Deciding the Menu for a Fictional Meal

In How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Thomas C. Foster says that “whenever people eat or drink together, it’s communion.”  He goes on to explain that it’s communion in the sense of “communing with each other” and not the capital-C Communion of church.  Basically, eating together in a book has significance for the characters.

I mention food and eating a few times in the early part of Dragon.  Two of the cultures in the book treat meals differently, and I make that clear as one way to distinguish how the people involved see the world.  However, these are mentions of food, not full-blown descriptions of meals.

I’m preparing to write a scene at a dinner table now; this one is unique in the book because it develops the relationships between the characters involved.  It’s also somewhat intimidating for one of them, as she is meeting her boyfriend’s sister for the first time.  I’m ready to write the interactions, to make the food and the eating reflect the tenor and tone of the people involved.  I just needed to decide on a menu.  Unfortunately, my Fantasy Reference doesn’t have a food chapter, and as the story is set in a world I created, almost anything is possible.

spoiler alert from here…

After a little browsing on epicurious, I decided that an excellent meal for the characters in question would be a pot-au-feu, served in three courses.  First, marrowbones with toasts, then a soup made from the cooking broth, followed by the meat and vegetables for the entree. All three characters involved are dragons in human shape, so a meat-focused meal seemed perfect.  Now I just need to decide on dessert!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tammy
    Jun 05, 2011 @ 12:05:54

    A lot of meals do not have a dessert course in case that helps you. 🙂 At least that’s what I’ve seen on Top Chef. Ha Ha Ha


  2. It's Me
    Jun 09, 2011 @ 22:17:40

    Did you ever read the children’s book called “bread and Jam for Francis”? Or the Box Car Children series? Those books made this simplest food sound so good. I am still convinced waterfall cooled milk must be much better than refrigerator cooled milk. I love meal scenes in books, so I can’t wait to see what you come up with.


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