I saw this essay question on School of Fail, and I just had to answer it:
If you were a cannibal and were eating the protagonist from your novel, what side dishes would be appropriate?
This question seems especially humorous to me, given that the protagonist in Acceptance is a human who is permanently on the vampire menu.
If Anselm and Micah were full cannibals, and not just blood drinkers, it would start with a well-laid table. Anselm is too much a gentleman to gnaw on a barbecued forearm while watching a football game. He would have to elevate his cannibalism to a respectable, formal dinner–if only to do honor to the person served on the platter.
There would be fine china and a variety of dishes. Anselm would wear a suit, although Micah would think an Oxford and black dress pants are good enough for dinner.
Kalyn is not small woman, so they could probably get three courses and a small dessert out of her. She is very athletic, so the meat would have to be tenderized and cooked carefully, as there isn’t much fat in it. Fatter parts (like breasts) would have to be sliced and laid on top of the meat and allowed to melt in for flavor and tenderness.
The liver pate–served as an hors d’oeuvre on a cracked pepper water table cracker–would be exquisite because Kalyn’s still young and healthy (or, rather, was). There would also be a black pudding served on Melba toast, with some celery and tiny grape tomatoes as a colorful and flavorful side.
The first course would be to Anselm’s tastes: a roast in the European medieval style, with figs, dates, and currents–spiced with red wine, cinnamon and cardamom–baked under a thick batter of flour flavored with salt and parsley. (It’s like a pot pie, only there’s a top crust and no bottom crust.) The sides would be a peas pottage spiced with powdered deuce and a dense rye bread with a spreadable blackberry cheese. It would be served with a heavy medieval beer–sweet and lacking in hops.
The second course would be for Micah: thin-sliced, tender cutlets in an apricot sauce; a side of lentil pottage, spiced with mint and a dash of date honey; a couple of pancakes of couscous just a little brown and crisp on the outside, with a little sprinkling of cracked black pepper; and a pita-type bread with honey butter. It would be served with a dray red wine.
Dessert would be a chilled flan made from bone marrow and a spiced pomegranate drink, flavored with a little blood.
Now, if I was eating my protagonist, I’d have her deep-fried and would carelessly eat her with some potato wedges and nary a vegetable, while sitting at my computer and working on my next story (obviously I would need something new, since I’m eating my first main character). I would microwave the leftovers for the next two days before I finally get tired of fried human, but I’ll leave the rest in the fridge for another week, just in case. Finally I will wrinkle up my nose in disgust and toss the fuzzy-looking remains out the back door, where the half-starved neighbor dog and the raccoons could fight over them.
Conclusion: The person to be eaten has little effect on the menu. More important in the planning is who is doing the eating.