When I told my boyfriend we were making one of William Faulkner’s favorite recipes, he prepared for a liquid lunch. “Did Faulkner even eat?” he asked. “I assumed he just poured bourbon into a bowl.”
Faulkner’s cocktails of choice – a mint julep or a hot toddy – were published by Faulkner’s niece in The New Great American Writers Cookbook, and the hushed ritual that accompanied their serving only enhanced his reputation as a man who loved – nay, respected – his liquor:
“Pappy alone decided when a Hot Toddy was needed, and he administered it to his patient with the best bedside manner of a country doctor. … Pappy always made a small ceremony out of serving his Hot Toddy, bringing it upstairs on a silver tray and admonishing his patient to drink it quickly, before it cooled off. It never failed.”
But he must have eaten something – man cannot live on mint juleps alone. Then I came upon this article in a 2008 issue of Gourmet, in which the curator of Faulkner’s home in Mississippi discloses the writer’s favorite meal: salmon croquettes, made straight from the recipe on the back of the salmon tin.
One of the great things about these salmon croquettes is their adaptability. Serve mini versions on a silver platter and you can have a fancy cocktail party. But serve them on a paper plate on your front porch, and you’ll be pretty close to Yoknapatawpha County.
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