I have to admit, I have not yet read The Hunger Games, partly because it is never on the shelf! I have had the experience the article describes, of wanting to recreate the food from a book.
When I was a kid, I checked out The Little House Cookbook from my library several times and frequently kept it past its due date. I don’t think I ever made any of the recipes, but I went through sticking bits of paper when I saw ones I wanted to try– nearly every page.
The books with the best descriptions of food, of course, were the Chronicles of Narnia. One month my issue of Cricket magazine featured a recipe for oat cakes. It called for oat flour made by grinding oatmeal in the blender. I think I didn’t do that part quite right, because my mixture turned out runny, but I was thrilled to finally try them.
Imagine how excited I was when I started working at a library and found The Narnia Cookbook. It had two recipes for oat-cakes (I tried the one that was more like biscuits, which turned out better than the recipe from the magazine). I also learned that, as an American, I had been picturing entirely the wrong things when I read the words jelly and ices and sherbet. The first is gelatin; the second, ice cream; and the third, something like a smoothie.
The Secret Garden Cookbook was just as educational. I finally understood the roly poly pudding, which had mystified me as a kid because my concept of pudding involved lots of milk and an egg beater and a box of pudding mix. This pudding is more like a jelly roll made with biscuit dough, and it is delicious. I’m also sure that this is the first place I saw “spotted dick” outside of a Harry Potter book, though I can’t seem to find it as I browse through the book right now.
Hunger Games fans like the ones in the article aren’t the only ones who can make unofficial cookbooks. The library owns The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, which has recipes for both typical British food and the more exotic treats of the wizarding world. The recipes are pretty complex, more for experienced adults than for children, but they are fun for any fan to browse.