Good food and good books just naturally go together. Have you ever been reading a novel and started craving the food the characters are eating?

UnknownToday I’m making parsnip soup because Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, a very old witch, in The Witch’s Daughter cooks it over her cozy cottage woodfire. I’d never heard of parsnip soup before, but love roasted parsnips, so I thought why not?


I found the recipe at The Spruce Eats, picked up some parsnips, and started chopping. Because I’m gluten-free and dairy-free, I’m using faux butter and cream (cashew milk) so it won’t be exactly the same. But then, I never follow a recipe completely. I mainly look at the ingredients, explore my kitchen, and start creating.

I remember making Three Sisters Chili while reading one of Charles de Lint’s books set in the American Southwest, and there are many Saturday nights I’ve made chips and tea while watching Midsummer Murders. And way back, I remember having to make clam chowder to watch Pete’s Dragon, as the characters lived in a lighthouse and cooked up a batch on their woodstove. Then there’s The Godfather and spaghetti! The marriage of food and story is as old as us. What novel food adventures have you had?

In the book I’m currently writing (which is also set at a lighthouse) I’m going to add food, perhaps even a recipe. Do you have any ideas? They’ve already got their fingers greasy peeling fresh prawns and dipping them in butter. What do you think would make wonderful lighthouse food? Do you have a favourite recipe I can share in my novel?



Here’s my soup. I added some carrots along with the parsnips, which is why it’s this beautiful orange colour. And I ended up spicing it with curry power and ground coriander, then garnished it with cilantro. Yum. So glad it’s lunchtime!



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