Sunday, December 5, 2010

Eating The Books (Or at least from them)

Hopefully, by this point, you have all at one time or another tried a recipe from a book that you were reading.  Maybe it wasn’t even a recipe, just a dish that a character talked about that you then had to go figure out how to make.  We have all been there: an author describes a food in such a way that you want it right then and there and you will do whatever you have to, to get it.  Sometimes this is as easy as going into your kitchen and whipping it up, other times it is impossible, with ingredients that are completely foreign to you or that were made up to begin with. 

I remember my earliest frustration, one which I think I shared with many: wanting Turkish Delight after reading C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and having no idea what they were or where to get them.  It wasn’t until years after reading the book that I found and tried Turkish Delight in Canada, and after that long wait they were not worth it at all.  Honestly, I wish they still lived only in my imagination.

More and more authors are having the foresight and courtesy to include recipes with their wonderful descriptions.  Though I have had a few incidences of these recipes being complete failures (a love of food does not necessarily mean an ability to cook) usually if a recipe makes it through the whole writing, editing, and publishing process you can trust it.  Sometimes it is a hassle to go to the bookshelf that holds your fiction and memoir books to leaf through and try to find recipes though.  I assume most of you, like me keep your cookbooks separate from your other books, most likely near the kitchen.  Wouldn’t it be nice if someone took all those recipes and made them into their own books?

Well, it seems a few other clever individuals thought this was a good idea too, and they took it a few steps further and actually did it!  After a little field trip to the library I have collected a pretty good collection of those type of cookbooks, and after a little research have found the titles for a whole bunch more.  Some of the recipes are from books about food, and some are just inspired by favorite stories and characters.  Personally, I hope to permanently add to my collection both, The Book Club Cookbook, and, The Book Lover’s Cookbook.  These two are not only great resources for recipes to try and books to read, but their eclectic mix would keep kitchen boredom at bay for quite a while.

Those I found at the Library:

The Cat Who… Cookbook
by Julie Murphy & Sally Abney Stempinsky
Over 200 recipes and menus inspired by Lillian Jackson Braun’s beloved bestselling mysteries

Lobscouse & Spotted Dog
by Anne Chotzinoff Grossman & Lisa Grossman Thomas
A Gastronomic companion to the Aubrey/Maturin novels by Patrick O’Brian

The Book Club Cookbook
by Judy Gelman & Vicki Levy Krupp
Recipes and food for thought from your book club’s favorite books and authors

The Book Lover’s Cookbook
by Shaunda Kennedy Wegner & Janet Kay Jensen
Recipes Inspired by celebrated works of literature and the passages that feature them

The Jane Austen Cookbook
by Maggie Black & Deirdre Le Faye
Recipes from Jane Austen’s household and time period
I couldn't resist
Do you have any literary inspired cookbooks? 
What about books that you wish had cookbook

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