Tastes from the Text

Katniss' Carrot Soup

Food from The Hunger Games

Katniss' Carrot Soup

Lauren, April 25, 2012, 12:13 am | Tastes from the Text

Like nearly everyone else in America, I loved Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy and I thought Gary Ross' recent film was fantastic. Katniss and Peeta are served their first fancy Panem meal as they ride on the tribute train towards the Capitol to compete in the Hunger Games. Their first course? A "thick carrot soup" (Collins 44).

With this in mind, I began searching for a delectable carrot soup and found one in William Sonoma's Carrot Soup with Bacon and Chestnut Cream. It is absolutely delicious and would be more than worthy of gracing any Capitol table. This is a lovely choice for a book club meeting, viewing party, or brunch. It can be made twenty-four hours in advance of an event, and is sure to please any crowd.

Serbian Spirits for The Tiger's Wife

A great book club drink for The Tiger's Wife

Serbian Spirits for <em>The Tiger's Wife</em>

Lauren, April 19, 2012, 3:32 pm | Tastes from the Text

Gavran Gailé, the deathless man, may have preferred water, but nearly everyone else in Téa Obreht's fascinating novel, The Tiger's Wife drinks rakija, so I was delighted to find this tasty hot toddy recipe for the traditional Serbian drink, Vruca Rakija. Vruca Rakija is a wintertime staple that is often served at Christmas. Rakija, rakia, or rachiu is a common alcoholic beverage throughout the Balkans. There are a number of different fruits used to make different versions; slivovica is made with plums.

Obreht's beautifully written first novel is steeped in magical realism and set in an unnamed Balkan province similar to the one that Obreht herself lived in as a young child in the former Yugoslavia. Obreht tells the tale of Natalia, a young doctor who has grown up in a country ravaged by war, as she begins to come to terms with the death of her grandfather.

I loved the complexity of The Tiger's Wife and certainly recommend it to anyone prepared to be immersed in heavy themes. I recommend the Vruca Rakija to anyone who enjoys sugary hot toddies, or plans to spend an evening alone at a crossroads waiting for the deathless man.