Lately, as I have considered food in book I have looked at the way that the food discussed contributes to the mood and shores up what is being communicated in the story. In Dark Mirror: A Novel by M.J. Putney the main character, Victoria starts off in an uncomfortable situation and far from home and the food that she encounters reflects her discontent. As the story progresses and she become more comfortable and meets people she likes, who introduce her to new food, her experiences are much better.
Personally I would have been okay with oxtail soup, but Tory has other ideas.
As Elspeth had said, the food wasn’t dreadful, but the oxtail soup, boiled beef, and potatoes were a far cry from Fairmount Hall.
However, I can see how she would be won over by hanging out with Ms. Wheton at the tea shop.
Smiling they continued down the hill, Miss Wheton describing different kinds of magical ability. The teashop was very pleasant, with excellent sausage rolls and iced cakes. Tory was pleased when they were seated by a window with a view of the small harbor. She was happier than at any time since she woke up floating over her bed.
But it gets even better…
The chippy had a walk-up order window, a sign over the top that said THE CODFATHER, and a half-dozen hopeful cats lounging about in front. Mrs. Rainford ordered four portions, which were served almost immediately. The fried cod and potatoes were wrapped in the cones of newsprint, and tangy malt vinegar was sprinkled over them.
“Do you have fish and chips where you live?” Polly passed a cone to Tory.
“No. This smells lovely though.” Tory it into a piece of the crispy deep-fried fish. “Wonderful!” She tried one of the golden wedges of potato and sighed blissfully. No wonder Nick hoped fish and chips wouldn’t be rationed.
And at last something a little bit on the healthy side.
Polly efficiently prepared breakfast the next morning. Tory envied her the competence she’d acquired because both her parents worked and the three children had all had to do chores. Today’s breakfast was a steaming pot of oatmeal porridge liberally laced with dried currants and the golden raisins called sultanas. With milk and a bit of honey, it was delicious.
(Not pictured. As yummy as it sounds, oatmeal does not photograph well.)