We were deeply saddened to hear of Harper Lee's passing. She was an outstanding woman whose novel To Kill a Mockingbird did what few others had done to portray the social scene of the time period. Though mainly a book about race, family, etc., it's also rife with food references. Try these seven recipes inspired by scenes from the 1961 book.
Everyone in Maycomb, Alabama, loves Miss Maudie Atkinson's Lane Cake something fierce. It's a classic ultra-Southern boozy confection, but instead of cake, try these bite-size versions. You might want to keep these away from children—little Scout herself gets a tipsy off the cake.
Scout has a rough first day of school—she's too smart for everyone else and the teacher just doesn't care. The ever-wonderful Calpurnia makes her "crackling bread" (a corn bread-esque Southern dish speckled with pork rinds) to make her feel better. Try this version, which swaps blue cornmeal in for the traditional yellow, because Scout's feeling—well, you know, blue.
When the kids' classmate Walter Cunningham comes over for dinner, he shocks Scout by pouring syrup (or molasses) all over his meal, and Scout learns an important message about respecting company, especially at the dinner table. But we doubt she would have wondered "what in the Sam Hill" Walter was doing if he were eating a stack of these fluffy pancakes.
The Finch siblings had a favorite pastime of creeping through their elusive neighbor Boo Radley's yard. A lot goes down in the collard green patches outside the house. Relatedly, this may well have been similar to the meat and potatoes little Walter drowns with syrup.
Everyone thinks Dolphus Raymond is hiding booze in that brown paper bag of his. Turns out it's just a harmless bottle of Coca-Cola. This cocktail does contain alcohol, but if you want to teetotal like Mr. Raymond, use the sweet reduction to dress up ice cream or a plate of waffles.
Scout's brother, Jem, eats a smattering of bananas as he's trying to bulk up for a spot on the football team. That's one way, but the nearly two sticks of butter in this banana loaf could have helped as well.
We won't give anything away if you haven't read the book yet (PS—go read it), but the last and most important scene takes place with Scout inside a giant ham costume. Barefoot, no less.
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