“Mrs. Beaver’s Leftover Fry” by Astrid Tuttle Winegar
The four Pevensie children share a few hours with the Beavers in their snug little home on top of a well-managed dam (“Merely a trifle!”). There’s beer, bread, and butter, “hams and strings of onions hanging from the roof,” and Peter and Mr. Beaver manage to catch some fish. You know from my last post that they have a sticky marmalade roll for dessert. I’m going to assume that Mrs. Beaver made PLENTY of food and probably had lots leftover, so I’ve come up with a savory recipe to use up some of those goodies.
After discovering that Edmund had snuck out to rendezvous with the White Witch, Mrs. Beaver really goes into action, packing supplies for their own escape—”You didn’t think we’d set out on a journey with nothing to eat, did you?” Ham, tea, sugar, breads; let’s say she took some of those boiled potatoes and inevitably some onions as well. Perhaps some fish was leftover? I always thought it was so amusing that she wanted to bring her sewing machine along; if her machine is anything like mine, they’d need a crane to carry it. Undoubtedly, she brought a heavy skillet instead (also handy as a weapon, if necessary…).
“Mrs. Beaver’s Leftover Fry”
About 1 pound cold, cooked small red potatoes (unpeeled; cut into about ¾” chunks)
2 tablespoons salted butter
About ¾ pound diced onion
About ½ pound diced cooked ham
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
1 cup heavy cream
Coat a 5-quart deep skillet with cooking spray. Melt the butter over very high heat. Over fairly high heat, sauté the onion, ham, and seasonings for 10 minutes, shaking pan often. You’ll want to get some golden brown potatoes going here. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Then cook all over the lowest heat possible for 3-5 minutes until it’s nice and saucy; stir a few times. Season, if desired. Cover and chill leftovers. Serves 4.
Need some garnish? A few tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley or other herbs would be nice. Want to use up some leftover cooked fish? Add this with the cream addition, instead of the ham.
Astrid Tuttle Winegar
Astrid Tuttle Winegar is the author of Cooking for Halflings & Monsters: 111 Comfy, Cozy Recipes for Fantasy-Loving Souls, which is currently available exclusively in e-book form on the Amazon Kindle, but will soon be released by Oloris Publishing! Stay tuned for details. For now, she is mostly telling a culinary Middle-earth story here on Legendarium. Astrid has loved C. S. Lewis since childhood, J. R. R. Tolkien since middle and high school, all Star things, both Trek and Wars, all things Whedon, and many other things besides… She lives in the enchanted city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband and dog. She blogs occasionally at http://halflingsandmonsters.wordpress.com. You can check out (and like!) her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/astridtuttlewinegar or visit her Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/astridwinegar.