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Cookbook explores food, recipes from Narnia series

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 27 2012 4:55 p.m. MST

"THE UNOFFICIAL NARNIA COOKBOOK: From Turkish Delight to Gooseberry Fool — Over 150 Recipes Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia," by Dinah Bucholz, Sourcebooks, $19.99, 234 pages (nf)

For Dinah Bucholz, the food in the Chronicles of Narnia series do more than just provide nutrition for the characters.

“In Narnia, whenever the characters eat something, you can feel their relief, comfort or delight,” she writes in the introduction to the recently released “The Unofficial Narnia Cookbook: From Turkish Delight to Gooseberry Fool — Over 150 Recipes Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia.”

Bucholz has gone through the series and documented each food mentioned, then researched it, and either adapted or created a recipe for it.

In all, there are more than 150 recipes that include breakfast, lunch, dinner (aka feasts) and desserts. Bucholz, who also put together “The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory — More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Wizards and Non-Wizards Alike,” also gives each recipe a difficulty rating of one, two or three spoons, with one spoon being the easiest. That is helpful as she does target her book at those 9 and older and she also has several safety warnings.

Bucholz also cites which book in the series that the food came from and a short background on the recipe, along with how she created it and an occasional tip or two on preparing it.

While some of the recipes took research and creativity to get the foods correct for the time period, like several from the Night Feast at Cair Paravel (and, yes, she includes all seven courses), some are simply a recipe for modern foods, like the nut and fruit cake, crispy bacon, raspberry sorbet or toast.

She does also include cooking alcohol substitutes, but there aren’t any photos of the foods so it’s difficult to know if what you made is turning out the way it’s supposed it. Also, be careful in the kitchen as the paper the cookbook uses may not stand up to splatters and spills. (She does have some photos online at www.dinahbucholz.com.)

“The Unofficial Narnia Cookbook” is a well-organized cookbook by type of food — breakfast, lunch, dinner or treat/snack — and then by the scene in the book.

The Turkish Delight recipe, which received a three-spoon difficulty rating, is under “Snack with the White Witch” with a recipe for Sweet and Creamy Hot Vanilla.

Overall, it’s an interesting adaptation of the popular book, and now movie, series and it’s fun to present a food that was thought of as fiction.

And who knew there were that many meals in the series?

TURKISH DELIGHT

Makes: 96 pieces

Sugar Syrup

4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup water

Cornstarch Paste

1 cup cornstarch

Juice of 1 lemon

3 cups water

Flavoring

4 teaspoons rose water or orange blossom water

Coating

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

½ cup cornstarch

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