Fantastic food: Eat like the talking mice of ‘Redwall’

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It’s a meal fit for a mouse!

A local chef will dish out a four-course meal inspired by a children’s tale of medieval mice this weekend. The Redwall Dinner, at the Court Tree Collective in Carroll Gardens on May 21, will replicate some of the feasts held in the Redwall saga written by Brian Jacques. The creator of the Table of Contents Supper Club is a big fan of the books, and said that their lavish eating scenes made the series a perfect choice for the latest literary dinner.

“When I want to organize a dinner, I often think back to a book which has good descriptions of food and ‘Redwall’ was one of those books,” said Park Slope chef Mackensie Griffin.

The 22-book Redwall series follows a group of heroic mice, moles, and squirrels living at tiny Redwall Abbey and its nearby woods, doing battle with evil weasels, snakes, and crows — in between bouts of foraging for food and brewing beer. The stories offered plenty of culinary inspiration, said Griffin.

“The characters feast pretty often in the series and — as with humans in medieval abbey — they have feasts for celebrations and holidays,” she said. “The animals are often fighting battles in the series, so they always have a feast after they win the battle against the evil animals. I’d say they have feasts several times within each book.”

Griffin used quotes from the books to inspire each course, and each quote will appears on a placemat during the meal.

“I think this will keep everyone connected to the text and can inspire conversati­on,” said Griffin.

The mostly-vegetarian meal will include courses of “Oatcake with Honeycomb and Flowers” and “Walnut Bread with Goat Cheese and Apple.” The heroic animals of the book do not eat other mammals or birds, but non-speaking seafood is fair game, so Griffin’s meal will also include some shrimp served with rose and deviled barley.

Griffin will also decorate the hall to give it the feel of a primeval forest.

“There’s a lot of nature described in book, so there’s definitely going to be a lot of green on the table, and I’m going to decorate the table with a lot of natural elements so the guests feel like they are eating outside,” she said. “A wasp nest that I found in the woods is going to be the centerpiece and I might bring some animal masks as well.”

And even those who are not familiar with the series can appreciate the food and the company, said Griffin.

“It’s a good way to meet new people, because you don’t know who’s coming, but they’re all sitting together at one table and unified by one theme and everyone is eating the same thing,” she said.

Redwall Dinner at Court Tree Collective [371 Court St., second floor, between First Place and Carroll Street in Carroll Gardens, (718) 422–7806,]. May 21 at 6:30 pm. $65.

Updated 5:59 pm, July 9, 2018
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