Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Magical Mushroom Pâté

I’m hosting this round of Cook the Books.  When the other co-hosts and I were trying to choose the next four books last winter, I was at a loss.   As I read book reviews and peruse through bookstores, I see lots of books that I want to recommend for Cook the Books.  Then, when I’m on the spot and it’s down to the wire, I can’t think of anything.

In October 2021, I was able to see original illustrations from the Dali edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at our local art museum.   (In 1969, Dali illustrated this beloved children’s book with colorful, playful surrealistic images.)

I grabbed a copy of this edition at the exhibit and set about reading it.  (It dawned on me that I had never read the entire tale of Alice, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, et al.)  I enjoyed my afternoon reading with a cup of tea at hand.It’s been a while since CTB has hosted a children’s book or YA book.   (In 2012, we read Charlie and the Chocolate Factoryin 2013 it was The Hunger Games, and in 2017 we selected Farmer Boy.)  It was time for another one.  You can read the announcement post here.

About the book:

I’m assuming everyone knows the tale but if you need a refresher, here it is.  After following a strange white rabbit and falling down a hole, Alice finds herself in a magical world, a true Wonderland. Although meant as a children’s tale, Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel is a magical mystery tour for adults and youngsters alike.

You’re never too old.

About the author:

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English author, poet and mathematician. His most notable works are Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel. He was noted for his facility with word play, logic, and fantasy (from Wikipedia).


What I thought:

As I mentioned before, I’m not sure I had ever read the book in its entirety.   It was a fun read especially with my edition and it’s surrealistic illustrations.  Dali’s work added to the mind bending world of Wonderland.

I loved Alice’s wonderment as she wandered through Wonderland.   When she grows as big as a house (or even bigger) her only thoughts are “There ought to be a book written about me, that there ought” (34).    Of course an adult would be screaming, “What is happening!!!!”   Alice just goes along for the ride.  In her world, there are no worries.

The Food:

I was truly surprised by the amount of food in this tale.

  • orange marmalade (8)
  • DRINK ME with its “cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, taffy and hot buttered toast” (11)
  • EAT ME “beautifully marked in currants” (12)
  • comfits (26)
  • “pebbles were all turning into little cakes” (36)
  • large mushroom (38)
  • goose (42)
  • eggs (45)
  • soup with pepper (50)
  • “Have some wine” (55)
  • tea (55)
  • “It was the best butter” (56)
  • treacle (60)
  • tea and bread and butter (60)
  • tulip roots instead of onions (62)
  • a large mustard-mine (72)
  • mock turtle soup (75)
  • lobster (79)
  • whiting (82)
  • pie-crust and gravy and meat (85)
  • tarts (87)

How much truth is in Alice’s analysis of temperament and food?

‘Maybe it’s always pepper that makes people hot-tempered,’ she went on, very pleased at having found out a new kind of rule, ‘and vinegar that makes them sour—and camomile that makes them bitter—and—and barley-sugar and such things that make children sweet-tempered.  I only wish people knew that:  then they wouldn’t be so stingy about it, you know—‘ (71)

As I was reading the whole mushroom eating exercise (44) and her jumping from size to size, I kept think that this would make a great surrealist movie short.  For me, it had to be something with those magic mushrooms.

Herbed Mushroom Pâté

Adapted from an adapted recipe here

A pretty easy appetizer that can be adapted with other herbs.


  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 T.  dried shallots
  • 1 T. fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 sprig of rosemary (about three inches), remove leaves and chop
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 t. fresh ground pepper
  • 3 T. white wine
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 c. toasted walnuts
  • 2 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat 1 T. of the olive oil in a large skillet and sauté mushrooms for about 2 minutes. After some of the juices have started to release, add the dried shallots. Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add herbs, salt and pepper and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring often. Add wine and balsamic   and scrape pan, getting any cooked bits stuck to the bottom. Stir and cook until liquid evaporates, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Place mixture in food processor. Pulse a few times and then add nuts and cheese. Add remaining 2 T. of olive oil and process until finely chopped and pâté-like. Serve at room temperature.  Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Can be served with crackers as a dip, on bread as a sandwich spread, or on a pizza with goat cheese.

I really love this stuff and eat it with a spoon.

There’s a few more days if you want to join us for this round of Cook the Books.    

If you remember Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland fondly and you want to whip up a Mad Hatter tea-time treat, please do.  The deadline for submissions is September 30.   You can place a comment on the CTB page or email me at with your submission.

Our next reading selection for the October/November is the novel Cooking with Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson (September 2005).  Simona (briciole) is hosting.

I’m linking up with Foodies Read for September.

7 comments to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Magical Mushroom Pâté

  • mae

    Your mushroom pâté sounds really delicious. I’m a big fan of Alice in Wonderland, so I like your idea of cataloging her many foods.

    best… mae at

  • i love alice. i have my grandmother’s copy of it from many years ago with the original drawings and a copy with drawings by yayoi kusama. So wonderful!

  • I guess we were on the same page about mushrooms! Love your recipe and will try it soon. Great book choice, I enjoyed it.

  • I discovered I hadn’t read the book either. Thanks for choosing it for this month. Can’t wait to try that pâté

  • Love Alice! And this is such a fun idea for a post. Thanks.

    BTW, just want to say we’ve just posted our last blog post. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your blog, and I’ll still be visiting. But we’ve got a lot of activities lined up that will be occupying my time, so my visits will be much more sporadic in the future. Best wishes to you.

  • Perfect! And not just for Alice, but a great recipe! Being a mushroom lover, I’m looking forward to trying this pâté soon.

  • Totally delicious. Love, love Alice in Wonderland and love, love mushrooms.