Wednesday, April 13, 2011

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Melissa Ruttanai, Staff Blogger at Shrodinger's Mouse

I’m a dedicated roadtripper, and my husband and I plan at least two trips a year in our car.  Most recently, we had a 7 day trip from lower New York up past Buffalo, crossing over to Toronto, driving east along the Thousand Islands, hitting Montreal and scooping down I-87 for the southern leg home.

When we got to the Canadian/US border, the patrolman peered into our backseat, eyes skimming over bags, boxes, Tupperware, and utensils.  She must have thought we had some eating disorder.  We’d more snacks than clothes.

But isn’t traveling always better with food?

In George Martin’s Game of Thrones, the story follows the multiple perspectives of ten characters.  And in almost every chapter, meals create mouth-watering backdrops to the action.  Three of the characters are in constant motion, up and down the countryside.  One, the exiled Princess Dany finds herself married into a strong tribe of nomadic horsemen.

Here, the feasts are decadent, lasting until dawn.

Each day, the khalasar caravan moves across the grasslands and great plains.  At night, battalions of slaves erect palatial tents made of fine silk and sweetgrass.  Then, like magic: the evening meal begins.  Roasted suckling pig with honey, stewed vegetables, and crisp summerwine. Martin depicts these scenes with care, and I’m off running for a glass of wine just to keep companionship with the moment.

But how realistic is this?

Dany’s lord-husband, the Khal commands 40,000 men, who follow where he leads.  40,000!!  How many wagons would it take to feed these men, let alone their wives and children, or the slaves, servants, and seductive dancers they have each night.

Well, it’s fiction after all.  The Khalasar is a powerful warlord and like the real warrior kings of Asia, Africa, and Europe, what the ruler wants he gets.

Then again, I remember being pinned to the door during our road trip, sitting precariously next to a cooler full of ginger ale and hummus, on top of which teetered a mountain of chips, pretzels, peanuts, and apples.  If we were part of the Khalasar caravan, I’m not sure where we’d pack the suckling pig!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing some Food For Thought, Melissa!

You can find Melissa at


  1. I enjoy the ice & fire series by GRRM very much. Of course I'm bitter the old man will probably be dead by the time he gets around to writing the second half of Feast for Crows that was allegedly already written at the time of publication of the same title are absolutely right about the food fantasies in the books. Also, you left out the ever present mug of mead. As fans of the series already
    know, the word, "mead" is every fifth word.