Cooking the Books

Cooking the Books with Eric Smith

Happy Friday and welcome to a regular monthly feature in partnership with Fran Wilde and Aliette de Bodard’s Cooking the Books Podcast!


Today’s guest is Eric Smith, talking to Aliette and Fran over at the main kitchen, about his incredible new YA novel, The Girl and the Grove.


Here at the extension kitchen, we have bonus Q&A content and an audio snippet:

The Book Smugglers: What’s your favorite food scene from (an SFF) movie, tv show, or book?

Eric Smith: Oh, this is such an easy one for me. While I’m really tempted to go on at length about the food in Harry Potter and how reading (or watching!) any of those scenes makes me long for Thanksgiving (because that is seriously what every single meal looked like), I’d love to focus on something a little more… offbeat.

An ancient truck stop egg salad sandwich.

Look, I hate egg salad and anything that has mayo in it. Next. But in the Futurama episode Parasites Lost, Fry buys an egg salad sandwich at a random truck stop out in the galaxy. He opens it up, and pulls out a blackened disc. Bender asks “what’s that black cracker?”, and as Fry eats it, crunches down on the thing, Fry says it’s a tomato. A TOMATO. It’s gross and disgusting and even though Fry says it tastes like “It’s like a party in my mouth and everyone’s throwing up”, I still want that sandwich. I want to eat that crunchy dead tomato and taste that decaying mayo.

In Parasites Lost, that egg salad sandwich contains parasites, worms to be specific, who beef up Fry and practically make him super human. He becomes hyper intelligent. His body can heal itself (notable when a pipe is shot through and broken off in his torso). He’s suddenly got abs.

And while he gets rid of the worms in favor of being himself, because he wants Leila to love him for him, as opposed to what the creatures are making him in a lovely touching moment… I’d keep them. What? Don’t judge me. I’m a work at home Dad who has gained some weight. I would happily let some parasites tone my body into shape and maybe help me with my writing and editing.

So yes. Favorite food scene? When Fry in Parasites Lost gets a truck stop sandwich and eggs parasitic worms. Admit it. You’d eat that sandwich too.

Oh, and the ice cream Laura Dern scarfs in Jurassic Park, because you know when John Hammond says he’s spared no expense he damn well means it.

The Book Smugglers: Let’s play Marry/Kiss/Kill, but with food.

Eric Smith: Hm. I’d marry chicken Caesar wraps. Kiss White Castle, and kill mayonnaise. I’m sorry. This entire post has just been a barely hidden rant against Big Mayo. I have an agenda, clearly.


And here is the audio snippet:

Go over to the main kitchen to check out the full episode and to listen to the whole interview!

1 Comment

  • josephine
    May 18, 2018 at 5:31 am

    I love this.

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