Food features prominently in our Princelings’ lives. They enjoy their grub, that’s for sure. The dining arrangements for our heroes are designed to make what a real guinea pig should eat into a gourmet experience, with menus and table settings, candles and fine linen… I’m not entirely sure how they would cope with knives and forks, but in my world they do. Sometimes with a nice crisp linen napkins round their neck or on their laps… now where is a guinea pig’s lap? Of course, guinea pigs don’t drink wine, ale, beer, cola, celery spritzers, or strawberry juice, just a few of the drinks named in the books to date. But I like to think they would. They certainly could drink the last two named, if freshly made from the raw fruit and veg. But in my world they’d drink them elegantly, in a champagne or wine glass, highball glass with a straw, or possibly even as a cocktail with a little sunshade.
So, a few of the menu items:
Melange du Jardin/Jour: mixture of the garden/day. Probably a green salad, but it does depend on what vegetables are available.
Melange de l’Artist: this is a special salad of pea shoots and rocket on a bed of chicory leaves, garnished with young radish and carrots. Thank you National Gallery Cafe, it was delicious!
Compote of strawberries with a mint garnish… lavender sorbet .. just what they sound like really.
Summer pudding with blackcurrant garnish. A traditional English pudding made with blackcurrants, redcurrants, raspberries, strawberries pressed into a mould lined with slices of bread and chilled. One of my favourites, but guinea pigs don’t eat bread save for exceptional circumstances.
Plate of crudités: this is exactly the same as it is on our menus, a plate of fresh raw salad vegetables, usually trimmed into sticks and often with a dipping sauce or two (they wouldn’t have the sauces).
“Distinctive biscuits being made [in the Castle Fortune kitchens] – called Cookies”: fortune cookies… 😉
Breakfasts. In Hattan they have an American feel (I hope), coffee (or cawffee!) and twisted grain cake for Saku, “carrot cake and maple syrup and tomatoes and apple and a mint tea for Victor”, No, they woudn’t eat maple syrup or cawffee. I would though! In their realm I have stretched a point and allowed buttery rolls, speciality of the Fortune area (actually butteries are a speciality of Deeside, Scotland), and Hugo opts for oatcakes when he discovers he can’t have granola bars at the Seventh Happiness. Not that these are the same, but Hugo would take them as a reasonable substitute. What he should have had was the Melange Excel, which looks like muesli.
In Buckmore and Arbor, the bars serve espressimenta in the morning. I invented this as an espresso version of mint tea. No problem for the guinea pigs in drinking mint juice!
Packed lunches generally seem to be fruit bars, sometimes some oatcakes or similar, or some vegetable sticks (or a combination). Sundance also packs apples and a sack of carrots when they need provisions for their journey to Dimerie when they end up at Castle Fortune. There is no reason why they shouldn’t just eat grass on their picnics. Perhaps they do. Certainly my vagabonds at the start of the newest story survive on grass alone. The real Fred and George used to think there was nothing as good as fresh grass, and their successors agree.