A Recipe From the Crease of my Right Eye
I am announcing a new food blogging event, A Recipe From the Crease of my Right Eye.
This event, like my Apples Doused in Cardamom Wine, is inspired by The Orphan’s Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice by Catherynne M. Valente. It is the second book in a now-complete series (the first was The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden), and it was just published a few weeks ago.
As I explained in my last post, the stories in these books are told by a girl with ink-stained, story-stained eyes, to a young son of the Sultan who escapes the watch of his older sister to come out into the garden and hear them. The stories are nested each within each like dolls, like the tales from Arabian Nights, all twining together to make a larger epic. They are not fairy tales, exactly, because they have plots and characters with lives of their own, men and women and beasts who are real people stalking the pages of these books.
The food and spice imagery in these books is inspiring. Not only does the boy steal food from the Sultan’s palace to bring to the girl, but the imagery infuses the rest of the stories as well.
In one tale from the first book, a young female satyr takes the skin of a young male selkie and hides it so he can stay with her. The selkie tells the satyr that her lips taste of red berries, redder than he ever thought possible.
In the second book, the basilisk lives in a grove of persimmon and coconut, a girl dances in shoes made of cinnamon, and Ajanabh, the city of spice, is filled with a spice-smog, “the faintest sigh of cardamom and cumin and cinnamon breathing through the night.” It is filled with quail eggs and cinnamon candies, rose and leek sandwiches, sugar pies and lamb fat. And more, and more.
This event, A Recipe From the Crease of my Right Eye, is a celebration of Catherynne M. Valente’s The Orphan’s Tales. To participate, all you have to do is post a recipe inspired by the books. This includes any recipe involving things that are layered or things that are stuffed (which echo the structure of the stories), as well as things that are otherwise inspired by the books.
This event comes with a prize. I will give the author of the best recipe (as determined by me, perhaps with Cat’s help) a copy of both Orphan’s Tales books. If the winner already has them, I’ll give him or her a copy of two of Cat’s other books.
The deadline is December 17, 2007.
You do not have to be a food blogger to participate. You can post your recipe on a non-food blog, a non-blog website, or in the comments to this post.
When you post your recipe, include a link back to this post. Then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with:
The name of your blog
The URL of your blog
The name your dish
The URL of your dish
A photo of your dish, if you have one, should be attached to the email.