Wednesday, February 20, 2013

StoryBook Club meets Rumplestiltskin

Rumplestiltskin. Well, that IS quite a name. Not one that would be easily guessed! It's a throw back to the German Rumpelstilzchen with literally means "little rattle stilt" which is a pole. A rumpelstilz was also the name of a type of goblin that made noises by rattling posts or rapping on planks. A mischievous spirit or poltergeist.

This complicated story is also a throw back to the way society was structured.

Themes included:
Status, Hierarchy (King/Peasantry) 

Greed (Gold and items of worth were traded as currency)

Women as objects of little worth (slaves/objects to be bargained for/baby producers) Hell, the female main character didn't even have a NAME. She was always referred to as "The Miller's Daughter" or "The Queen" (i.e "The King's wife")

Power (Miller over his daughter/King over the girl/Rumplestiltskin over the girl/Queen over Rumplestiltskin)

Value and Worth (girl of little value till King hears she can spin straw into gold/ Gold is of equal worth as the things the girl cherishes: her mothers' necklace and ring/her child)

The Power of a Name (reputation "King"/ evil unnamed is more powerful than evil that has a name- i.e. "He who shall not be named" is more of a threat because when something has a name you can have power over it. This is like Voldemort (eeek! I spelled it!) and also in Homer's "The Odyssey" when Odysseus tells the Cyclops "my name is Nobody" which protects him later on).

Alchemy (straw into gold/ girl into Queen/ Rumplestiltskin into 2)

Oh so much to talk about in this story!!

The female in this story was a survivor as most women had to be without a dowry back then. She did what she could with what she had. It's what women still do to this day. She was traded for power, she gave up her family to appease her King, gave up her mother's inheritance for her lover, gave up her virginity to satisfy the marriage deal for survival. She even had to agree to give up her children to be raised in a suspect manner in order to live. How'ere, thankfully, the truth (altho' treacherously hidden) in this Grimm story DOTH WIN OUT in the end!
She gets to keep her own child and her new identity by her own cunning.


We met at Rob & Korinna's house and they made us all feel quite comfy!

We also had a lot of fun playing with a Mad Lib that Christine helped us all put together. We played a round the room guessing game of the possible names for Rumplestiltskin which was also a lot of fun! Such good folks that come together and chat about many things...from mundane to scientific. And bonus? We can swear :)

And of course....

The FOOD!! It was a "GOLDEN Night!" in honor of Rumplestiltskin's Power!

Golden Hummus and crusty golden bruschetta bread, Golden Onion Soup with Saffron, Golden Straw (whole wheat pasta and cheese sauce/with fresh parsley), Golden Eggs, and Golden Pound Cake with Pineapple and Whip Cream. To drink there was some fabulous white wine and also Galliano- a wonderful herbal anise liqueur! As ALWAYS...the menu came together and was just fabulous! Especially delightful was Ed's Soup (a medieval recipe) and Rob's Hummus (will post recipe on the end of this note). The liqueur was 43% alcohol. No wonder I was tipsy with that after the wine! :)

We watched a couple of short videos about the subject matter: From Faery Tale Theatre the story of Rumplestiltskin with Shelly Duval and also from Once Upon a Time, the story "Skin Deep" with Mr. Gold.

It was indeed a Golden Night and we thank Rob and Korinna for hosting!

Next Month we shall visit an Animalistic tale!

Beauty & The Beast!
Lemony Chickpea Bruschetta

 2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight and drained
1 small carrot
1 celery rib
1 small onion, halved
1 small fennel bulb, halved
5 garlic cloves
3 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 preserved lemon—pulp discarded and peel finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
In a saucepan, cover the chickpeas with water. Add the carrot, celery, onion, fennel, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over low heat until the chickpeas are tender, about 1 hour. Let the chickpeas cool in the liquid to room temperature, then drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Discard the vegetables and herbs.
Set aside 1/2 cup of the chickpeas. In a food processor, puree the remaining chickpeas with the reserved 3/4 cup of cooking liquid and the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Scrape the puree into a large bowl, stir in the parsley, preserved lemon peel, lemon juice and the reserved 1/2 cup of chickpeas and serve.
NOTES One Serving 241 cal, 11 gm fat, 1.2 gm sat fat, 28 gm carb, 8 gm fiber. SERVE WITH Ciabatta toasts.

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