Food with Peter Pan is a funny thing. Sometimes it's real food and sometimes it's make believe...
"you never exactly knew whether there would be a real meal or just a make believe it all depended upon Peter's whim He could eat really eat if it was part of a game but he could not stodge just to feel stodgy which is what most children like"
I should never have attempted making Neverland cuisine, because let's face it... at 26 I am clearly too old to fully appreciate the appetite that comes from tromping through the forest all day with the lost boys. At the beginning of the week I had grand plans to make Rich Damp Pirate Cake with green frosting, or "Calabashes of Poe Poe". In the end though, I settled for Stodgy Yam Stew and Baked Mammee Apple Custard.
"The cooking I can tell you kept her nose to the pot Their chief food was roasted bread fruit yams cocoa nuts baked pig mammee apples tappa rolls and bananas washed down with calabashes of poe poe"
Stodgy Yam Stew Recipe:
2 T Olive Oil
1 Onion chopped
1 Large Sweet Potato, peeled and diced
2 Garlic Cloves Minced
4 C. Broth (vegetable, chicken or beef)
1 t. ground cumin
1 C. diced Zucchini
1 C cooked rice
6 oz. Crushed tomatoes
2 T creamy peanut butter (0ptional)
Saute Onion, Sweet potato, and garlic in oil until onion is soft.
Add broth, and cumin, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 min.
Stir in zucchini, rice, and crushed tomato. Continue to simmer until tender.
Finish with peanut butter and serve with a dollop of plain yogurt.
Although I'm sure Peter Pan doesn't care, this recipe is coincidentally gluten free and vegetarian (and it could be made peanut free easily).
Baked Mango Custard Recipe:
(I couldn't find Mammee Apples so I used Mangoes instead)
3 large eggs
1 C. Sugar
1 t. freshly grated lime zest
1. t lime juice
2 Mangoes peeled and diced
1/4 C Heavy Cream
Whipped cream for topping.
Put everything except for cream into a food processor and blend thoroughly.
Whisk in cream, pour into custard cups and bake at 350 for 25-30 min or until knife inserted comes out clean (ish).
I wasn't really a huge fan. My idea was to sort of combine sensible English dishes (stew and custard) with exotic and island like ingredients (yams and mangoes). Nice idea in theory, but I think it messed with my head. If I were served this at someones house or at a restaurant I probably would have loved it, but since I made it, all I could think about were things like "can I taste the lime enough?" "Wow, that peanut butter is weird" and "man this is too healthy for human consumption."
But proof that this was true Peter Pan food straight from Neverland... my kids loved it. Both of them gobbled up bowlfuls of the soup and smacked their lips over the mango custard. I didn't have any whipped cream or icecream which I think would have balanced the custard a little more, but apparently I was the only one who thought that. It was just me and the kids for dinner and I felt a little old and stodgy watching my kids delight in food that was apparently too far above my taste abilities.
So here's a toast of breadfruit juice, to wee kiddo's, tiny fairies, rebellious shadows, not growing up, and all things Peter Pan.