I consider Philippa Gregory chick lit of history buffs. I have read all of her books on Tudor England, including her most successful, The Other Boleyn Girl. Gregory covered the Tudors from all possible angles - telling the stories of all of Henry VIII's six wives as well as his daughter Queen Elizabeth. As soon as I finish any of her books I jump on wikipedia to read the real story of the historical characters in her novels. Gregory is extremely accurate in her depiction of historical events, and always acknowledges when she takes fictional liberties. The White Queen is the beginning of a new series for Gregory, focusing on the predecessors to the Tudors, the Plantagenets - these are the folks of the war of the roses. The White Queen tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, an ambitious noblewoman who catches the eye and heart of King Edward IV, the first York, King. The novel is romantic, swooney (I know that isn't a real word!) and also violent. Gregory depicts both the bedroom and the battlefield vividly. Elizabeth was called The White Queen because the banner of her husbands family, the Yorks, is a white rose (while the banner of their enemies family, the Lancasters, is a red rose.) I decided on a large white pavlova for The White Queen, topped with fluffy white whipped cream, but then topped with blood red berries to represent the bloody battles in the book.
I am back from my moving hiatus and back in the kitchen, and a new one at that! Sorry to be MIA for so long, but moving has a way of throwing everything off kilter, especially your kitchen. Well my kitchen was the first room I unpacked in my new place so now I am ready to blog, even if I can't find my fall clothes! I am thrilled to be starting back with Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna. She is one of my favorite authors and her books don't come out that often, so I have been anxiously awaiting The Lacuna to come out in paperback. The book did not disappoint, both from the perspective of a reader and a cook! Food is an integral part of the book, as the lead character, Harrison Shepard, serves for many years as the cook to Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. And the famous cameos don't end there, Trotsky also features in the book, which spans from the twenties to the McCarthy era 50's, from Mexico to Washington D.C. to Asheville North Carolina. For me it seemed quite different than other Kingsolver books, but I loved them and I love these books two. Since there is so much food here, I will cook for two weeks from this book. First sweet, then savory. I start with Pan Dulce, which Harrison was especially skilled at making and which was Diego Rivera's favorite. These are Mexican sweet morning buns - basically a challah bun covered in a thick layer of frosting. Yum. After I sampled my handy work I immediately scared down a second one. I felt ill afterward for sure, but who cares, these are irresistible!