There is something magical about fairytales that goes beyond the fairies and magic. They speak to the child within us, the part of us that would still like to believe that anything is possible, that good always wins over evil, and that if we only believed hard enough, we could fly. The magic of these stories has more to do with the reaction they invoke in us than whether or not the beans will grow a giant beanstalk or if true love’s kiss can cure a coma. In these tales of heroes and villains, we find wonder, heroism, faith, belief, justice, honor, and inspiration.
Fairytales are also part of our shared experience. No matter where you grew up, how much or little your family had, or how you were raised, you know who Snow White, Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel, Alice, Goldilocks, and the Beast are and you know their stories. Perhaps this is why fairytales can be seen everywhere today from Broadway’s Wicked to TV’s Once Upon a Time to the big screen’s Snow White and the Huntsman and Jack the Giant Slayer. We seem to be as enchanted with these lesson laden tales now as we were when the Brothers Grimm published their very first book.
This month, you can share your love of fairytales with those around you by participating in Tell a Fairytale Day on February 26th. A great way to feature everyone’s favorite fairytale is to make a fairytale menu that lasts from breakfast to dessert. Have each member of your family pick their favorite fairytale and then use the foods from those stories to create your menu. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Goldilocks’ Porridge – Make your own “porridge” with this recipe for Mama Bear’s Porridge or this one for Steel Cut Oatmeal
- Red Riding Hood – Since she was taking a basket of baked goods to Grandma’s house, make a basket of your own baked treats including Banana Bran Muffins, Blueberry Muffins, Rosemary Muffins with Goat Cheese, and Yummy Nutmeg Donuts.
- Rapunzel – The story starts with a witch and a garden and some stolen veggies which means any type of salad fits this tale to a “T” including the Country Garden Salad, Join the Party Salad, and the Farmer’s Favorite Salad.
- Stone Soup – This story, which teaches cooperation, features soup with a variety of ingredients which makes it easy to fit it into your fairytale menu. Try making up a pot of Albondigas Meatball Soup or Chicken and Wild Rice Soup which both feature many ingredients just like the soup in the story.
- Hansel & Gretel – Most people would pick candy as the central culinary theme of this story, but we think the breadcrumbs are just as important plus, they make for a more nutritious dish. Try Basil Butter Sweet Potato Patties or Easy Meatloaf.
- Jack and the Beanstalk – This may be the easiest fairytale to match to your menu because virtually any dish that features beans will do. You could make Ranch Beans and Chicken or even Tostados for your main course. Recipes featuring beans can also provide the perfect side dish including Fennel Spinach Pasta or Honey Bacon Green Bean Bundles.
- Snow White – You can’t have a fairytale menu without a few apples and when it comes to apples, Show White is the tale worth telling. Finish off your fairytale day with Apple Crisp, Baked Apples, or Red Hot Stuffed Apples.
All it takes to make this a fabulous day filled with fairytales and folklore is a little imagination and some delicious dishes. Share the stories with each other as you share each meal together and your day is guaranteed to be magical.
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