Simple European Fare in Honor of Charles Dickens’ 200th Birthday

Google has created a gorgeous image celebrating the life of Charles Dickens today, and seeing as how he is one of my personal favorite authors, I thought I would be pretentious (just a little) and school you on the man, his writing and the style of food that one would expect from the U.K. I promise that it is more in the style of Great Expectations and not Oliver Twist! Please: read some more!

What do you need to know about Charlie Dickens? (Yes, we’re on close terms, I can call him ‘Charlie’)

His novel David Copperfield was autobiographical. Naturally it was also his personal favorite of all his works.

Dickens’ father created his need for entertaining and imparting knowledge; he would make Charles sing songs and create stories for the clerks he worked with when Charles was a young boy.

When Dickens was only 10 years old, he made to work in a factory to pay off his father’s debts. This experience is evident in many of his tragic (and I’ll admit – depressing) works, which also happen to be pieces of literary genius.

Dickens, a bit of an oddball, had a pet raven named Grip. He had it stuffed when it died in 1841.

His best work is Great Expectations (in my humble opinion). Characters like the scorned bride Mrs. Havisham and young Pip and his lifelong obsession with the seemingly cold-hearted Estella are true works of pure genius on the part of the author. One of my favorite film adaptations is the 1998 film starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke. A new adaptation is forthcoming starring Helena Bonham Carter and directed by Harry Potter alum Mike Newell. Prince Charles helped celebrate the author in London today along with actor Ralph Fiennes, who read from the novel Bleak House.

British food doesn’t have to be awful, FYI!

Here are some standout dishes I love:

English Pea Casserole
Spotted Dick
Classic Fish and Chips
Eton Mess
Quick and Easy Shepherd’s Pie
British Whiskey Chicken
Yorkshire Pudding

British Breakfast!

Tell me: What is your favorite author? Do you have a favorite British entree? Let me know in the COMMENTS!

Until next time, foodies!

Emilie

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  • Melissa

    Great Expectations is my favorite Charles Dickens book. It was the first book I remember being homesick for. After it was over, I missed being in that world. Maybe I should read it with some Fig pudding.

  • http://www.recipe4living.com Emilie

    I think you should, Melissa! Try this fig nut square recipe: http://www.recipe4living.com/recipes/fig_nut_squares.htm

    And you can always eat a Fig Newton if you’re in a rush. YUM!

  • Tyra

    Happy birfday Charles!

  • Maryanne

    I love a big british breakfast!

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