|By now, my love for The Hunger Games is so well known around the office|
a co-worker picked up this movie still for me on one of her business trips.
I hang it on my bulletin board with pride and zero embarrassment.
In honor of the DVD release date, here is a look back at a few of my Games-related posts. It is Change the Word's very own release party, if you like.
Hunger Games Mania
I arrived late, but I'm on The Hunger Games bandwagon.
By now enough has been said that you don't need me to explain why these books are an international phenomenon. But they meant so much to me, and have affected my journey as a writer, that I want to talk about them. So please indulge me.
For two years, my friend/local bookstore manager encouraged me to the read the series convinced I would love every second. I had it on my to-do list, but never followed up.
There the book sat on my "to read" list for years. Then, after overhearing people talk about it in stores and restaurants with weeks to go until the movie, I realized I needed to read it before I found out anything else.
What did I have to lose? I figured if I didn't love the first book, I didn't have to read the second or third. And no one had to know.
The Boy With the Bread (Reading in the Kitchen)
Even before the reaping that sent Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark to the 74th Annual Hunger Games, their lives were connected by a loaf of bread. Bread Peeta purposefully burned to give Katniss and her starving family even though it meant punishment for him.
Though they never exchanged words, Katniss always felt she owed Peeta for his gift. In her eyes this puts them at odds from the get go. Only one person can survive the games. How can she even consider killing the boy with the bread who saved her life?
Throughout the story, Katniss refers to Peeta as the boy with the bread. Other baked goods, wild game and gathered foods appear in the books, but this one was especially important. Katniss describes the loaves as hearty, with raisins and nuts in it. I imagined whole grains, raisins and walnuts, because it sounds super hearty. When I set out to recreate this dish, I kept that description in mind.
The Dandelion in the Spring (Reading in the Kitchen)
The dandelion is one of my favorite symbols from The Hunger Games trilogy. In book one, Katniss says she saw a dandelion the day after Peeta gave her the bread that saved her family from starvation. Seeing that dandelion, free from the haze of absolute hunger for the first time in weeks, Katniss realizes she can provide for her family by hunting and gathering. She and her sister gather a bucket of dandelions that night, and eat a salad for dinner.
Katniss mentions the dandelions again in the next two books, including one of my favorite passages from Mockingjay (book three):
What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.That passage gives me chills thinking about the depth of what that means. For most of us, a dandelion is an annoying weed we pluck from our yards and gardens. But for Katniss, the dandelion is a lifelong reminder that even after the winters in our lives, spring returns bringing a possibility of better. (Or at least that's my interpretation.) Powerful stuff.
The Tart from the Bakery (Reading in the Kitchen)
If you follow the blog, by now you know I have a creepy old lady crush on Peeta Mellark. Not even kidding. When I read the book, I hung on his every word. It's no wonder that when he off-handedly mentions having an apple and goat cheese tart for sale in his family's bakery, it stuck with me.
I was determined to make a beautiful and delicious tart in his honor. I've made cheesecakes and pies, before, so I did not imagine this being too different. Just the same, I looked up about 10 recipes for goat cheese pies and tarts before deciding the recipe.
I hope you will try to recreate some of these dishes, too. If you do, please let me know. I would love to hear from someone who has done a Games-inspired food so we can swap notes.
If you have to wait in line to pick up your copy of the DVD, may the odds be ever in your favor.
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