Food in DWJ

Mary Ann Dimand amaebi at iwon.com
Thu Mar 30 11:48:20 EST 2000


Alexandra brought it up, and I mostly have tangential things to say about
it. :D

>In DWJ, however, I can remember only one instance of thoroughly
>delicious food in DWJ--when Tanamil feeds the children in
>Spellcoats.  Otherwise, food seems to be a fertile source of
>ick-humour (the school dinner in Witch Week and the endless
>pickled cherries in Crown of Dalemark spring to mind).  I
>wonder: what are the ingredients of a really comforting good-
>food scene?  Of enjoyable (and not purely gross) food humour?
>And am I missing anything in terms of DWJ meals?

Well, there is the reception of sweet biscuits by the aquatic children in
Power of Three, and butter pies (when you haven't eaten too many) in Tale of
Time City, and cake from the shop Martha works at in Howl's Moving Castle.
(Can you tell that I'm not looking at my copies? They're still packed, I'm
ashamed to say!)

Something that's long struck me about food in Jones novels is the lack of
fruits and vegetables. Howl's Moving Castle may have the most food in it,
and it always seems to be bacon, eggs, onions and cake. (And seaweed
referred to as having been eaten in earlier lean times.) There are sweets
and meats, by and large. Recall the vegetarian feast in Homeward Bounders?
All very nice, we're told, but I do like a bit of meat.

I have been somewhat similarly struck by the food in Suzette Haden Elgin's
Native Tongue books. In the first two, the women are forever ingesting spice
cake and tea. (This makes the key metabolic decision of the third novel make
a lot of sense to me. :D )

>Alexandra
>(embarrassed at sounding like a truly bizzarre species of >
>glutton)

Mary Ann
(a truly bizarre species of glutton, and apt to feel scurvy coming on if she
spends too long in New Orleans)

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