to-do Sara, and Sara is lonely in an unfamiliar country.
But when Sara sees how hungry Becky is, she shares all kinds of foods with her, starting with this cake (which I modeled after the rosy dress Becky says she once saw on a real princess). Becky is touched by the generosity and soon gets over her shyness, opening the door for a friendship that both girls desperately need.
I always knew cake had the power to change lives! 🙂
One of the many things that make books magical is how they expose us to worlds, cultures, and lifestyles we might never have known about. A truly great book can get us so excited about the lives of the characters that we want to live that way too!
As a kid, I DEFINITELY spent a lot of time pretending to live in different time periods and countries, but I often overlooked how books piqued my interest in new activities. Looking back, there were TONS of subjects I got passionate about after reading about them…and it still happens today! Here are my top ten things I wanted to learn/do after reading books about it. Enjoy! 🙂
In A Little Princess, Sara and Becky wake up in their attic room to find that a succulent feast has mysteriously appeared. The delicious dishes appear for many days, and a “spicy Indian soup” is said to be among them. Though the soup is not described, I like to imagine it was mulligatawny soup—filling and savory, with a perfect fusion of English cooking and Indian roots, heralding back to Sara’s background.
This particular recipe (developed by Emily from Favorite Family Recipes) is super complex and delicious. I love how the salty flavors play off the sweet and the creamy flavors play off the savory, creating a truly balanced dish!
If you follow me on Pinterest, you may be familiar with my Lovely Libraries page, where I pin pics of all the beautiful libraries I come across in my blog research. I’ve always loved the idea of having a private library of my own, but it wasn’t until I started the Pinterest page that I started thinking about what it might look like.
It didn’t take long for me to discover I have a very distinct style when it came to libraries. I love the old-timey “power libraries” with ornate wood paneling, floor-to-ceiling shelves, and plush reading chairs. I started making a mental list of all the things I’d like to include in my dream library, so I thought it would be fun to share some of them with you!
Becky is one of my favorite characters in A Little Princess because she’s so genuine. As a young maid in a school full of little girls with large fortunes and influential families, it would be easy for her to get bogged down in resentment or jealousy. Instead, she’s open to friendship with even the most affluent student—little Sara—and proves to be a great friend in Sara’s time of need.
When Sara starts sharing food with Becky, these meat pies were Becky’s favorite, and I can see why. They’re hearty and heart-warming, with substance and simple goodness—much like Becky herself! 🙂
I actually designed this tea almost a year before I read the book A Little Princess. I’ve loved the movie for ages, so I thought it would be fun to make a tea inspired by it!
Masala chai originated in India, so I knew it would be the perfect starting point for my tea. But how to make it unique? I decided to blend it with chocolate chai to add some sweetness to the spice. Then I added a touch of vanilla to even out the flavors, and voilà: a chai reminiscent of spicy hot chocolate, perfect for a little girl like Sara Crewe! 🙂
Our new Book of the Month is A Little Princess, and we’re starting it out with one of my favorite foods in the entire book: Sara’s bakery buns! When the previously affluent Sara Crewe is suddenly thrown into poverty, she struggles with hunger every day. One day she finds a coin in the street, but instead of spending it right away, she tries to find who it belongs to. When she can’t, she uses it to buy six warm, fresh bakery buns…then the baker woman sees her give five of them away to a starving child on the street! The baker woman is so touched by Sara’s generosity, she takes in the child Sara helped and teaches her to work in the bakery. Who knew a little girl with a simple bun could do so much?
In the movie version of the story, the bun in Sara’s hands looks like a giant, delicious cinnamon bun, but I decided to take it a step further and make something special: blackberry buns! Today we’ve spiraled traditional sweet roll dough around rich blackberry preserves and drizzled it with sweet lemon icing.
A dish fit for a princess!
There’s a lot of beauty to be found in the book A Little Princess. So many of the sentences are elegantly crafted with lush descriptions. I found myself reading several of them twice just to enjoy them over again (check out the sunset in Chapter 11—you wont’ be sorry!). But even if the descriptions had been sub-par, it would still be hard not to get swept up in the romanticism of vintage lockets, porcelain dolls, and dainty cakes.
Even so, the real artistry of A Little Princess is in how it showcases the beauty of the human spirit. Sara Crewe is gentle and generous while living in the lap of luxury, but this doesn’t change when she encounters hardship. Instead, she works even harder to live her philosophy that a girl is a princess because of how she acts, not what she has. As a result, she draws out the inner beauty of the people around her—from the baker woman down the stree to the ld man next door.
The reading kit below is designed to revel in the lavish lifestyle described in the book…but in true Sara fashion, remember to share it with a friend! 🙂
July is here, and with it, summer is in full force! I’m loving how long the sun stays up now, but I could do without the 90° heat, humidity, and mosquitoes (Oh, Illinois, why must you treat weather like an intensity contest?). On the upside, I got to spend all of June making a menu I’ve been looking forward to for AGES! 🙂A
Today we’re wrapping up our Star Trek menu with a true trekky classic: Romulan Ale. Easily identified by its distinctive bright blue color, Romulan Ale is said to be highly intoxicating, which is part of why the Federation dubs it illegal through most of the series. This particular recipe was a collaborative effort between myself, the Mister, and our good friend David, who’s a bit of a brewing/distilling enthusiast. We toned it down a little bit from the ale described in the show, so you won’t suffer the same awful hangover as you would after drinking the original. 😉
I knew I wanted to use a blue curacao base to get that iconic blue color, and David gave me suggestions for beers that would pair well with it without diluting the color too much. The Mister was my primary taste tester, and after a couple rounds of testing we had the proportions down just right. The resulting beverage tastes a bit like orange cream soda, with just a little beer flavor thrown in. Three cheers for teamwork! 🙂