On Tuesday, I premiered our new Borrower tea (Arrietty’s Cherry Tree Tea) and waxed lyrical about the beautiful cherry tree from the book. Since I was determined to feature the cherry tree in a recipe too, I decided to give it the place of honor and save it for dessert! These dainty 3-tier mini cakes are filled with cherry preserves and my very own mock Devonshire cream (the recipe for that is included below too!). Topped with powdered sugar and fresh cherries, they’re the perfect bite-size finish to our Borrower menu!
Arrietty’s cherry tree has always stood out to me as one of the most iconic objects from The Borrowers. It’s in full bloom when she goes outside for the very first time, and it’s where she meets her first friend, the Boy! Of course, I knew as soon as I started planning a Borrower tea that it would be cherry tree themed. I think Arrietty would approve! 🙂
You may remember that the Mister and I attended C2E2 (a comic book convention) a couple months ago. Later, I was super sad to find out I had missed some YA fiction panels earlier in the day. Luckily, Chicago BookCon was this past weekend, so I finally got my fix of all the bookish goodness I could ever want. ^.^
This was my first book convention, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I decided to attend just one panel and spend the rest of the day browsing the show floor. Picking a panel was a tough choice, but I decided to go to the first one of the day: a panel on good vs. evil in YA lit run by Lauren Oliver, Sabaa Tahir, Melissa de la Cruz, and Veronica Roth.
That’s right. We’re talkin’ world-famous-author-of-Divergent Veronica Roth. I was so excited/nervous that I had to run back into the house two different times before we left because I forgot my phone and jacket!
While planning the reading kit for this month’s Borrower menu, I wound up stumbling across a LOT of cute miniature things, especially fairy gardens. I’d heard of fairy gardens before—miniature outdoor displays set up to look like fairies live there—but I had NO IDEA they could get so elaborate. There were ones carved out of rooted tree stumps, embedded in stone walls, and even built from scratch to look like real, miniature homes! They had me wishing I could live there, so I made a list of my favorites to share with you. Here are my Borrower dream homes!
The next installment in our Borrower menu is actually three foods from the book combined into one! At afternoon tea, the Clocks serve tiny slivers of toasted chestnut in place of regular toast, and the narrator says they ate birds’ eggs and minnows while living at the badger’s set. These all sound like great breakfast components to me, so I combined them all together into a meal fit for a peckish Human Bean or a whole family of Borrowers. My chestnut toasts are just like the ones in the book—whole chestnuts sliced thin and toasted until golden brown. Since minnows are a little hard to find, I used sardines, and quail’s eggs are just the right size for a Borrower!
This month’s reading kit is based on The Borrowers, and I’m happy to say there were so many options for things to include that I had trouble holding myself back! I knew Arrietty’s iconic cherry tree needed to be featured, along with the tiny scissors. But then I started finding so many borrower-like mini things that the list got SUPER long. I trimmed the kit down to 6 items, but don’t worry—I planned another mini-item themed post for next week!
A few months ago, I read The Borrowers for the very first time, and I couldn’t believe what I’d been missing. It was amazing! Despite being written for a young audience, the characters were nuanced and relatable. The plot, though relatively simple, was engaging. I LOVED Arrietty’s spunk—she quickly became one of my top literary heroines!
We first meet the Borrowers while they are making their evening dinner: potato soup. Of course, since the pot was no bigger than a thimble, only the most delicate slivers of potato and onion were taken from the Borrowers’ stores to make the soup. Nevertheless, the resulting dinner was hearty and delicious, and I knew right away that it would be the appetizer for my Borrower menu.
We all have favorite book characters for sure (Fred Weasley! Jo March! HERCULE POIROT!…..* ahem * I’m done.), but there’s something about the characters we read about as kids that gives them a special place in our hearts. It’s more than simple nostalgia—I like to think it’s genuine friendship. Fictional or not, these people are just as integral to the sharing and shaping of our childhood as any real person. Sometimes more.
But real people grow up. They change, have families, and go off on their own adventures. Our favorite childhood book characters don’t do that unless we’re blessed with a sequel or an epilogue, but that doesn’t stop us from wondering what might have become of them.
This is my list of favorite childhood characters I’d like to revisit as adults. For most, I’ve added my musings about their potential futures, but I want to hear what you think about them too! Do you imagine their fates differently? Exactly the same? Let me know! 🙂
April is over and May is here—time to wrap up our current Book of the Month and introduce a new one! But before we get to that, let’s sum up all the awesome stuff that happened this month: