Recipes come straight out of literatureMarch 6, 2009
I haven’t ever been much of a fan of cooking. Growing up I never had any real desire to help out in the kitchen with supper or other meals; just not my cup of tea. Lately though, and especially since living in a house with my own kitchen, I have developed an appreciation for cooking. While shelving books in the library last week I stumbled across a new nonfiction book titled “The Book Lover’s Cookbook”, which contained recipes from various classic works of literature. I was intrigued, as I love to read, and soon discovered that the library contains many other “literary cookbooks” on its shelves.
The children’s department is chock full of these “literary cookbooks”. Growing up, one of my personal favorite characters was Nancy Drew, and “The Nancy Drew Cookbook: Clues to Good Cooking”, by Carolyn Keene, is full of the same fun and mystery as the novels. The recipes contain hints and clues from Nancy, and each segment starts off with an excerpt from one of the novels. Another popular mystery series is the Boxcar Children, and “The Boxcar Children Cookbook”, by Diane Blain contains meals that the children in the novels cook for themselves.
Another one of my favorite books growing up was “The Secret Garden”. “The Secret Garden Cookbook”, by Amy Cotler talks about the magic of making things come alive, in this case, by cooking! The book is full of historical facts about the food that the children of the novel would have eaten, based off of traditional Victorian meals. Another cookbook that deals with historical meals is “My Little House Cookbook”, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, based off of the Little House series. These recipes take the reader back to the pioneer days of living in the prairie.
For fun and entertaining cooking explore “Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes”, by Felicity Dahl, and “The Star Wars Cookbook: Wookie Cookies and other Galactic Recipes”, by Robin Davis. “Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes” draws its recipes from the hilarious and comedic work of Roald Dahl, and includes instructions for making such mouth-watering dishes as Wormy Spaghetti, Bird Pie, Lickable Wallpaper, and Candy-Coated Pencils for Sucking in Class. “The Star Wars Cookbook” is also full of unusual recipes, named after various characters, such as C-3PO Pancakes, Skywalker Smoothies, Death Vader Dark Chocolate Sundaes, and Yoda Soda.
These cookbooks don’t stop with just children, however. Some adult authors also have written cookbooks to go along with their work. Two very popular adult mystery series’ have their own cookbooks. Based off of the Kay Scarpetta novels, Patricia Cornwell’s “Food to Die For” contains the recipes that chef Kay uses to unwind and recharge after her long days of solving crimes. “The Cat Who… Cookbook”, by Julie Murphy, contains over 200 recipes and menus, inspired by the Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Braun. Also included is a special Feline Fare section, which features some of cat Koko’s favorite dishes.
Another cookbook dealing with Victorian-era meals is the “Sherlock Holmes Cookbook”, by Sean Wright, taking the reader back to the sitting room with the gaslight and the smoking pipes. Or want to be reminded of the ways of Southern cooking? Then check out “Jan Karon’s Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader”, edited by Martha McIntosh.
Check out these and other great “literary cookbooks” at the Hastings Public Library!