Dystopian societies are one of my favorite book themes, and City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau definitely fits into that category. The people of Ember live entirely underground. The Builders, who created the city years ago to save the human race from the apocalypse, made sure the people had everything they needed to live. Ember thrived for a while, but now things seem to be taking a turn for the worst. The city is running low on stored food, new crops, and electricity. Two teens, Doon and Lina, then discover a piece of ancient parchment from a former mayor of the city, which may reveal a way out of Ember and a chance for survival. Will these two teenagers be able to decipher the words of the past and save the people of Ember, or will their underground haven turn into a tomb?
““What is it?” asked Lina. Clary had a habit of answering questions in the briefest possible way. You had to keep asking and asking before she would believe you really wanted to know and weren’t just being polite. Then she would explain, and you could see how much she knew, and how much she loved her work.
“I’ll show you,” she said. She led the way to a bed where the green leaves were spotted with black. “A new disease. I haven’t seen it before. When you dig up the potatoes, they’re runny inside instead of hard, and they stink. I’m going to have to throw out all the ones in this bed. There are only a few beds left that aren’t infected.”
Most people in Ember had potatoes at every meal – mashed, boiled, stewed, roasted. They’d had fried potatoes, too, in the days before the cooking oil ran out.
“I’d hate it if we couldn’t have potatoes anymore,” Lina said.
“I would, too,” said Clary.” – City of Ember (paperback) page 61
I think that I could definitely live in the City of Ember because I love potatoes. But almost any potato dish I make is also going to have some amount of oil in it. So going oil-free for this dish, since Ember has run out of cooking oil, was a new experience for me.
I used Gluten Free Vegan Girl’s recipe and these were surprisingly good. Except they were a little less crispy than recipes that use oil, more similar to a boiled or baked potato. But still delicious with a side of ketchup! I meant to take pictures of the potatoes (even though they weren’t all that pretty), but somehow managed to forget. So just invision some crescent-shaped potatoes covered with herbs. 😀