Family, Food and Game of Thrones

Lemon Cakes

My version of Sansa’s Lemon Poppy Seed Mini-Bundts with Almond Glaze

You may not be a fan of the fantasy genre or perhaps you don’t even watch television, but chances are you know something about Game of Thrones. It’s inescapable. The premise of GoT didn’t initially appeal to me and I’ve never been one to devotedly follow a TV show, so I was three seasons behind before I succumbed to the pressure of media frenzy and watched the first episode. One hit is all it took—I was hooked, and the more I watched, the more invested I became.  As I disappeared into the complex world of GoT, it infiltrated mine.

An embarrassing number of hours were spent catching up those first few weeks. Then Sundays (when episodes are unveiled) turned into a regular date night with the new guy I was seeing. We joked that our relationship would fall apart as soon as the season ended (TBD! It’s only been two weeks since the finale.). The work water cooler was surrounded by talk of Tyrian’s latest speech or Joffrey’s fresh kill. My Facebook feed was filled with spoilers. GoT had quickly seeped into my daily life in many more ways than I anticipated.

By far, the best thing to come out of my obsession with GoT was the impact it had on weekly dinners with my parents. Because what do families love to talk about over a meal more than other people’s screwed up families? Nothing! I soon realized that the dialogue that spawned from watching the show was as much a part of the GoT experience as the show itself.

GoT offers something for everyone—sex, violence, intrigue, mystery—and, at the most basic level, it’s about family. As wild as this imaginary realm can be with its dragons and ice zombies, there are parallels to reality. Much like our own family members, characters in GoT are complex people who can’t be divided into tidy categories of “good” and “bad.” Some naturally lean in the direction of evil while others are pushed into dubious behavior by circumstance. And, just like in real life, our actions sometimes result in disproportionately vicious consequences despite our best intentions.

There’s nothing new about the concept that families connect over suppertime. Most of my family’s conversation happens over a bean burrito or a plate of spaghetti. But GoT not only shaped the topics of our dinner conversation, it ended up influencing the food. Stimulated by our discussions and inspired by the show’s cuisine, I designed a Game of Thrones themed menu and table for Father’s Day, which also happened to mark season four’s final episode.

Baking is my forte, and I have a bad habit of planning every meal around dessert. This menu was no exception. Lemon cakes immediately came to mind as a nod to Sansa Stark’s favorite treat, so I decided on Lemon Poppy Seed Mini-Bundts with Almond Glaze. Citrus and almond are a quintessential Mediterranean flavor combination, perfect for invoking the sunny sophistication of King’s Landing.

In contrast, the main course paid homage to the warm and smoky comfort foods of the frozen North—a basic, hearty beef and vegetable stew with a side of cornbread to sop up the remnants, like a hungry man of the Night’s Watch.

Night's Watch Beef & Vegetable Stew

Image: movitabeaucoup.com

The table itself was reminiscent of a Medieval banquet but with a Wildling twist, complete with silver goblets, exotic linens and various tribal knick-knacks, including an arrow and a cow horn.

Game of Thrones table

My Game of Thrones-themed table

It was fun, simple and tasty fare, my favorite kind. Most importantly it was shared while making memories with people I love. Food, family and fodder for the mind—more than one has come to expect from a gory TV show. The only downside? What will we talk about until next season? Sorry, Joneses! It’s back to you.

“It’s the family name that lives on. That’s all that lives on.
Not your personal glory, not your honor, but family.”
– Tywin Lannister

2 thoughts on “Family, Food and Game of Thrones

  1. Kitty Lemieux, Not only did I enjoy your writing and taste bud ideas. The pictures are fabulous a very nice presentations nice colors. I am impressed by the look and function of the website.
    Sincerely Yours
    Patrick

  2. Pingback: Valar Morghulis, or All Men Must Eat Brie - KITTY LEMIEUX

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