“Always a tea-drinker”? You’re in for a spooky night with Bram Stoker

As a dedicated lover of Gothic fiction (as I’m sure you’ve found out if you are a regular reader), my favourite time of year is when I get to read spooky short stories to my students. Stories such as Poe’s “The Black Cat” and Wells’s “The Red Room” should always be read aloud and as dramatically as possible in order to build up tension and … Continue reading “Always a tea-drinker”? You’re in for a spooky night with Bram Stoker

Perfecting Pfannkuchen with Lauren Owen (The Quick, 2014)

Recipe When Nico and I decided to make pfannkuchen, I felt more than a little trepidation. Lauren’s characters eat tasty baked potatoes, dripping with melted butter, or they tuck into hearty winter soups. Although I could have produced a recipe for either of these with ease, Nico felt that was a little boring. So we choose pfannkuchen instead. There are two types of this German sweet – … Continue reading Perfecting Pfannkuchen with Lauren Owen (The Quick, 2014)

Kneading bread: temptation in Christina Rossetti’s ‘Goblin Market’ (1862)

The nursery rhyme sounds of Christina Rossetti’s most famous poem, ‘Goblin Market’, chimed through my childhood and were probably among the earliest sources of my interest in poetry. Yet this ambivalent tale is underpinned by darkness, rhythmic instability, and contradictory interpretations. The narrative is simple: two sisters, Laura and Lizzie, hear goblins calling them to buy mysterious fruit. But they know they shouldn’t eat it. Laura’s willpower breaks … Continue reading Kneading bread: temptation in Christina Rossetti’s ‘Goblin Market’ (1862)

Places and pies in Edith Wharton’s “Ethan Frome” (1911)

Welcome back to the Literary Kitchen! As the last leaves fall and December arrives we leave Belfast (see the last post below) to embark on the long journey to the New World. More specifically, to the symbolically named Starkfield, New England, at the turn of the twentieth century. Spaces and places are central to all of Wharton’s novels, and Ethan Frome is no exception. However, … Continue reading Places and pies in Edith Wharton’s “Ethan Frome” (1911)