This is my first year participating in Vegan Month of Food (MoFo) and I am very excited to exhaust myself cooking and blogging throughout September. The theme I have chosen is “Paper Bound Food” which revolves around dishes mentioned in my favorite books (all of which are fantasy or sci-fi based). I’ll be giving a short review (no spoilers!) of each book, then making a food item either mentioned in the story or based around it.
I don’t believe in saving the best for last, so I’ll begin this Vegan MoFo with my favorite book ever, Sabriel by Garth Nix.
The story is centered around Sabriel, the daughter of the Abhorsen. The Abhorsen works in the Old Kingdom, a land of free magic and the Dead. Necromancers there use a set of seven bells (each with a different property) to make the Dead do their bidding. The Abhorsen does the opposite, using the bells to bind the dead and put them to rest.
While living at a boarding school in Ancelstierre, a non-magical and more modernized land near the Old Kingdom, Sabriel gets word her father has gone missing. She then makes the decision to travel to the Old Kingdom in search of him. This journey towards adulthood (and possibly her own death) makes Sabriel an extremely easy character to relate with and this is one of the few books I’ve read with a female main character who truly kicks butt throughout the whole story. This mission to save her father, and in turn also help save the Old Kingdom, involves many unique characters, including Mogget, a talking cat who is much more than he appears to be, Touchstone, a young Charter mage who has been trapped by magic for years, and of course the Dead who will not stay dead.
“With decision came action. Sabriel dropped her skis and pack, stuffed some dried fruit and homemade toffee in her mouth for quick energy, and adopted the meditative pose that made Charter Magic easier.” – Sabriel (paperback) page 79
Hours after beginning her travels through the perilous Old Kingdom, Sabriel must stop for a snack of dried fruit and toffee. So I chose to make my own combo of the two with cranberry toffee!
2 cups granulated white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
Place parchment paper on a lightly rimmed cookie sheet.
In a large saucepan on low heat, add the two sugars and margarine. Once the margarine melts, heat until everything is smooth and combined (about 10 minutes). Then turn the heat up to medium and bring to a boil. Add a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
Continue stirring the toffee until it reaches an amber color and the thermometer is at 300 degrees (about 5-7 minutes). Remove the pan from heat, stir in the cranberries and vanilla and then quickly pour onto the lined cookie sheet.
Put into the refrigerator until firm (around 15 minutes), then break into pieces and store in an air-tight container.