From the Guardian: Jane Brocket's Top Ten Food Scenes in Children's Literature. I like reading about what people are eating almost as much as I like reading their mail, and I recognized quite a few of Jane's favorites: Maria's tea, Marilla's raspberry cordial, Pippi's pancakes, and Paddington's elevenses. Jane's new book, Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer: A Golden Treasury of Classic Treats (Hodder and Stoughton, 2008) includes these and other recipes, each of which is introduced by "an evocative description of the book that inspired it" (from Jane's website). Yum. It's available now in the UK; I can't wait to get my hands on it.
In the meantime, I would add opening Katy and Clover Carr's Christmas Box to my own list of favorite food scenes. It's from What Katy Did at School by Susan Coolidge (1873), and it begins like this:
Then [Katy] could wait no longer, but crept out of bed, crossed the floor on tiptoe, and raising the lid put in her hand. Something crumby and sugary met it, and when she drew it out, there, fitting on her finger like a ring, was a round cake with a hole in the middle of it.
"Oh, it's one of Debby's jumbles" she exclaimed.
Katy and Clover have to wait until after breakfast to unpack their box ("a big wooden one with all the nails taken out of the lid"), which is longer than I could have done. Here's a peek at what's inside:
The top of the box was mostly taken up with four square paper boxes, round which parcels of all shapes and sizes were wedged and fitted. The whole was a miracle of packing....
Each box held a different kind of cake. One was full, of jumbles, another of ginger-snaps, a third of crullers, and the fourth contained a big square loaf of frosted plum-cake, with a circle of sugar almonds set in the frosting. How the trio [Katy, Clover, and Rose Red] exclaimed at this!
And they haven't even gotten to their presents yet! No wonder that "'The Carrs' Box' was always quoted in the Nunnery afterwards, as an example of what papas and mammas could accomplish, when they were of the right sort, and really wanted to make schoolgirls happy."
What are your favorite food scenes in children's literature? I'll make a list with links to the books. Extra yum!