Skip to main content

Poison (Oak) Honey #FoodieReads


I was so excited to read this book - At the Wolf's Table: A Novel by Rosella Postorino* - because its premise is fascinating! Based on the true story of the female tasters in Hitler's lair, this was a part of history that I think I've heard before, but certainly never looked at in any depth. These ten women, in the novel, were conscripted to taste Hitler's meals before he ate them to ensure that he wasn't being poisoned. I have no idea how many actual tasters there were.

So, history plus food...you would think I would be 'all in' for this one. The back-stories of those women. The relationships between them. It could have been so compelling. But I struggled to even finish this book.

Part of me wonders if it would be better in its original language, if maybe my disinterest is a product of a bad translation. My Italian is rusty, but it's passable. I might give it a try if I can get my hands on an original version. On the other hand: there are so many other books out there that I want to read, I'm not sure I want to devote anymore time to this story.

In any case, I wasn't inspired into the kitchen to create a recipe from this book. But the chapter when some of the tasters were fed poisoned honey made me think of the poison oak blossom honey that I have in my cabinet.

They say that if you eat pollen from a certain flower, you won't get allergies from that flower. It's said that Native Americans put poison oak leaves under their tongues and didn't get poison oak. Okay, I'm not risking it with poison oak, but I did buy this at a local farmers' market because I was intrigued. My husband has been eating it...and he seems fine.

Here's the passage about the poisoned cake...

"In the lunchroom I was also served dessert. Topped with a spoonful of yogurt, the cake looked fluffy. ... No dessert for her that day, but she had been given eggs and mashed potatoes. Eggs were one of the Führer's favorite foods. He liked them sprinkled with cumin. The sweetish smell reached my nostrils. ...'They don't care one bit about saving us.' Elfriede had pulled herself to her feet. Her stony face seemed to crumble as she added, 'They don't care one bit. They're only interested in finding out what it was that poisoned us. All they need to do is perform an autopsy on one of us tomorrow and they'll find out'" (Chapter 21).

Later, Ziegler, one of the SS officers, tells Rosa, one of the tasters, that it was the honey in the cake that had affected her.


Well, I'm moving on to my next read. Again, this was an interesting subject. It was just an uninteresting telling of the story.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

Click to see what everyone else read in October 2019: here.

Comments

  1. Really interesting review! I don't think I want to read it though.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so glad you posted this review. This was on my tbr list. Now I can remove it. How disappointing.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

#comfortfood: Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco with Bean Ragout

As one of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day Ambassadors ( I'm the Monterey #FRD2014 rep! ) I will be sent a copy of his latest cookbook - to cook from and write about. I can't wait. I do have to laugh though, because its title is  Comfort Food . And, according to a good friend:  I only make uncomfortable food . Oh, well. I can learn! To celebrate launch day - today - I'm sharing one of the recipes. Here's Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco alla Milanese recipe from his new cookbook, Comfort Food. And here's my adaptation. I typically don't eat veal, so I went to our local butcher for some lamb shanks sliced into an osso buco-style cut; but they had just sold their last shanks. Darn. But then I noticed the "never tethered...free to roam" on the veal package and decided to go for it. I added in shelling beans to make a ragout and served it over wild rice instead of risotto. Also, I used lots of different herbs in my gremolata instead of just pa