Feast of Words: TBR Spring Menu 2021

For Season 2, we have created the menu for an unbirthday tea party with an Alice's Adventures in Wonderland theme and inspired by Episode 19 (Cast in Bronze: Books immortalized in public art. Let’s eat!

🖋 "Now if you're ready, Oysters, dear, we can begin to feed!"

🍴 Oysters
Drain each oyster. Dip in seasoned cracker crumbs, then in beaten eggs, and crumbs again. Fry in boiling lard.
In Vinaigrette
Mix 1 diced challot with 2 tbsp cider vinegar, pepper, and olive oil. Shake. Spoon vinaigrette over each oyster


🖋 "Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under the table: she opened it, and found in it a very small cake, on which the words 'EAT ME' were beautifully marked in currants."

🍴 Eat Me Cakes
Bake cookies using the Alice Adventures in Wonderland themed cookies cutters (Eat Me, Drink Me, We Are All Mad Here Teapot) from Bakerlogy.
A topsy turvy cake would be a great centerpiece, and it is possible to bake one using specialty pans from Euro Tins.


🖋 "Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under the table: she opened it, and found in it a very small cake, on which the words 'EAT ME' were beautifully marked in currants."

🍴 Drink Me Punch
In a pitcher or punch bowl, combine 3 cups lemonade, 3 cups pomegranate juice, and 3 cups Riesling. Chill and garnish with lemon wedge when serving.

🍴 Drink Me Tea
White peony tea


🖋 "Then [the caterpillar] got down off the mushroom, and crawled away into the grass, merely remarking as it went, 'One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter."

🍴 Alice's Adventures in Wonderbread
Stir chopped mushrooms in olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper for 5 min. Prepare a sandwich with the mushroom and cheese. Toast sandwich on each side over olive oil.

🍴 Stuffed Button Mushrooms
Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix 3/4 cup ricotta, 1 egg, 1 tbsp chopped green onion, 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Remove the stem from the bottom of 12 white button mushrooms by twisting. Place mushrooms on a baking sheet and spoon in the filling. Bake for 12 min.

🍴 Herbed Mushrooms Puffs
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 6 individual shells of puff pastry on the parchment paper. Whisk 1 egg white and 1 tbsp of water. Brush shells with egg wash. Bake for 15-18 min.
Heat olive oil in medium oil and stir 7-8 thinly sliced white button mushroom caps, 1/2 diced Vidalia onion, and 1 clove of minced garlic. Cook until onion is translucent. Add 1 tsp basil, 5-6 tbsp canned cream of mushroom soup, salt and pepper. When shells are done, cool for 15 min and cut the centers leaving the bottom. Scoop filling into each shell. Garnish with basil leaves.


🖋 "First cameten soldiers carrying clubs...oblong and flat, with their hands and feet at the corners: next the ten courtiers; these were ornamented all over with diamonds. After these came the royal children; there were ten of them...they were all ornamented with hearts. Next came the guests, mostly Kings and Queens."

🍴 Card Suit Cheese Bites
Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut 2-3 red peppers and 1 eggplant in half lengthwise. Remove seed portions and top part. Use cookie cutters to cut diamond and heart shapes from red pepper halves, and club and spade shapes from eggplant halves. Mix the shapes with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place shapes skin side up on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15 min. 
Cut an 8 oz chunk of feta cheese and a 16 oz mozzarella into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut spades and clubs from the feta and hearts and diamonds from the mozzarella using cookie cutters. Stack the cheese on the vegetable pieces to create card suit cheese sandwiches.


🖋 "Its wings are thin slices of Bread-and-butter, its body is a crust, and its head is a lump of sugar."

🍴 Bread and Butterflies
Mix 1/4 cup softened butter and 1 tbsp chopped chives. Cut slices of bread into hearts and spread the chive butter onto each heart. Slice 2 cucumbers and cut slices in half. On half of the bread hearts, place the cucumber, approximating the shape of the heart in. Cover sandwich with the rest of the bread hearts. To make a butterfly, place a 3-inch length of chive on a plate and position a heart on each side, to make the wings.


🖋 "The Panther took pie-crust, and gravy, and meat,
    While the Owl had the dish as its share of the tray."

🍴 Panther Pasties
Preheat oven to 450 F. Sear 2 cups of stew beef cut into cubes. Chop 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, and 1/2 sweet onion. Cut a potato into 1/2-inch cubes. Microwave carrots for 1 min and potato for 2 min. Combine beef, vegetables, 5 tbsp beef gravy, 1 tbsp parsley, 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, salt and pepper. Cut 4 sheets of puff pastry into 3-inch squares. Add meat mix and pinch together the corners of the puff pastry. Beat one egg and brush the pasties with it. Place pasties on greased baking sheet and bake for 10 min.


🖋 "'The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts,
    All on a summer day:
    The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts,
    And took them clean away.'"

🍴 The Queen of Hearts Tomato Tart
Crust: Mix 1/2 cup flour, 3/4 tsp salt, and 15 basil leaves chopped into small pieces. Mix 7 tbsp of butter and the flour mix until texture like bread crumbs. Stir in 7 tbsp of ice water to make a dough. Flatten into 3"x5" rectangle, Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hr. Preheat oven to 375 F. On floured surface, roll out dough into 8"x18" rectangle. Transfer to tart pan and trim any edges.
Filling: Mix 12 oz crumbled goat cheese, 1 cup ricotta, 1 egg, 3 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup green onion, salt and pepper. Spread on tart pan. Place cherry tomatoes on top and brush them with olive oil. Bake 1 hr and cool for 15 min. before serving

🍴 The Queen of Hearts' Tartlets
Crust: Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix 1/2 cup butter, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 egg yolk, 1 cup of ground almonds, 1 1/2 cup of flour. Form into a dough, wrap in parchment paper, and refrigerate for 20 min. Slice dough into 1/4 in. rounds and push into tartlet pans. Chill for 15 min. Remove tartlet shells from fridge. Bake for 15 min.
Filling: Beat 1 egg, 2 egg yolks, and 2/3 cups of superfine sugar and 1/4 cup of flour until light and creamy. Pour 2 cups of milk and 3 tbsp of butter into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour egg mixture, whisking as you do. Cook over low heat, stirring, for 10 min. When thickens, transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap ensuring the wrap make contact with the top of the custard and leave to cool. 
Assemble tartlets by adding filling into the tartlet shells. Chill for 30 min. Scatter redcurrant, raspberries and sliced strawberries over the tartlets. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.


🖋 "A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden: the roses growing on it were white, but there were three gardeners at it, busily painting them red. Alice thought this very curious thing..."

🍴 The Queen of Hearts' Painted Rose Cupcakes
Cake: Preheat oven to 350 F. Make a dry mix of 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, 1/2 tbsp baking powder, 1/4 tbsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt. Mix 1/4 cup of butter, 3/4 cup of sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2 eggs, 2 1/2 tbsp sour cream, 3/4 tsp distilled white vinegar. Alternate adding dry mix and 1/2 cup buttermilk. Place cupcake liners on a cupcake tin and fill them halfway. Bake 15 min. When cool, scoop 1/2 tbsp from the center of each cupcake and fill with cherry preserves.
Frosting: Mix 3/4 butter, 3 cup powdered sugar, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and 3 tbsp milk. Fill piping bag with large star tip alternating between 1 spoonful of frosting and 2 drops of coloring. Pipe roses on top of cupcakes starting in the center and circling outward.


🍴 Apple's Adventures in Crumble-land
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cake tin with baking paper.
Combine 9 oz self-rising flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, and 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg and set aside. Beat 5 oz soft butter with 5 oz of brown sugar until fluffy. Gradually add 2 eggs and 1 tbsp of the flour mixture. Pour 3 1/2 fl oz of milk and stir until smooth. Tip batter into cake tin, arrange slices from 2 apples on top. Bake for 20 min. 
Crumble topping: Put some butter into the flour mixture to get some lumps. Add 2 oz chopped pecan nuts. After 20 min remove cake from oven and sprinkle crumble over apple slices. Return to oven and cook for 40 min


🖋 The Lion beat the Unicorn all around the town. Some gave them white bread, some gave them brown: Some gave them plum-cake and drummed them out of town.”

🍴 Plum Cake
Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup dried currants, 1/4 cup candied lemon peel, and 1 tsp of baking soda. Beat in 1/2 cup soft butter, 1 cup milk, and 2 eggs. Pour batter into buttered baking tin. Bake for 1 1/2 hrs.


🖋“Look on the branch above your head” said the Gnat “and there you'll find a snap-dragon-fly. Its wings of holly leaves and its head is a raisin burning in brandy.” What does it live on? (asked Alice) “Frumenty and mincepies” the gnat replied."

🍴 Frumenty
Soak 1 1/2 cups of wheatberries in 2-3 cups of water overnight. Bring wheat and water mixture to a boil. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and simmer until kernels are soft (about 1 hr.). Add a handful of raisins 1/2 hour before taking it off the stove. Serve with milk and sugar.

A printable PDF version of the menu can be download in our Printables page

Inspiration for all recipes: Literary Feasts by Barbara Scrafford; Scone with the Wind by Miss Victoria Sponge; Books and My Food by Elizabeth Luther Carey and Annie M. Jones; The Littl Library Cookbook by Kate Young; Tequila Mockingbird by Tim Federle; A Literary Tea Party by Alison Walsh; and A Literary Holiday Cookbook by Alison Walsh. 
These books can be purchased visiting our TBR Bundles page.
(If you buy an item via this post, we may get a small affiliate commission)


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