One group of characters often forgotten from James and the Giant Peach is the Cloud Men (perhaps since they were left out of the movie). In the book, the Cloud Men are responsible for creating such atmospheric phenomenon as rainbows, storms, and snow. When James and companions float past a Cloud Man city in their flying peach, they see Cloud families preparing dinners of fried snowballs.
These sounded delicious, so of course I wanted to make them for the blog! And I knew exactly how I wanted to create my own interpretation: mashed potato balls mixed with bacon and cheese, rolled in panko crumbs, and deep fried. Utterly delicious and fun to make!
When I was planning this James and the Giant Peach menu, I obviously had peaches on the brain. But while trying to figure out how to include a tribute to NYC in the menu, all I could think of was APPLES! I tossed around a few options until I hit upon the idea of hand pies. I decided to go the savory route and paired them with cheese, resulting in the final product you see here!
These savory hand pies are filled with melted Gouda and apple slices seasoned with thyme. Oooh that cheese—I couldn’t get enough! The buttery, flaky crust toppd with just the right amount of salt brings it all together into a little package with big flavor. Enjoy! 🙂
Are y’all ready for a new Book of the Month? I’m really excited about this one. James and the Giant Peach is an old childhood favorite of mine, and when I reread it last year, I couldn’t help thinking what a great menu it would make!
For our first James and the Giant Peach recipe, I’m making an edible version of the “magic green things” he encounters at the beginning of the book. After all, they’re such an iconic part of the story, how could I leave them out?
These sour green gummy worms are my version of a blood orange gummy recipe from Steele House Kitchen. They’re quick to make and actually pretty healthy (they’re sweetened with honey instead of sugar). Plus, you can make them without a special mold! 🙂
In the episode “Jaynestown,” the crew of the spaceship Serenity stumbles upon a poor town of clay farmers (known as “mudders”) who’ve erected a statue to Jayne in their town center.
As it turns out, Jayne committed an accidental act of generosity during his last visit, and the mudders now consider him to be their hero. Now that he’s back, they sing his praises and treat him to unlimited rounds of mudder’s milk—their alcoholic beverage of choice.
Jayne describes mudder’s milk as “all the protein, vitamins, and carbs of your grandma’s best turkey dinner, plus 15 percent alcohol.” Our version is a vanilla protein milkshake blended with a bit of oats, flax meal, and cinnamon—along with a couple shots of hazelnut Baileys. So drink up and get ready to sing another verse of “The Hero of Canton”!
Dessert in the Firefly universe is an interesting affair, to say the least. As intergalactic smugglers, the crew of Serenity is used to simple, tinned food, so when they get a chance for something sweet, they go all-out.
In the episode “The Message” we see River eating an “ice planet”—a large ball of what appears to be ice cream extended on a string attached to a stick. It’s problematic to eat, but it sure looks delicious! I knew I wanted it to be my Firefly dessert.
Since we’re never given a description of the ingredients, I had to get inventive. Since the surface of the ball is coarse instead of smooth, I figured it had been coated in something, and shredded coconut sounded like a delicious pairing. And since the balls were white, I figured they were probably made with vanilla ice cream. I didn’t want plain vanilla for the center, though, so I thought it would be fun to toast some marshmallows and mix them in.
Voila! Dessert is served. 🙂
In the movie Serenity, Fruity Oaty Bars are a snack food advertised in a bar the characters visit while on the run from the Alliance. Unfortunately, big bad evil government guys plant a subliminal message in the Oaty Bar ad, causing River Tam—a fugitive from an Alliance research facility—to go completely beserk and attack everyone in the bar.
As such, the Fruity Oaty Bar has become an iconic Serenity/Firefly foodstuff. But what exactly is it?
Of all the characters in Firefly, Hoban Washburne is my all-time favorite. “Wash”—as he’s known by the crew of Serenity—is the ship’s pilot and resident goofball. There’s lots to love about Wash, but I think the best thing about him is how different he is from the rest of the crew, who’re all hard-bitten warriors (including his wife, Zoe).
When we first meet Wash, he’s playing with dinosaur toys at the helm of Serenity, acting out a narrative in which a T-Rex horribly betrays a kind-hearted stegosaurus. Like many people, this was the moment when I knew I was going to love his character, so I decided to make a dish in honor of his dinos!
These homemade dino nuggets are made from thin-cut chicken breast cut into shape with dinosaur cookie cutters, coated in bread crumbs, and baked. The ketchup recipe is one I found in a Zagat video, and I LOVE it! It’s more tomato-y than storebought ketchup and super easy to make!
Howdy, folks! Today’s recipe marks the start of our first TV show menu of the year. It’s themed after one of my favorite shows: Firefly!
The show is set in a dystopian future when mankind leaves Earth to terraform the universe. The arm of the law doesn’t really reach the outer systems, which have taken on an attitude toward law and justice reminiscent of the Wild West. The show follows the travels of the crew and passengers of the spaceship Serenity.
In the first episode, the ship’s mechanic convinces a preacher named Shepherd Book to travel with them, and he pays for his passage with something unusual: a small box of strawberries.
There are lots of great desserts in the Little House books, but I had my heart set on snow candy from the very beginning.
This is one of the fastest and most rewarding recipes I’ve ever made. Start to finish, it doesn’t take more than 5-7 minutes, and the resulting maple candy is delicious. The version I made (a recipe from Happy Hooligans) is truthfully nothing more than boiled maple syrup, but there’s something about the chill from the snow and the texture from the few remaining snowflakes still clinging to the candy as you lay it on your tongue that just make it so darn satisfying. ^.^
This is a fun, quick snowy day recipe to make with kids. I highly recommend eating the candy straight off the snow, as it tends to go soft a few minutes after being removed from the snow (the melting snowflakes start to dissolve it).
NOTE: You’ll want to be careful to use “food safe” snow—clean snow that hasn’t been walked or touched by animals. We had a big snow the weekend I made this, and I went out while it was still snowing and gathered some fresh snow off our back porch railing. If you’re sending out kiddos to gather the snow, make sure they know a safe place to get it.
In the Little House books, many of the foods are simple and hearty, but they’re also a little unusual. You don’t see many people eating smoked venison or salt pork these days, and Johnny cake is even more rare. So I thought it would be fun to take some time to make a pioneer food that’s a little more familiar to modern palates: roasted sweet potatoes.
Like most Midwesterners, I’ve eaten sweet potatoes all my life, so it was fun for me to read about a food I recognized in the Little House books. In Little House on the Prairie, a friend brings some sweet potatoes to Christmas dinner, and the Ingalls family bakes them whole in the ashes of the fire. I wanted to make something a bit more involved that still remained true to the simple, natural way the Ingalls cooked, so I diced my potatoes and roasted them (skins still on) with a little salt, pepper, garlic, and fresh thyme.
The end result was a hearty dish perfect for a pioneer kitchen! 🙂