August 8, 2015

Post #4020 – 20150808

Hello Daniel!
I'm not sure if this is something you'd be interested in or just silly fan nonsense, but my friend and I have a project where we make food from our favorite books. And since the Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death is one of my favorites, possibly my most favorite, we made our version of Beanbender's sausages with baked potatoes and beer…and had some adventures along the way.
If you are interested, you can find a report here:

Daniel replies:

Literature inspired by life, life inspired by literature. Here's what inspired the Beanbender's menu in my book, (Beanbender's itself was inspired by one of the real-life beer gardens that I encountered in Chicago in the 1950s, only the beer was not inspiring, and the sausage was some kind of sliced salami on rye, no potatoes): I had a stopover on the way to Africa in Zurich, Switzerland, on a Sunday and everything was closed. There were vendors who'd sell you a slightly burnt sausage and a half-burnt, half-raw, heavy, doughy roll--not a sandwich, the idea was hold the sausage in a piece of paper on one hand, and the roll in a piece of paper in the other. The experience was a combination of awfully good, and awful yet good. The experience of the beer garden in Chicago was a combination of a nice idea, and mediocre drink and food. So, years later, I did what fiction writers do--I created an ideal experience I would have liked to have had, using elements of real-life that suggested an ideal but fell short of it. I read your brilliant account of your brilliant experiment, and I wish I'd been there. If I had, I might have suggested that both the sausages and the potatoes should be just a little bit scorched, also that the whole process should take place outdoors in slightly dangerous-seeming and unsanitary conditions, in unexpected company--which in this case would have been me, turning up by complete chance. I have never had beer as good as the beer I imagined when I wrote that scene. To come anywhere close, it would need to be very very cold.