A Veritable Smorgasbord
Salutations! (“It’s my fancy way of saying hello.”) Guess who I learned that from. She has eight legs, catches flies and drinks their blood, Wilbur adores her, and her name is right in the title. Yep, none other than Charlotte A. Cavatica! Now I’m not a big fan of spiders, but Charlotte is one of the very, very few exceptions. (She’s the only spider I’ve ever cried over, but I don’t want to talk about that.) Charlotte may be a common gray spider, but she’s terribly clever and has a gift for words. But most importantly, she’s a friend to Wilbur when he needs one the most. Charlotte promises to try to save Wilbur’s life and uses her talents to play a trick on Zuckerman by spinning “miracles” in her web. (“People are very gullible. They’ll believe anything they see in print.”) Charlotte’s web skyrockets Wilbur to fame and Zuckerman decides to take him to the county fair. But Wilbur isn’t safe from becoming smoked bacon and ham just yet.
When Charlotte needs inspiration for the miracles, she relies on the others in the barn cellar, especially Templeton. But Templeton is a rat who’d rather spend his time spying, hiding, and eating. He doesn’t like to do things for others unless there’s something in it for him. He has to be told that he’ll starve to death if Wilbur is killed. And even then the word he brings Charlotte is “Crunchy.” (He brings back a better word the second time.) So when the day of the fair arrives, Templeton refuses to come along until the Goose convinces him that a fair is a veritable smorgasbord, orgasbord, orgasbord. (“Why, a fair has enough disgusting leftover food to satisfy a whole army of rats.” Yummy.) After it gets dark and Templeton fetches a word for Charlotte, he declares it a night to remember and sets out to glut. He finds melon rinds, bits of hot dogs, cookie crumbs, rotten cotton candy, and other gobs of gorgeous gook. He even decides to pile up his goodies to the point where it topples over. But he doesn’t let that stop him. He eats what he can as it falls and continues his feast around the fairgrounds.
Recipe makes one ratly feast.
You can get as crazy as you want and add whatever to this. Here’s what I used.
Lighter cheese wedge with rind-Mine was white cheddar
Lunch meat-One grayer and one more red-Roast Beef and Pastrami
1-2 small zucchinis
Yellow snack cake
Chocolate snack cake
Fish-Extra points if you can get a whole one. I had to settle for a fillet, but it is easier to eat.
Chocolate wafer cookie
Vanilla wafer cookies
1 leaf lettuce
Peach-Cut in half with pit
1 slice bread
So, think of this like a giant sandwich with a lot less bread. Start with a base of Swiss cheese. I used 6 slices. Add a small zucchini and the chocolate snack cake. A piece of rolled up roast beef could work here too. Place the egg near here too. Top with a slice of roast beef, Swiss cheese, and a tomato slice. Add a slice of pastrami and a piece of the watermelon wedge. Top with another tomato slice, some lettuce, and more zucchini or some green olive. Add a slice of bread. Top that with the fish, piece of the wedge cheese, and more pastrami. Sprinkle some bit of green olive and hotdog here. Add another piece of the wedge cheese and the apple core. Top with a slice of Swiss cheese. Add a rolled up piece of roast beef. Add another slice of tomato, another chunk of cheese, and the peach half. Top with some popcorn.
Around the bottom of the stack, place the chocolate and vanilla wafer cookies and some popcorn. Start spreading out from there and add the snack cake, cheese, black olive, pieces of chocolate, another tomato slice, and other miscellaneous. The food pile is quite a balancing act, so add anything else you can think of to stabilize it. Have fun with it and don’t worry if it falls. (Mine fell twice before I got a picture, so it’s extra funky.) These foods are supposed to be leftovers so bite and rip into whatever you want to give them that feel. Once you’re happy, dig in!
All the food that Templeton eats at the fair has been “seasoned” by the passage of time and the heat of the day. It may be yummy for him but it would make anyone else sick, so I’ll stick with the fresh stuff, thank you. (Even the apple core is fresh, but I’m not really going to eat that.) Yeah, it’s kind of weird and kind of messy, but it is really fun. You can pick it apart and have meat and cheese, a sandwich, fruit, dessert, and whatever. Or you can just kind of go for it and eat it all together. Either way, it’ll leave you as full as Templeton. He needs to sleep all that off so his fun at the fair is over, but Wilbur’s is just is getting started. He doesn’t win first prize, but he’s honored for being Some Terrific Radiant Humble Pig and Zuckerman promises to let Wilbur live to a ripe old age. When Wilbur returns to Charlotte and asks her why she did all of this for him, she says it’s because he’s been her friend. She really was in a class by herself. “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”
Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!