Fictional (and not so fictional) food
Back in 2001, my Curmudgeonly Husband and I went to see The Fellowship of the Ring in the movie theater when it was first released. While we both liked the movie, CH was disgruntled, comparing it to his memory of the book.
“There was a lot more food in the book. There was hardly any in the movie.”
This prompted me to re-read the whole series, and you know what? There’s not a lot more food in it. But CH views the world through a very food-oriented lens. His first reaction to being told he has to attend any given even is, “Will there be refreshments?”
I think I must have his attitude embedded in my subconscious as I write, because there’s almost always a scene involving food or a meal in each of my books, and frequently one involving cooking. The Artist’s Touch is a case in point.
Luke prepares a meal for Stefan as a way of apologizing and reconnecting. The food he cooks? Some of my favorites in CH’s repertoire. In case you’ve never read my bio, I do not cook. CH, however, loves it. It’s his method of unwinding after work—and then he gets to eat the results. A win-win for him.
Now me, I don’t care so much about eating-—a bowl of cereal works just fine at any time of day—and cooking (especially after a day of work) sounds far more like refined modern torture than relaxation, especially if the end product does not involve cake.
This recipe, also a favorite of all three of my kids, is part of Luke’s menu in The Artist’s Touch. I won’t be insulted if you don’t make it yourself—you can sit at the table in the corner along with me, and wait for the cake to arrive.
Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic
CH uses this basic preparation with most green vegetables: parboil, cool, sauté at the last minute with garlic, salt, and either oil or butter.
• 1 pound green beans
• Boiling water
- Trim the beans.
- Add salt to the boiling water. Don’t skimp. Use enough salt so that the water tastes like the ocean did the first time you tasted the ocean.
- Add the beans to the boiling water and cook till they turn bright green.
- Drain the beans, cool them, and allow them to dry on a towel.
- You can stop at this point and resume cooking them an hour later or a day later.
• Olive oil or butter
• 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- Warm the oil or butter in a pan that’s large enough to hold all of the beans.
- Add the garlic to the oil or butter and sauté for a few seconds.
- Add the beans to the pan, add salt to taste, and sauté till heated through.
2021 Update: Incidentally, CH’s “tastes like the ocean…” description continues to perplex all three of our children.