The Series of Unfortunate Events – The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket is about the beginning of the very unfortunate story of the Baudelaire siblings. I will let you know, as the author does on the first few pages, that this story does not end happily. The three children are Violet, the inventor, Klaus, the knowledgeable book-lover, and Sunny, the infant who loves to bite things. Due to a terrible and mysterious fire, the trio become orphans and are sent away to live with a distant relative, Count Olaf. Although optimistic about their new lives with Olaf, they soon learns that he is a villain that will stop at nothing to gain the fortune their late parents left them.
This book is full of mysteries within mysteries. Who started the fire that killed their parents? What does VFD stand for and who are its members? And why are all these terrible things happening to the Baudelaire children? Some of these things are answered throughout the thirteen book series, while other mysteries are left up to the reader to decide. Either way with its macabre content and Snicket’s unique writing style, it is a good and easy read.
“For most of the afternoon, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny cooked the puttanesca sauce according to the recipe. Violet roasted the garlic and washed and chopped the anchovies. Klaus peeled the tomatoes and pitted the olives. Sunny banged on a pot with a wooden spoon, singing a rather repetitive song she had written herself. And all three of the children felt less miserable than they had since their arrival at Count Olaf’s.” – The Bad Beginning (paperback) page 44
A famous part of the first book (and the movie based on it) is when the children finally serves the aforementioned puttanesca to Count Olaf and his theater troupe, and the adults demand roast beef instead. Of course, because of this the poor orphans are punished for yet another thing out of their control. But I would prefer a pasta dish any day over a slab of carcass, hence the chosen title for this post.
The puttanesca was delicious! I followed a recipe based on the book ingredients, except without the anchovy paste. It was very simple and fast, but amazing. The olives added saltiness while the capers added a nice bite. I’ll definitely be making this again.