In Night Lunch, Mouse is intrigued by the food being served at Owl’s cart late at night. We asked author Eric Fan and illustrator Dena Seiferling to tell us about their favorite night time snacks!
Eric Fan: My favorite nighttime snack is probably a cheese melt. It’s very easy to make – just toast an English muffin or a piece of rustic bread, slather it with some mayonnaise, and top with good, aged cheddar (tomato slice is optional). Melt cheese until bubbly under a broiler and serve with a few dashes of hot sauce.
If I’m feeling more ambitious, I’ll go for spaghetti aglio e olio e pepperoncino. I had a recipe book long ago, and the description of this pasta in it always stayed with me. It was something like: In Italy, an elegant host will prepare this simple pasta for his guests after the opera or as a quick midnight snack. I always aspired to be just such an elegant host. Suffice to say, that was a little too aspirational, but I can make a rather decent version of this pasta, so if I ever find myself hosting a post-opera midnight gathering, I’m all set.
Dena Seiferling: Popcorn is a staple in our house, and we have two special popcorn bowls that my kids and I bring out when watching movies. One of the bowls is from my mom; we used it when I was a kid. The other is a big handmade pottery bowl that I found at a vintage store. I usually cook with coconut oil or olive oil (about a 1/4 cup), in a large pot (with lid) so that the oil covers the bottom. Warm the oil over medium heat and add approximately a 1/2 cup of kernels (I especially like multi-colored heirloom popcorn, so I always try and find it when I’m grocery shopping). Gently shake the pot back and forth until it starts popping. I usually just add butter and salt, but sometimes we add honey to the butter when it’s melting. I also really love it with sriracha sauce or truffle oil.
Another of our favorite things to eat as a snack is guacamole with tortilla chips. The recipe is pretty simple: just one or two avocados mashed up with lime juice (about half of a lime) and cilantro, and sometimes I’ll add a little onion or garlic with salt and pepper. And lately I’ve been eating a lot of avocados on toast with chili lime seasoning.
By Eric Fan
Illustrated by Dena Seiferling
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735270572 | Tundra Books
Noses sniff the air as mouthwatering smells waft down city streets, luring growling bellies to the Night Owl. Inside this elegant, horse-drawn establishment, a feathery cook works the grill, serving up tasty dishes for shift-workers and operagoers alike: a mince pie for Fox, a ham sandwich for Badger and puddings for little Possums. Mouse, a poor street sweeper, watches as the line of customers swells, ever hopeful that someone will drop a morsel of food – but Owl’s cooking is far too delicious for more than a crumb to be found. As the evening’s service winds down, weary Owl spots trembling Mouse. Has he found his own night lunch, or will he invite this small sweeper inside for a midnight feast for two? From the imagination of two acclaimed picture book creators, together for the first time, this dreamlike picture book is a magical ode to Victorian lunch wagons. Evoking the sounds, sights, smells and tastes of the city at night, Night Lunch reveals how empathy and kindness as well as dignity and gratitude can be found – and savored – in the most unexpected places.