Happily Ever After Hour [26/2/21]

Once upon a time

It’s Tell A Fairy Tale Day. As a young and voracious reader, fairy tales and myths were my favorite stories. I borrowed the Lang Fairy Books from the school library over and over, much to the annoyance of the librarian who would ask, “are you sure you want to read that again?”. I raised my daughter on them as well as the multicultural re-tellings by authors like Robert San Souci and Ed Young. And I often gift a copy of the first one, The Blue Fairy Book, to new parents. If you have little ones in your life, read them a fairy tale today. If you don’t, read one for yourself. Although technically not fairy tales, I highly recommend Rootabaga Stories by famed Chicago poet and Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg. They’re brilliant, and I’m surprised that they aren’t better known. Or watch one of the hundreds of fairy tale movies available. Maybe while sipping a fantasy-inspired cocktail. Most of the Pinterest recipes, while beautiful, are too sweet for my taste. But the Violent Fairytales from Saveur sounds perfect.

  • 1 oz cachaça I’m substituting cacique, you can use light rum
  • 1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro or Campari
  • 6 to 8 dashes of bitters
  • 3 oz sparkling wine

Stir the first three ingredients with ice, strain into a coupe or flute glass, top with sparkling wine, and garnish with an orange twist.

Share your recs in the comments – books, films, drinks, or snacks based on childhood adventure stories.



  1. i think i have an absolutely ancient copy of grimms fairytales here somewhere
    might be time for another dig around the attic
    been a loooong time since ive read them
    anyways the a twisted tale series is quite good….but they are all in my daughters bedroom and i dont feel like wading through a pile of underwear and snackwrappers to try and find them (tbh…im not sure that room even has a floor as i havent seen it in ages)

    • My daughter was the same way when she lived at home. I don’t even go into the bedroom at her place, if it’s worse than the living room and kitchen I really don’t want to see it! 

  2. This is very incidental but Saveur recently ceased print publication. 🙁 Had friends who worked there during its heyday. You think my FYCE recipes are a tad involved and overthought?

    • I was not a regular reader, never had a subscription. But I used to get both Bon Appetit and Cuisine. I preferred Cuisine, I don’t think it’s in print anymore either. They had some complicated recipes too, lol. But some of the best food porn photos.

  3. Not quite fairy tales, but I grew up on a steady diet of Greek and Roman mythology. Dungeons & Dragons, of all things, expanded my palate to Norse, Middle Eastern, and Asian lore. And then I started reading, post-college, a lot of Native American/First Nations stuff. I love it all. The M. Scott Momaday e-book that I read recently reminded me how much I enjoy that last category.
    One of the more memorable books that I read in 2019, The Wolf in the Whale, heavily incorporates Norse and Native American mythology.

    • I love mythology. Most of what I’ve read has been Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Norse. But I have 1 Native American book called American Indian Myths and Legends. And when I was a kid someone gave me a book set of The Mabinogion written for young adults. I read those books so many times! And I was crazy about the Arthurian legends too. I’m going to see if my library has The Wolf in the Whale. Thanks for the rec.

  4. I want you to know I’m looking into all these book recs for Lil. Most of the fairy tale books I look at either seem too scary or have some disturbing moral messages (or usually both). I have my old big book from my childhood, but it’s also questionable. Can’t say I love feeding him the handsome prince rescues helpless damsel in distress stuff. 

    • Catherynne M. Valente did a series of children’s stories.  I’ve only read the first one, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairy Land in a Ship of Her Own Making.  I think it grew out of a mention in her (very much not for children) novel Palimpsest, which is like my favorite book.  But favorite is the wrong term, more like a compulsion?
      Anyways, I really love her stuff, although it’s not often an “easy” read for me, and she frequently has a lot of folklore and such.  There are still a handful I haven’t yet read, but I think I’ve read most of her more recent stuff.  I can’t remember, and I’m a bit too lazy to look it up (also, I’m trying to avoid falling into a rabbithole tonight…), but I think she like, “officially” studied medieval lit and folklore or something.
      She’s one of the authors I sometimes read the twitter feed of when I’m exceptionally bored, and she’s pretty awesome.

    • …I don’t know if I’d have enjoyed them so much had I not started out with the old school versions (& I might have mentioned them somewhere before on a brain drain thread or something) but these were fun:


      …the main one I remember is little red riding hood…in which she, her grandmother & the wolf end up upbraiding the woodcutter for assuming that they need his help resolving things?

  5. …I fairly lapped up fairy tales & myths & legends as a kid…& I still have the copy of brewer’s dictionary of phrase & fable I was given years ago…so I don’t think it was the first time I came across the less sanitised version of them but one of the things I loved in the sandman comic book run by neil gaiman was the rather more horrifying than usual versions of both the children who flew away & red riding hood

    …I think as a kid it was the norse & the greek legends that I was most struck by but those comics draw on mythology from just about every continent at some point & the way they’re woven into a single narrative is still impressive to me all these years later

    …but to get to fairies specifically…or at least the fae…I have a definite soft spot for terry pratchett’s books & lords & ladies is no exception?

    • …there’s something to said for reading the discworld books in a sort-of order

      …but they sort of break down into sub-sets…the lords & ladies one is kind of book three after wyrd sisters & witches abroad…but I think some of the characters first show up in equal rites?

        • …it’s not so much that the stories themselves need to be in order as it is that the characters build rather satisfyingly over the sequence…so I think that’s a good call

          …but then I could happily start with the colour of magic & read my way through all the discworld books again…so I’m a little biased in that respect

          …the ones with the night watch in are some of the later stuff & are fantastic…here & there are some that I like less than others like the hogfather…but they’re all pretty great…& a delightful blend of escapist nonsense & wonderfully observed musings on this or that aspect of humanity

        • A while back I started reading them in published order.
          I’m glad I did – there are slight bits of overlap and references to events in other books and such, that I’m pretty sure I would have missed If I followed certain characters only.
          It does take a couple books before it gets going, though.  Not that the first books aren’t good, it’s just that the later ones are so much better.

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