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It’s Food Season at the Allusionist. Last episode we learned all about compiling recipes, turning food into words. This time, we meet someone who turns words into food. When Kate Young of the Little Library Cafe spots a foodstuff or a feast in a novel, she finds ways to cook it in reality, whether it’s delicious (Babette’s Feast), evil (Edmund’s Turkish delight in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe) or poisonous (the crab and avocado in The Bell Jar).
Want to see the glamorous conditions in which I make this show? Here you go!
Our podcast-friend Imaginary Worlds made a charming episode about cooking foods from fantasy worlds.
Another take on The Bell Jar’s crab-stuffed avocado.
“Treacle meant any viscous syrup that was a byproduct of sugar refinery” - the history of treacle tart predates Golden Syrup!
Speaking of Sylvia Plath: one of her specialties was a cake with a can of tomato soup in it. Sounded nauseating to me, but my friend Clare gamely baked it for me once and it was pretty good! Still not entirely convinced by the need for tomato soup in it, though.
Up for trying Kate’s recipe for Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight?
Want to make a water droplet from A Bug’s Life, or Garfield’s lasagne, or Rachel’s beefy trifle from Friends? Feast of Fiction has got you covered.
Why ortolan-eating keeps popping up on TV.
The transcript of the episode is at theallusionist.org/transcripts/words-into-food.
The current Allusionist live show No Title will be on at the London Podcast Festival next month, and I’ll be also guesting in a couple of other podcasts at the festival. All listings are at theallusionist.org/events. Lots more will be announced very soon!
Also! I have started a new podcast, Veronica Mars Investigations, with Jenny Owen Youngs of Buffering the Vampire Slayer! Launching next Tuesday, we investigate every episode of Veronica Mars from the beginning (there’ll be spoilers for the episode under discussion, but no spoilers for later episodes in the series). Subscribe to Veronica Mars Investigations in your chosen podcast-getting app, follow @VMIpod on the socials, and find us at VMIpod.com.
YOUR RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
Kate Young is a writer and cook. Find her work at thelittlelibrarycafe.com. Her recipe book The Little Library Cookbook is out now, and her new collection The Little Library Year: Seasonal Cooking and Reading will be out in October and is available for preorder now. She tweets @BakingFiction.
This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Martin Austwick makes the music that you hear in every episode. Download his songs at palebirdmusic.com and listen to his new podcast Year of the Bird about the songs he writes.
The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.
In August 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the language-learning app that will help you speak a new language with confidence. Visit babbel.com to find out more, and text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try it for free.
• Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.