Sunday, December 21, 2008

Novel Food: Snowballs for Robertson Davies

It is time for the sixth mouthwatering installment of that fun foodie event for brainy cooks, Novel Food. This quarterly blog event is co-hosted by Simona of Briciole and Lisa of A Champaign Taste and offers participants a chance to share some favorite books and the culinary creations inspired by them. In the past I have joined in Novel Food fun with a delicious Yemenite Eggplant Salad inspired by Diana Abu-Jaber's novel "Crescent" (and now am looking forward to reading Abu-Jaber's food-laced memoir "The Language of Baklava" for the second Cook the Books event).

One of my all-time favorite authors is the late Robertson Davies. I have enjoyed reading my way through his body of works, which include ghost stories, plays, literary criticism, essays about books, humor, and of course, his novels. The greatest of these is his Deptford trilogy, begun in "Fifth Business" with a young boys' snowball fight. Dunstan Ramsey uses a minister and his pregnant wife as cover from his friend/enemy Percy, and the unfortunate mother-to-be is struck in the head by a snowball with a stone center, causing brain damage to her and a difficult birth for her infant son. Throughout the remainder of this book, and the successive novels in the Deptford Trilogy, "The Manticore" and "World of Wonders", this single act follows Dunstan and the other characters, including the premature baby, for the duration of their lives.

Davies' literary works are packed with plot lines and musings on art, magic, music, psychology and philosophy, and yet they remain easy to read and get lost in. They resonate with wit and passion and I have enjoyed everything I have dipped into, even his editorial pieces from the Peterborough Examiner writing under his curmudgeonly alter-ego, Samuel Marchbanks.

To honor Davies and his wonderful writings, I fashioned some snowballs of my own, although they are of a decidedly less dangerous and more delicious nature. The oldfashioned treat, popcorn balls, are incredibly easy to make with the following recipe which I found here.



You have to work quickly and carefully to shape the popcorn balls before the mixture cools and hardens, but they are otherwise easy little snack treats to whip up and will be enjoyed by my daughters' indoor soccer team (if they last around), rechristened as Soccer Balls.

Be sure to check back with Briciole in a few days to see the roundup of a culinary-literary World of Wonders with Novel Food.

8 comments:

Joelen said...

Looks great and so festive too!

Simona said...

A very interesting choice. A seemingly harmless snow ball causes so much damage. I have not ready anything by Robertson Davies and now I am curious. Thanks for participating in our event!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

these look like snowballs, perfect for the season!

Ivy said...

The snowballs sound delicious. Happy Holidays.

ARLENE said...

I've ordered my copy of The Language of Baklava and look forward to reading this. I wasn't familiar with this author, but may track him down in the future. I have never made popcorn balls or Rice Crispy treats. I may have to do so just to say I have!

Natashya said...

Popcorn balls! Now I want one, it has been a lifetime since I last had one.... what a fun offering!

Johanna said...

Popcorn balls sound just right for the season - haven't heard of Roberton DAvies but you have piqued my curiosity - will try and look him up!

Paul Thomas said...

Snowballs...I think Mr.Davies would have loved the little joke. Unless, of course, you could have come up with Gravel Pits or something!!!