Roast Duck with Cassava and Dandelion Greens

For Cook the Books Club, our latest read has been The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins.  An inspired selection, for which the challenge was coming up with food to match.  Perhaps something from the extravagant feasts of the Capitol higher-ups or relating to the frugal, hungry foraging of the masses.

I had put off reading this particular book, not only because it is classed as "Young Adult", but its category, Science Fiction, is not my usual choice.  As a teen I went through an intense period of reading only this genre.  Perhaps got it out of my system.  Well, except for the Eve Dallas thrillers (by J.D. Robb), which do appear occasionally in my stack.  However all the adults I questioned gave it a thumbs up.  And, I must say, I was hooked right from the first page.  What a terrific read.  Even though you come to realize that nothing is really resolved or happy ever after, given that world.

At the same time, a scary reminder of what can all too easily happen in our own world.  As Gale muses, "It's to the Capitol's advantage to have us divided among ourselves."  Harkening to our recent elections as well as the continuing media and governmental drive to divide, by economic status and color.  So, not a completely lightweight book, but one which gets you to think as well as be entertained.

My inspiration for our cooking challenge came from the book's characters, Gale and Katniss, foraging and hunting in the forest, using whatever they could, to keep themselves and their families from starvation.  When Bob and I bought the property we live on here in Hawaii, one ideal (back in the day) was to grow some of our own food, to be able to survive if necessary, in an emergency situation, on what we could produce.  As I mentioned, an ideal.

So for this meal, duck traded with a friend, and cassava grown in our garden along with greens. Especially dandelions I thought, since they're not really cultivated, but foraged, would be a good survival meal.  Along with a glass of Lemon Mead, not necessary for existence, but groovy and  made from our own lemons.