Ransom Riggs returns
with more adventures of
Jacob Portman and the
by JUDY GELMAN AND
VICKI LEVY KRUPP
Costco’s suggested Book Club read provides
insight into a selected novel, as well as an
appropriate recipe (or two) to accompany
your own book club’s discussion.
he fourth title in Ransom Riggs’
Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
young adult series, A Map of Days,
is set in protagonist Jacob’s home
in modern-day Florida.
With their unusual powers—
flame-throwing from fingertips, levitation and
more—the peculiars struggle to blend into
American life, but their “normalling” lessons are interrupted when they discover
an underground bunker that belonged
to Jacob’s grandfather, Abe. As Jacob
uncovers details of Abe’s life as a peculiar
operative, he gradually understands the
dangerous legacy he has inherited.
This is the peculiars’ first trip to North
America, a place entirely foreign to them.
“You must familiarize yourselves with
[America’s] idioms and customs and
ultimately be able to pass as normal,”
instructs Miss Peregrine, the peculiars’
protector and guide. Their education
begins as soon as they arrive and Jacob
orders pizza. “The best food in the world!
… I’ll be having this every night,” declares
Claire, one of the peculiar children.
According to Riggs, food plays an
important role in creating authentic settings for his time-traveling characters.
He says he uses food in his novels to help
bolster the sensory experience of a new
time and place, since it is so essential to
his own experience of place.
When the peculiars are in Victorian
England, they are often found “feasting
on plum pudding and roasted goose.
When they’re in modern-day America,
they’re eating takeout, pizza, burgers,
candy and road food,” he explains.
Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp are
behind the cookbook and website The Book
Club Cookbook ( bookclubcookbook.com).
Here’s a drink Horace, the gourmet peculiar, might serve.
2 oz green tea
2 oz arugula simple syrup
1 oz lemon juice
½ oz cucumber juice
½ to 1 oz jalapeño juice,
or to taste
3 folded cucumber slices,
skewered, for garnish
Mint, for garnish
ARUGULA SIMPLE SYRUP
1 cup arugula
2 cups simple syrup
½ cucumber, peeled, trimmed,
1 oz water
1 large jalapeño pepper,
stemmed, seeded, chunked
1 oz water
Prepare the arugula simple
syrup: Blend arugula and simple syrup in a blender. Strain
through a sieve.
Prepare cucumber juice: Purée
cucumber with water in a
blender. Strain through a sieve.
Prepare jalapeño juice: Purée
jalapeño with water in a
Pour the tea, arugula simple
syrup, lemon juice, cucumber
juice and jalapeño juice into
a cocktail shaker. Shake, then
pour into a glass filled with ice.
Garnish with cucumber slices
and mint. Makes 1 serving.
Adapted from a recipe in the Los
Angeles Times by Christiaan Rollich,
head barman, A.O.C. and Lucques.
A Map of Days (Item #1278638;
10/2) is available in most