There are quite a few books that I recall causing gustatory dreams; so much so that I now own the Little House cookbook and one called Aunt Maud's Recipe Book -- LMM's family recipes. I loved the idea of raspberry cordial from Anne of Green Gables, and I am sure that my fixation with tea comes straight from Anne and Diana's pretension to adulthood in serving tea to one another. In Emily of New Moon there is mention of the pickles that the New Moon ladies are known for, and that seriously made me want to make my own pickles. Thank goodness my mother was skilled at it and could teach me! Then there are all those Enid Blyton books that made me want some ginger beer.
From The Magician's Nephew, in the Narnia series, I have always wished I could try the toffee tree which grew from a candy in Polly and Digory's pockets. Here's a land that is newly formed and still magical enough to grow a tree from the stickily wrapped toffee he and Polly plant:
The low early sunshine was streaming through the wood and the grass was grey with dew and the cobwebs were like silver. Just beside them was a little, very dark wooded tree, about the size of an apple tree. The leaves were whitish and rather papery, like the herb called honesty, and it was loaded with little brown fruits that looked rather like dates.... Polly and Digory got to work on the toffee-tree. The fruit was delicious; not exactly like toffee - softer for one thing, and juicy - but like fruit which reminded one of toffee.
A fictional meal you would like to have attended:The Mad Hatter's tea party, of course! It still makes me laugh reading it over. But there are many more I'd like to sit in on.
A memorable work of fiction set in a restaurant or a café:
Anne DeGrace's Wind Tails is a novel of many stories. It is centred around Cass' Roadside Diner, in an Albertan mountain pass, and follows a large cast of characters who move to, from and back to the diner again. With hitchhikers, truck drivers, bored policemen, hippies and diner staff alike taking their parts, this is a varied collection of tales to fascinate you.
As everyone's been mentioning, from reading The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe I thought that Turkish Delight would be heavenly. It wasn't.
Or how about a book that didn't live up to the memory of food? I read Miss Osborne the Mop around Grade 3 or so, and the main thing I remembered about it was that the female character found a magic pair of glasses that would bring to life anything looked at through them. She and her boy companion look at a chocolate cake in a magazine and it pops into reality, and my goodness, how that cake lived in three layer glory in my imagination, shining with its chocolatey potential. How disappointed I was upon rereading it when I found that the children were unsatisfied with the cake; it didn't fill them or please them the way a Really Real cake would have. I suppose there's a didactic lesson to be learned there, since the rest of the book was mainly about housecleaning.
An unappetizing food description from fiction:
From one of my favourites from childhood, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, a lesson in how not to make cornmeal mush:
Toward evening they set her to the easiest task they could devise -- the making of corn pudding. The corn meal had to be added to the boiling kettle a pinch at a time. Before half of it was consumed, Kit's patience ran out. The smoke made her eyes water, and there was a smarting blister on one thumb. She suspected that Judith had invented the irksome procedure just to keep her busy, and in a burst of resentment she poured in the remaining cupful all at once. She learned her mistake when the lumpy indigestible mess was ladled onto her wooden trencher. There was nothing else for supper. After one shocked stare, the family downed the mess in a silence that made Kit writhe.
A recipe you've tried or a meal you've recreated from fiction:I've had madeleines and linden flower tea in honour of Proust (though I must say that linden itself turns rather slimy which is a bit offputting when cleaning the pot. Use teabags.)
As for a direct recipe, I once made banana filled cinnamon buns from a recipe in one of Diane Mott Davidson's mystery novels. It was for a library luncheon and the dough was rising so much it was overflowing the mixing bowl so I quickly tried to fill it and roll it out before it became The Blob. It was my first try at yeast bread and despite everything they turned out AMAZING and everyone asked which bakery I'd got them at. He he he.
I don't really associate anything much besides tea. I love to have a cup of tea with my reading, which often leads to a surfeit of caffeine, all the better to stay up late reading... Otherwise I don't eat and read at the same time very often; I can't recall doing it very often as a child either.