The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

25 Oct

“The fish and greens are already cooking in a stew, but that will be for supper. We decide to save the strawberries and bakery bread for this evening’s meal, to make it special we say.”

– Part I: The Tributes, Chapter 1.

The Hunger Games is an embarrassment of riches for me. Between the constant fight against starvation in District 12 and the over-the-top culinary indulgence of the Capitol; almost every chapter brings us a new meal. There will be many posts dedicated to this trilogy; as we have much to eat.

In this meal in the novel; Katniss trades for her bakery bread, so in the spirit of the novel;, I did the same. I traded some money for bread, and I think both I and the Standard Baking Company made out like Greasy Sae at the Hob.

Use a hearty green like kale, collard greens or chard that can stand up to a good simmer. The last thing you want is to spend all afternoon at the Reaping, crossing your fingers your children don’t get seleced to battle to the death and then return home to a stew full of sickly greens. No bueno.

So, besides fish and greens – what does this stew look like? To be true to the novel, you can’t just add whatever you like; because District 12 doesn’t necessarily have whatever you like. So, here’s my thoughts on this fish stew:

We know that potato-like tubers grow in District 12; as Katniss is named after them. It seems to me that if the terrain and atmosphere of District 12 support tubers and wild strawberries; you might also be able to find some member of the wild onion family growing. Wild leeks grow well in much of the coal-rich Appalachian areas f today; so let’s include them in our stew. Coming from New England; many people’s first thought upon hearing “fosh stew” would be a chowder – but I don’t see that. Although the Everdeen gals have access to milk thanks to Prim’s goat; I just can’t imagine Katniss indulging so many resources in one meal – even a celebratory one. She is ever aware that she has a family to feed and provide for every day of the year; not just on the evening of the Reaping.

So, what I envision is a very simple fish stew made with fish, whatever sort of greens you can find groing in your District, and perhaps small quantities of tuber (potatoes for most), onion or leek, and garlic.

Katniss’ FIsh Stew with Greens

What you’ll need:

  • 4 cups seafood or fish stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of greens – I used chard, but kale and collard greens should work well too
  • 1 cup of potatoes that have been chopped to bite size
  • 3/4 pound of white fish, cut into 1″ by 1″ chunks
  • tiny bit of butter or olive oil
  • light seasoning to taste: salt, pepper, herbs

What you’ll do:

  1. In a soup pot, warm the stock and water while, in a separate pan, you saute the leeks and garlic in a bit of olive oil or butter just until fragrant – take care not to burn the garlic. When they are done, add to the stock.
  2. Season to taste with choice of herbs, salt and pepper.
  3. Add in your potatoes and greens and simmer for about 30 minutes; until potatoes and greens are tender.
  4. Add fish to simmering stock; cook until fish is just cooked through (just a few minutes), then turn off heat.
  5. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  6. Serve with warm bakery bread and wild strawberries. Hug your children.

One Response to “The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins”

  1. amazingmcgee November 9, 2012 at 8:59 PM #

    This is exactly how I pictured it! This blog is a really cool idea 🙂

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