Thursday, October 24, 2013

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Michelle Birbeck, Author of The Last Keeper

When it comes to characters who are immortal and have no need for food, trying to discern what their favourite dish is can be quite interesting. Especially when it’s an immortal called Serenity Cardea, who first started cooking some three millennia ago. Most of what she cooked back then amounted to little more than stew, which, though great on cold days, isn’t exactly exciting. 

So what do millennia old immortals who don’t need to eat actually eat?

The answer is twofold: Anything, and nothing.

Serenity has lived with an almost human family for generations, and over that time has consumed more types of food than I have names for. From stews with vegetables I’ve never seen to carved meat from animals that are now extinct. But as times change, it isn’t just tastes that vary. It’s also the availability of food, which is where the nothing part comes from. Because Serenity is immortal, she chooses to go without when her family is in need and food is scarce.

However, when food is plentiful, Serenity loves to cook. One of her favourite things to cook is pancakes. Breakfast or dinner, pancakes make everyone smile.

For breakfast she likes to get up early and start mixing the batter. Then whilst that sits in the fridge, she gets everything else out. All the fruit you can possibly want, different jams and spreads, and whatever savoury stuff happens to be kicking around in the fridge.

Everything gets their own bowls and gets placed in the middle of the table with spoons and knives. Once the table is set, it’s time to call the family down for food. This is normally punctuated by the sound of hurried footsteps hurtling down the stairs. It’s a rare occasion when Serenity breaks out the pancakes, and one never to be missed.

But the whole show isn’t just the food, it’s the production. See, Serenity isn’t just immortal, she’s fast and strong, too. So when pancake mornings happen, it’s a whole production that encompasses every frying pan Serenity has, as well as every ring on the hob. Because if there’s one thing pancakes should be, it’s hot and fresh. 

And so the whole family sits down at the table, plates ready, and Serenity cooks, flips, and serves. Normally in batches of eight, all done at about the same time. It sure is a sight to behold! What’s better than the sight, however, is the food itself. Enough on offer that lunch can happily be skipped, and such variety that it’s like eating something different every day for a month.

Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Michelle!

Michelle has been reading and writing her whole life. Her earliest memory of books was when she was five and decided to try and teach her fish how to read by putting her Beatrix Potter books in the fish tank with them.

Since then her love of books has grown, and now she is writing her own and looking forward to seeing them on her shelves, though they won't be going anywhere near the fish tank.

You can find Michelle here:


And The Keepers' Chronicles here:


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