Monday, June 5, 2017

A TRIFLE DEAD Week 1 Discussion

a trifle dead by livia day

Welcome to our first discussion for A Trifle Dead by Livia Day! Today we'll be covering Chapters 1-8, focusing on the delicious foods we read about this past week. To see the full schedule, check out our June newsletter.

salamanca market hobart tasmania
"Salamanca Market at Salamanca Place, Hobart, Tasmania"
Image by Jes via Wikimedia Commons
The first few chapters of A Trifle Dead have been fun and very fast-paced, with short chapters and a ton of quirky characters. And I mean **QUIRKY**.

Tabitha Darling is the owner of a café in Hobart, Tasmania, that serves updated and hip versions of classic desserts. This is much to the consternation of her parents' friends, a bacon-and-eggs crowd who continue to crave Tabitha's mom's cooking. When a dead body is found in the flat above the café, Tabitha's Nancy Drew instincts kick in and she starts poking around, with a little help from a cute Scots blogger and more than little discouragement from Sergeant Bishop, her high school crush.

So! Onto the food. One of the first things Tabitha mentions are salad rolls. In the US, "salad rolls" are basically Thai spring rolls, but it seems in Australia they're just, like, a sandwich?

When I was growing up, a salad roll was a confection-like sticky bun filled with cheese, tomato, lettuce, beetroot and sliced egg, all glued together with a mock-mayonnaise.

Sounds like a sandwich to me. The Food Pornographer has photos of a salad roll that looks similar to Tabitha's description, or if you want to check out a more modern version of the salad roll, there are some yummy pics of Sweet Gossip's salad rolls, supposedly the "best in Australia."

humming bird cake
"Hummingbird cake"
Photo by ulterior epicure via Flickr
Another dessert that made me reach for The Google was hummingbird cake. I'd never heard of hummingbird cake and thought it was a weird Australian thing, but turns out it's a spice cake that originated in the good ol' US of A! It's especially popular in the South and is made with banana, pineapple, cinnamon, pecans, and vanilla. Think carrot cake but with bananas.

Speaking of cake, what did you all think of the muffins Tabitha brought Crushed Velvet, the up-and-coming band that's only eating blue food as a publicity stunt? The parmesan and onion savory cupcakes sounded soooo good, and I love the idea of blue velvet cupcakes. This recipe from Marilyn's Treats looks almost exactly like Tabitha's.

But the real culinary stars of this section were Bev's pav nude sculptures. LITERALLY FOOD PORN. Fortunately, thanks to Mandy, I already knew what a "pav" was and didn't have to google it. Pav is Aussie for pavlova, a meringue-based treat covered in fruit that was named for the ballerina Anna Pavlova. It's one of Australia's and New Zealand's national dishes and is usually served during the holidays.

Here's the always delightful Mary Berry to show us how to make it!

Have you had any of the desserts or sandwiches mentioned so far in A Trifle Dead? Find some recipes you want to try? Let us know in the comments or paste your link into the Mr Linky below!

Also, bonus question: Are you Team Bishop or Team Stewart?

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