0

Robin Hood – Little John Stew, Blackberry Pie, Currant Pie, Gruel

Quick links: Little John Beef Stew | Blackberry Pie | Currant Pie | Prison Gruel | Verdict

Robin Hood and Little John chilling in the kitchen, breakin’ eggs, stewin’ beef and eatin’ the day away. This is one of my wife’s favorite Disney movies. Mostly because she thinks Robin is a “fox”.
It is a really good, classic Disney movie with some good food to boot!

Little John Burnt Beef Stew

When Robin and Little John are chilling in the forest, they have a giant cauldron over a fire. It starts burning and bubbling over.

(Credit: Disney)

(Credit: Disney)

Incidentally, when I was making the stew, I forgot to turn down the heat and my stew started to burn. So I guess it’s super authentic to the movie.

Friar Tuck then makes an appearance and tastes it.

(Credit: Disney)

(Credit: Disney)

He finds it to be fairly spicy. So I searched for a suitable medieval stew I could make. I think I found one that’d be pretty close to what Robin and John were making

Little John Burnt Beef Stew

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy-Medium
  • Print

Ingredients:
3 lbs Stewing Steak
3 tbs flour
oil for frying
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground mace (or chili powder)
1/8 tsp ground cloves
4 black peppercorns (crushed)
1 large onion (finely chopped)
6 large sprigs of parsley (finely chopped)
4 cups beef stock
2-3 pieces stale whole wheat bread
3 tbs cider vinegar
1 pinch saffron (or 1/4 tsp turmeric as a sub.)
  1. Toss the beef with the flour to coat.
  2. Cover the base of a large frying pan with a thin layer of oil and place over a medium high heat.
  3. Add the beef and fry, stirring occasionally, until browned.
  4. Add the spices, onion and parsley with a splash of the stock and fry, stirring frequently and scrapping up the crusty layer from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, for about 5 minutes until the onions have started to soften.
  5. Dump contents into large pot with its juices.
  6. Add the rest of the stock with a pinch of salt and bring to a gentle boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1hr 40 mins, until the beef is tender.
  7. Meanwhile, soak the bread in the vinegar with the saffron .
  8. After the beef is tender, stir into the stew and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes until the bread has broken down and the stew is thick.
  9. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  10. Serve with buscuits

source: http://ginandcrumpets.com/medieval-spiced-beef-stew/

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Trigger’s Blackberry Pie

After the archery tournament, Robin gets chased around by Prince John’s guard. Trigger, the vulture takes cover in a pie stand selling blackberry pies.

(Credit: Disney)

(Credit: Disney)

Trigger's Blackberry Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Ingredients:
3/4 cups cream
1/4 cup red wine
5 egg yolks
1 whole egg
2 cups blackberries
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup honey
1/4 tsp ginger
1 pinch saffron (or leave out if not available) 
1/8 tsp ground mace (or chili pepper)
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 pre-baked pie shells
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream, wine, saffron and other spices, and bring to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. In a separate container, beat egg yolks and honey together.
  4. While beating, add a bit of the hot milk mixture. Pour this back into the pot with the hot liquid while whisking furiously.
  5. Place the cut blackberries and dates in baked pie shells and spoon the cream mixture over fruit and into the shells.
  6. Bake at 375° F for 45 minutes, or until the filling has set.

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Source: http://www.innatthecrossroads.com/2011/06/17/medieval-fruit-tarts-blueberry-strawberry-apricot-cherry/

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Maid Marian’s Currant Pie

In the same scene, Maid Marian starts throwing pies to help Robin escape.

(Credit: Disney)

(Credit: Disney)

We wanted to find real currants, for the pie, but we couldn’t. However, Google told me that Blueberries are a close second. So we made a blueberry pie.

Maid Marian's Currant Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy-medium
  • Print

Ingredients:
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
2 1/4 cups red currants (blueberries)
1 ready to bake pie crust
1 pie crust mix
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 egg yolk
  1. Prepare the pie crust mix as directed, but add 1 egg yolk and the lemon zest
  2. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff.
  3. Gradually stir in sugar and cornstarch; beat for 5 minutes.
  4. Fold currants (blueberries) into mixture and pour into pie crust.
  5. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes, or until top is lightly browned.

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Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/red-currant-pie/

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Not-in-Nottingham Prison Gruel

Toward the end, the rooster narrator is in jail with the rest of the town. He sings Not In Nottingham. We then see the mama rabbit feeding her baby rabbits something from a bowl.

(Credit: Disney)

(Credit: Disney)

In general, gruel is a common food for prisons. I’ve always wanted to taste it. So I made it. It tastes like watery oatmeal.

They also showed biscuits. We cheated and made some from a Pillsbury roll. They were great with the stew.

Not-in-Nottingham Prison Gruel

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
3 tbs oatmeal
2 cups water
salt to taste
  1. Mix the oatmeal with a little cold water to make a paste
  2. Put the rest of the water in a pan
  3. Add the mixture and boil for 10 minutes
  4. Add the salt

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Will it Steal from the Rich and Give to the Poor?

Aside from the gruel, not a bad run. The blackberry pie was super sweet. The beef stew was good, and I think if it weren’t burnt, it would have been even better. And the currant (blueberry) pie was delicious

Verdict:

Stew – 7/10

Blackberry pie – 7.5/10

Currant (blueberry) pie – 9/10

Gruel – 4/10

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2

Bambi – Red Currant, Acorns, Grapes, Red Clover, Bark, Grass, Thumper Salad

Quick links: Red Currant | Acorns | Grapes | Red Clover | Bark | Grass | Thumper Salad | Verdict

This week, we’re featuring venison! Say goodbye to Bambi’s mom! Ok,not really. The food featured in Bambi isn’t the tastiest, probably because it’s not really meant for human consumption. However, most of the animal food featured in Bambi is edible to humans. So consider this a survivalist article. So get ready to eat nasty food and feel bad about humans existing.

Momma Bird Red Currant

Within the first few minutes of the movie, we see a mommy bird bringing pink berries for her babies.

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While it was tempting just to go to Pinkberry and get some frozen yogurt, I decided to stay true to the movie and get some actual berries. I searched pink berries and found a certain berry called a Snowberry. That is probably the type of berry the mother is feeding her babies. However, I also found that snowberries cause stomach aches, so I opted for Red Currants instead, which can be pinkish as well.

Red currants are actually in the gooseberry family (see my Snow White article). They are VERY tart but they mix well with other foods. I was able to find them at my local grocery store. Although, in the theme of making this a survivalist article, here’s a link to some common wild berries so you know what you can or cannot eat.

Squirrley Acorns

We next see a squirrel and a little chipmunk sleeping under its bushy tail. I love how the chipmunk and squirrel are friends. They nibble on some acorns.

(credit: Disney)

Acorns are actually edible. However, you need to soak them in warm water until they aren’t bitter anymore. The soaking takes out the toxins in the acorns so you don’t die. Sadly, I was not able to get my hands on any acorns. Online I only found fake acorns for arts and crafts and since it’s winter here and I didn’t stock-pile up the acorns beforehand, I had trouble finding them on the ground. Maybe I need to make a couple more squirrel friends.

Grapes for the birds

This one was easy. When Bambi and the bunnies are prancing around, Bambi stumbles across some birs eating, what looks like, grapes (they might be some other kind of berry, but they really look like grapes).

(credit: Disney)

Thumper comes along and tries to teach him the correct way to say bir-Ds. Well, you don’t need to be a bird to enjoy grapes. I’m just not sure if you’ll be able to find grapes in the wild.

Big Feet Red Clover

Who wouldn’t love a food that cute widdle Thumper loves? Bambi seems to like it too.

(credit: Disney)

(credit: Disney)

Red clovers are actually really useful for humans too. They are used for cancer prevention, indigestion, high cholesterol, whooping cough, cough, asthma, bronchitis, menopause symptoms, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), skin cancer, skin sores, burns, chronic skin diseases and even flavoring. (source: WebMD). Thats not even to mention that the greens make long ears and great big feet according to Thumper!

However, I found that it isn’t the greens that are awful to eat, it is the blossom that he loves so much.

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I tried some clover sprouts and they were actually pretty tasty, but then when I tried some clover blossom….bleh! So bitter and disgusting. I even tried to steam it….but that made it worse. It smelled bad too. It’s supposed to be good for you though!

Starving Bambi Bark

When in the harsh winter, Bambi and his mom resort to stripping bark off of the tree. It’s the only thing they got. It would have been a pretty bad death if we had to see Bambi’s mom slowly die of starvation.

(credit: Disney)

(credit: Disney)

For humans, you can actually eat pine bark with very little preparation. Some of the main ways of eating it are boiling it and frying it. I tried it fried.

You’re supposed to get the inner-most bark. That is apparently the most palatable. I don’t think the bark I got was deep enough. I had to act quickly when I was stripping off the bark because I was stealing it from a neighbor’s tree in the middle of the night. I didn’t want anyone to come out of the building and question why I was digging into their pine. The chips I got were kinda red and not the inner-tree white.

It tasted fine, It kinda crumbled in my mouth. I was thinking it was going to be crispier. It turned into a powder when I chewed. I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat it, but if I were starving in the wilderness, I wouldn’t mind snacking on pine bark. It would keep me from getting scurvy.

Fried Bambi Bark

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
A couple strips Pine Bark
Some Oil and salt
  1. Peel off the outermost bark of a pine tree.
  2. Peel strips of the white inner bark.
  3. Rinse the peeled bark.
  4. Heat up a little oil in a frying pan.
  5. Fry the bark.
  6. Add salt if you wish.

    Cooked Bark

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Blades of Grass!

After the harsh winter, and right before the sad part of Bambi’s mother dying, Bambi finds a patch of grass and starts chowing down.

bambigrass

(credit: Disney)

Well I tried eating grass. It’s wheatgrass. You might recognize it from your local Jamba Juice.

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It tastes like…well, grass. Nothing special. I’m not going to use at as a midnight snack though. I only wish I could be as excited as Bambi to eat it.

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Thumper Salad

So we wanted to make something using lots of the food shown in Bambi as ingredients, so we made a salad! I actually found that the gross red clover can make a fairly tasty salad dressing too.

So without further ado, here is Thumper Salad.

Thumper Salad

  • Servings: 5-7
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Thumper Salad

1 cup Baby kale
1 cup Spinach
1 cup Chard
1/2 cup Clover sprouts
1/4 cup Wheat grass
3/4 cup Grape halved
1/3 cup Dried red currants
1/4 cup Acorns (must be pre-soaked)
Pine bark, fried sprinkle over salad to taste

Flower Salad Dressing

1/2 cup Water
1-2 tablespoon Dried red clover blossom
1 tablespoon Red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Olive oil
3 tablespoons Honey
1/4 teaspoon Salt (kosher)
1/8 teaspoon *A dash black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Lemon juice *optional

Thumper Salad

  1. Mix kale, spinach, chard, sprouts, and grass.
  2. Throw with grapes, currants, and acorns.
  3. Sprinkle fried bark on top to taste.
  4. Dress with Flower Salad Dressing

Flower Salad Dressing

  1. Boil water and red clover blossoms together for 7-10 minutes.
  2. Strain out and discard blossoms.
  3. Reserve the water.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the water, mix well.
  5. Pour over salad and enjoy!

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Will it save your mother from Man in the forest?

Well, like I said earlier, none of the food was really super tasty…but it wasn’t supposed to be. You could learn to live with it, if it were your only food source. The Red Currant was extremely tart, the grapes were good, the red clover made my stomach turn, the bark, and the grass tasted like grass.

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The salad was pretty good. It wasn’t anything special. I think I might have used too much Red Clover dressing.

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Verdict:

Red Currant – 5/10

Acorns – ?/10

Grapes – 7/10

Red Clover Blossom – 2/10

Red Clover Sprout – 4/10

Bark – 3/10

Grass – 3/10

Thumper Salad – 5/10

Bambi’s Mom Venison – ?/10 (they better have used Bambi’s mom to feed a starving family)

3

Pinocchio – Lemon Roasted Fish, Yellow Cake, Roasted Chicken, Homemade Bread, and Strawberry Pie

Quick links: Figaro’s Fish | Princess Cleo’s Cake | Geppetto’s Chicken | Stromboli’s French Bread | Pleasure Island PieVerdict

One of the saddest parts of Pinocchio is that Geppetto made a huge mouthwatering feast that no one got to eat!

The Fish Figaro Failed to Eat

So as it goes, Pinocchio gets turned into a living puppet that’s a little less creepy than RL Stine’s Night of the Living Dummy. Geppetto is ecstatic to have a son, so he takes it slow and kinda gets him familiar with the world around him, right? Wrong. The next day, he gives him a juicy apple and sends him off to school, just in time to be picked up by a sly fox and his cat sidekick.

(credit: Disney)

(credit: Disney)

Luckily, Jiminy shows up in time to tell Pinocchio that he should not be an actor and should go to school (sounds exactly like a conversation I had with my parents in high school). However, right after Jiminy tells Pinocchio not to go with the fox and cat, he turns face and goes with them. Talk about a block head. Fun fact—the cat (Gideon) that was with the fox was originally to be voiced by the famous voice-actor Mel Blanc, who also did Bugs Bunny and almost all the other Looney Toons. But all of his lines were cut, except for a couple hiccups.

Anyway, Geppetto is home cooking a fantastic feast to present to Pinocchio after his first day of school. I wonder how a puppet’s digestive system even works.

(credit: Disney)

(credit: Disney)

We got some chicken, some fruit, a yellow cake with chocolate frosting and a fish all cooked up for Figaro the cat. Figaro is about to go all in and rip apart that delicious fish, but Geppetto tells Figaro to wait until he finds Pinocchio.

(credit: Disney)

(credit: Disney)

And since Pinocchio was chilling with Stromboli the Gypsy at this time, there’s no telling if Figaro ever got to eat the yummy fish. But lucky for us, we got to taste it.

Bass is a common fish in Italy, so I got that kinda fish.  We can see in the movie that there is lemon on the fish, some butter and some olives.

If Geppetto is half as good of cook as I am, Figaro really missed out, because the fish is delicious. It was a fun experience. I had never cooked a full fish before, let alone gutted one. So if anyone is like me and needs to know how to gut a fish, this link is really helpful.


Figaro's Fish

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 whole Sea bass or White bass
Kosher salt to taste
Olive oil
1 Lemon sliced
2 teaspoons Bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Basil
1/2 teaspoon Parsley
Lemon pepper seasoning to taste
1 teaspoon Fennel
4 cloves Garlic
10 Cherry tomatoes
10 Stuffed olives green
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil.
  3. Gut the fish.
  4. Oil and salt fish inside and out.
  5. Stuff the fish with 3-4 lemon slices, 2 whole cloves garlic, some cherry tomatoes, and some olives.
  6. Add all herbs, inside and out.
  7. Add the rest of cherry tomatoes, olives, and lemon slices on top of or around the fish.
  8. Fold foil up to create a bowl around the fish.
  9. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the fish flakes.IMG_20150124_194147

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A Cake Worth its Weight in Gold-fish

Man, how spoiled is Cleo. I guess you can’t blame Geppetto, she is a darling fish. I wonder how she felt as Figaro was about to devour her steaming uncle.  Cleo the goldfish was given a beautiful yellow cake with a ribbon around it. Talk about presentation.

(credit: Disney)

(credit: Disney)

I think she would be about 3x her size if she ate that whole piece. If I were her, that’s a risk I would take.

We kinda cheated on this recipe due to time and budget restrictions. Although, just because we used a box cake mix, doesn’t mean that my wife can’t enhance it and make it absolutely savory.


Princess Cleo's Yellow Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 box butter yellow cake mix
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon or more vanilla extract
1 1/2 carton chocolate frosting
  1. Make cake mix according to package directions with added milk and vanilla extract.
  2. Bake in 2 round cake pans according to cake package directions.
  3. Check with toothpick.
  4. Let cakes cool completely, then dump out onto plate or serving ware.
  5. Frost one cake top completely with a half carton frosting.
  6. Put the other cake on top, frost top and sides completely with 1 carton of frosting.
  7. Most importantly, enjoy!


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Jiminy Chicken!

The last thing that Geppetto made for his feast was a succulent chicken. I kinda took some liberty in making this because I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for chicken cooked in milk for a while. So I didn’t do my research and cook the chicken exactly like they would in Italy at that time. But who’s to say that Geppetto didn’t cook his chicken in milk.  Cooking in milk makes the chicken really tender and moist.

Geppetto's Milk Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 whole Chicken
Sea salt
Black pepper ground
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1/2 stick Cinnamon
1 handful Fresh sage
1 handful Fresh fennel
1 teaspoon Rosemary
1 teaspoon Basil
1/2 teaspoon Bay leaf
Lemon zest 2 lemons worth
10 cloves Garlic
2 1/2 cups Milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F
  2. Find a snug-fitting pot for the chicken.
  3. Season it generously all over
  4. Fry it in a little olive oil, turning the chicken to get an even colour all over, until golden.
  5. Remove from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and throw away the oil left in the pot. This will leave you with tasty sticky goodness at the bottom of the pan which will give you a lovely caramel flavour later on.
  6. Put your chicken back in the pot with the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Cook in the preheated oven for 1½ hours, covered.
  8. Baste with the cooking juice when you remember.
  9. The lemon zest will sort of split the milk, making a sauce which is absolutely fantastic.
  10. To serve, pull the meat off the bones and divide it onto your plates.
  11. Spoon over plenty of juice and the little curds. Serve with wilted spinach or greens and some mashed potato.
  12. Read more at www.jamieoliver.com


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Stromboli’s French Bread

So the next meal we get to see is when Stromboli is thinking about how rich he’ll be with Pinocchio in his show. He has a platter of veggies, some spread, some sausage, cheese and some french bread. Why does he have French bread in Italy? Well he is a gypsy. Maybe he just came from France.

(credit: Disney)

(credit: Disney)

Anyway, during this time, he takes a bite out of an onion as if it were an apple.

(credit: Disney)

(credit: Disney)

I wouldn’t advise to do that, but if you so desire, chomp into an onion and eat this bread. You can find some sausage and cheese to go with it as well. This is a pretty simple bread recipe, perfect for a gypsy on the move.

Stromboli's French Bread

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups Warm water
2 tablespoons Yeast (dry-active)
2 tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
3 tablespoons Vegetable oil
5 1/2 – 6 cups Flour all-purpose
  1. Add yeast to the water in a medium to large bowl, then sprinkle the sugar over top of it.
  2. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until the yeast mixture looks frothy on top.
  3. Stir in salt, oil, and flour. Before continuing, put a bowl of water in the microwave and set it for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Return to bread and knead the dough until it’s smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl easily.
  5. Continue to add flour if it’s sticky.
  6. Return to microwave and remove the bowl of water, discard (be careful, it’s hot).
  7. Put the dough in the microwave with the door closed for 15-30 minutes, until the dough is almost doubled in size.
  8. Next, remove the dough and divide into two equal balls. Roll out into rectangles, and then shape them into a bread shape.
  9. Place both loaves next to each other on lightly greased cookie sheet.
  10. With a sharp knife, make 3-4 diagonal slits in each loaf, cutting about halfway down.
  11. Cover and let rise while the oven heats to 375.
  12. Bake both loaves for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.

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Pleasure Island Pie

One of the last foods shown is in the infamous Pleasure Island. A quintessential fun-land for boys in the 40’s. If Pinocchio were remade for a modern day audience, it would be a bunch of Xboxes, Nintendos and Playstations running on giant screens and…maybe a bouncy castle, because what kid doesn’t like a bouncy castle. Even though the modern Pleasure Island would be different than the 40’s Pleasure Island, the food would be the same. We see Pinocchio walking around with a full pie and ice cream, and his friend Lampwick (what a funny name. Good ol’ Lampy. Always brings such light in our lives) with a full roasted chicken.

(credit: Disney)

(credit: Disney)

Since we already made chicken as part of Geppetto’s feast, we focused on the pie. It isn’t explicitly shown what kind of pie Pinocchio has, other than it has red filling. So after some research into common Italian berries, we went with the tried and true strawberry (which isn’t actually a true berry, but whatever). They also drink beer and smoke cigars later. But since I’m not in the business of letting little boys smoke and drink beer, I’m gonna skip those recipes.

Pleasure Island Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 Frozen pie crust
1/2 box Betty Crocker pie mix
2 tablespoons & 2 teaspoons Water
8 Fresh strawberries
1-2 tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Water
1 can Strawberry pie filling
  1. Pull out frozen pie crust, let thaw while working with other food.
  2. Mix the 1/2 box pie crust mix with 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons water.
  3. Roll out on floured surface to 1/2-1/4 inch thickness, to cover a 9 inch round pie pan.
  4. Slice fresh strawberries and mix with sugar and 1 teaspoon water. P
  5. our pie filling into thawed pie crust, place fresh strawberry mixture on top.
  6. Cover with rolled out pie crust, mesh sides together all the way around the pie.
  7. Cut vents into top crust. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, or until crust is golden-brown.
  8. Serve with pink ice cream and go break something.

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Will this Food Make Your Tongue into a Pleasure Island?

I loved Geppetto’s feast. Pinocchio was crazy to have missed it. The fish was tender and had a great flavor. The cake was moist chocolatey and yup, I loved it. The only thing that was somewhat lacking was the chicken. I was saddened by that because I was so excited to try out that recipe. It definitely was tender, but I don’t think it was flavorful enough. So maybe when you cook it, you can add some more seasonings. Let me know if you improve the recipe.

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Stromboli’s snack was good. I didn’t particularly enjoy eating an onion whole, maybe it’s an acquired taste. But the bread was fluffy and delicious.

Eat the onion whole while eating the bread

I would go to Pleasure Island for the pie. It was scrumptious. I didn’t have any pink ice cream, just vanilla, so I added some of the pie filling to it. It turned out great and pink. Just be careful not to turn into a donkey.

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Verdict:

Figaro’s Fish – 9/10

Cleo’s Cake – 10/10

Geppetto’s Chicken – 7/10 

Stromboli’s French Bread – 7/10

Pleasure Island Pie – 8/10