It's a new week, so I've got a new theme. This week's theme is comic books. Yup. I'm going to write five posts about food inspired by comic books and it's going to be just as nerdy as you expect it to be. Oh yes. Let's kick things off with Jeff Lemire's Sweet Tooth.
Sweet Tooth tells the story of Gus, a human/deer hybrid born around the time The Sickness killed a large portion of the population and human/non-human hybrids started being born. After his father dies of The Sickness, Gus is left in the woods to fend for himself, until he meets Mr. Jeppard, who offers help, but may only be out to help himself. Then lots of other things happen.
I like comics (obviously), but I'm not really into superheroes, time travel or space ships. I love a good apocalypse, though, and Sweet Tooth is a fresh look at what people can be capable of when their whole lives have been turned upside down and they've lost everything they love. Think The Stand with antlers.
Anyway, there's a great interaction between Gus and Jeppard when they settle in for their first night together. Jeppard has hunted up some dinner for them, leading to the following exchange:
(Sorry for the shitty scan. And if you're Jeff Lemire or a representative of Vertigo or DC Comics, sorry for scanning it at all. I just want to share it with people and encourage them to buy it. You can't argue with that, right? Please?)
Gus was raised a vegetarian, which is awesome (actually, almost all of the hybrids we've encountered so far have been with herbivorous animals and the one carnivore wasn't very nice). Whether it's because he's part deer or because his father was ethically opposed to eating meat (or if his father was opposed to eating meat because his son was part deer), we still don't know.
Jeppard's reaction is right up there with "PETA stands for 'People Eating Tasty Animals'" and "If you were stranded on a dessert island with a cow, would you eat it?" But he comes around and offers Gus a Crunch bar, which he was shown to love earlier in the comic. Not exactly nutritionally balanced, but it made Gus happy (and earned him the nickname Sweet Tooth).
Jeff Lemire is Canadian and one of his other books, Essex County (which is AMAAAAAYZING), was recently nominated one of the best Canadian fiction books of the last decade, which is pretty damn cool (he also created The Nobody, which is in my giant To Be Read pile). Keeping that in mind, I broke out my copy of More Than Twigs and Berries and made Nanaimo Squares, a traditional Canadian treat I think Gus would love. It's made up of three layers: a chocolate cookie crumb and coconut bottom, cream in the middle and hard chocolate on the top. To really make it suit Gus' tastes, I tossed a few handfuls of crispy rice cereal (but not enough) into the chocolate layer to make it crunch.
It's delicious, but very sweet and VERY rich, making it suited to small portions (and making me suited to less guilt; it's really not the kind of thing I can eat a whole pan of, which is a novelty). It doesn't require any baking, but it still takes quite some time to make (most inactive) because each layer needs to chill for at least thirty minutes before you start the next. It's also very messy and I found it to be impossible to photograph appetizingly (but that's true of most of my food, isn't it?), so you'll have to trust me on the tastiness factor.
And that's Day One of Comics Week! Come back tomorrow for more geekery!