Bookish cookbook

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Bookish cookbook

1MarthaJeanne
Editado: Dez 10, 2018, 4:49 am

I saw The little library cookbook in the books my library just added to their Overdrive collection. I'm sold. I NEED a real copy of this. This is delightfully written, and the recipes look wonderful. I need to try this one, and that one, and I was just talking about making toad in the hole, and this recipe calls out to use the extra pan that came with our new stove/oven.

Note: So far I've only read about a third of it.

https://www.theguardian.com/profile/kate-young has links to examples.

Really, this is not author spam! I am a long time member both of LT and this group. I love cookbooks, for reading, for cooking, and often just to look through before closing them and going into the kitchen to just cook. But this cookbook really hit me. It's not just a good cookbook, all the recipes have literary connections, and so I had to make sure my LT cooking friends knew about it.

2Lyndatrue
Dez 10, 2018, 11:28 am

>1 MarthaJeanne: Oh my. I am NOT going to look at that book (at least not right this minute). I'm trying to have *less* things, not more, and this looks like the kind of thing I will immediately want. What a clever idea, pairing recipes with literary efforts.

Thanks for helping my natural acquisitiveness. :-}

3MarthaJeanne
Dez 10, 2018, 12:13 pm

>2 Lyndatrue: Always glad to be of service.

4MarthaJeanne
Editado: Dez 11, 2018, 3:47 am

My favourite cookbook store is getting me a copy, so I'm giving the ebook back and will finish reading it when I have the real thing in my hands.

(Chicklit is one thing; Ebooks are fine. Cookbooks are quite another; Paper works much better.)

Did someone say something about natural acquisitiveness?

5MrsLee
Dez 11, 2018, 9:37 am

Ah, I already have several cookbooks from some of my favorite stories, Lord Peter, Nero Wolfe, Nanny Ogg and more. Can't do it. I just can't do it. *fingers in my ears and humming*

6hfglen
Dez 11, 2018, 1:34 pm

>5 MrsLee: Cookbook? Lord Peter? Now that would be something to look out for! Are the recipes any good. I've seen the Nanny Ogg book, which sticks in the mind for having what I thought was the world's worst curry recipe -- until I saw an almost identical one offered in all seriousness by a Scottish WI. Somehow that makes sort-of sense.

7MrsLee
Dez 12, 2018, 9:22 am

>6 hfglen: The Lord Peter Wimsey Cookbook by Elizabeth Bond Ryan & William J. Eakins. I confess to having read it only. Here is a quote from the description of it.
"The authors of this delicious book have brought together what was eaten and when, with recipes (adjusted to the American scene) and with notations on the wines that accompanied the meals (and the authors have found and noted the equivalent wines, since not all readers will have access to the bounties of his lordship's purse)."

I also have The Recipe Book of the Mustard Club which Dorothy L. Sayers wrote when she created the Mustard Club advertising campaign for Coleman's Mustard. Much fun.

Looking at the Lord Peter cookbook makes me wish I had some local fans of his so that we could meet to talk about the book featured whilst eating the recipe from it. Sigh.

8MarthaJeanne
Dez 26, 2018, 9:19 am

Finished it now. Wonderful book!

I do hope, though, that anyone attempting the goose recipe will see that the times don't make sense. She suggests 65 min/lb or 30 min/kg.

9.Monkey.
Jan 5, 2019, 5:31 pm

*shakes fist at MJ* Dangit I do not need to be buying more cookbooks!! ...but I really need to get this. XD

10haydninvienna
Jun 12, 2022, 4:09 am

I came upon The Little Library Cookbook in the Bicester library on Friday. I'm no great shakes as a cook and will probably never cook anything from it, but it's a terrific read. And the author, like me, grew up in Brisbane and transplanted to England, and she seems to read amazingly widely (from Harry Potter to Elena Ferrante and Isak Dinesen, and some Australian books which might be less familiar to Northern Hemisphere readers, such as Possum Magic and The Magic Pudding). >7 MrsLee: She has a blog (with a contact page) here, and invites readers to make suggestions for new recipes. I don't see any recipe for anything from the Wimsey books, but there is one in the blog for Sherlock Holmes — a recipe for a blood orange cake, suggested by the short story "The Five Orange Pips".
Unusually among food blogs these days, there's no advertisements on the blog, nor any cheesy "Welcome! I'm Mary Sue ..." on the home page.

Not all the recipes in the book are in the blog. There is indeed a chicken curry recipe in the book, based on one from Mrs Beeton, (probably not to your taste, Hugh) but it's offered to accompany a quotation from "The Adventure of the Naval Treaty", in which Homes and Watson share Mrs Hudson's chicken curry for breakfast.

11Sovay
Jun 12, 2022, 5:12 am

And now I too need this book!

>10 haydninvienna: The Magic Pudding is known over here in England - I had a copy as a child - not sure what happened to it. Possum Magic, however, not familiar.

I thought I had quite a number of literary cookbooks but on viewing the shelves it turns out to be only five (The Nero Wolfe Cookbook; Cooking and Dining With the Wordsworths; The Jane Austen Cookbook; Lobscouse and Spotted Dog; and Nanny Ogg's Cookbook). Though Jane Grigson's Food With the Famous kind of counts.

The Lord Peter Wimsey Cookbook sounds uncomfortably like a Downton Abbey cookbook a friend gave me for Christmas years ago which irritated the XXXX out of me with a combination of modernised Americanised recipes and the US author's total lack of understanding of how UK social class worked in the early 20th century.

12Sovay
Jun 12, 2022, 5:19 am

>6 hfglen: Yep, British curry until quite late in the last century was basically a standard British meat stew with the addition of diced apple, raisins or sultanas and a bit of curry powder. In fact the most reliable way of identifying it as curry was that it came with rice instead of potatoes. I remember it well from school dinners in the 1970s/1980s ...

13MarthaJeanne
Jun 12, 2022, 5:32 am

There is also Roald Dahl's Completely Revolting Recipes if you want literary references.

14Sovay
Jun 12, 2022, 5:48 am

>13 MarthaJeanne: I've seen that - not tempted to purchase! For some reason I didn't read Roald Dahl as a child.

15MarthaJeanne
Editado: Jun 12, 2022, 5:53 am

He has also written adult books. I think mostly short story collections, and very horrific. Hmmm. I wonder if the cookbook includes lamb roast.

The boys and I quite enjoyed many of his books when they were growing up.

16hfglen
Jun 12, 2022, 6:06 am

>10 haydninvienna: >12 Sovay: Yes indeedle! I'd be acutely wary of a "curry" that doesn't have an at least partly Asian pedigree! The idea of a watery yellow stew with a few raisins floating in it like drowned flies doesn't appeal! Sovay, before about 1990 if you wanted a decent curry here it necessitated a trip to Bo-Kaap (Cape Town: Malay), Lenasia (Johannesburg), Laudium (Pretoria) or some parts of Durban. Even today, Durban supermarkets (throughout) smell different to Johannesburg or Pretoria ones because the spices are much more plentiful and openly displayed.

>10 haydninvienna: I'd be curious about almost anything to do with the Wizards' dinners at Unseen University, except possibly Mrs Scorbic the cook!

17haydninvienna
Editado: Jun 12, 2022, 8:51 am

>16 hfglen: I suppose the Nanny Ogg cookbook wouldn't deal with the Unseen University dinners (although I understand that The Discworld Companion includes a recipe for Wow-Wow Sauce*). I saw nothing to suggest that Kate Young has ever encountered Terry Pratchett's works, but also nothing to suggest that she wouldn't enjoy them. Same goes for Rex Stout, incidentally.

* Which is a real thing: Wikipedia gives a reference to a recipe by William Kitchiner (great name for a cook) published in 1817. For the curious, since it seems unlikely that Mr K would enforce a copyright:
Wow-Wow Sauce for Stewed or Bouilli Beef
Chop some Parsley-leaves very finely, quarter two or three pickled Cucumbers, or Walnuts, and divide them into small squares, and set them by ready: — put into a sauce-pan a bit of Butter as big as an egg; when it is melted, stir to it a tablespoon-full of fine Flour; and about a half-pint of the Broth in which the Beef was boiled; add a tablespoon-full of Vinegar, the like quantity of Mushroom Catchup, or Port Wine, or both, and a teaspoonful of made Mustard; let it simmer together till it is as thick as you wish, put in the Parsley and Pickles to get warm, and pour it over the Beef, — or rather send it up in a Sauce-tureen.
He then adds some possible variations which I will not try to copy out; his early-nineteenth-century orthography is too much like hard work. Nothing that suggests the explosive properties of Unseen University's wow-wow sauce.

ETA having copied out the quotation from an on-line scan i find that of course the text is available on Project Gutenberg. From which I quote the variations:
Obs. If you think the above not sufficiently piquante, add to it some capers, or a minced eschalot, or one or two tea-spoonfuls of eschalot wine (No. 402)**, or essence of anchovy, or basil (No. 397), elder, or tarragon (No. 396), or horseradish (No. 399), or burnet vinegar; or strew over the meat carrots and turnips cut into dice, minced capers, walnuts, red cabbage, pickled cucumbers, or French beans, &c.
Just above the recipe for wow-wow sauce, there is this rather chilling comment:
For the sake of producing a pretty colour, “cheese,” “Cayenne” (No. 404), “essence of anchovy” (No. 433), &c. are frequently adulterated with a colouring matter containing red lead!! See Accum on the Adulteration of Food, 2d edit. 12mo. 1820.
Sheesh. Red lead (a lead oxide) is insoluble in water but soluble in the gastric hydrochloric acid, and is therefore quite toxic.

**The numbers are references to other recipes in the book. "... basil (No. 397), elder, or tarragon (No. 396), or horseradish (No. 399*), or burnet vinegar" all mean vinegar flavoured with the respective herbs.

18Sovay
Jun 13, 2022, 2:33 am

>15 MarthaJeanne: Tales of the Unexpected, I think - I've never read any but they were adapted for TV back in the 1970s and 1980s. I remember the leg of lamb ...

19Sovay
Jun 13, 2022, 2:41 am

>17 haydninvienna: The Roundworld recipe for Wow-Wow Sauce is also in Nanny Ogg's Cookbook - I haven't tried it though. As part of my mission to cook all my books I did make Klammers Beefymite Spread, which was OK, but the book has now retired back to the fiction shelves and will be staying there.

20MarthaJeanne
Jun 13, 2022, 2:52 am

>18 Sovay: Aha! I wondered if anyone would catch the reference. That is the story that has stuck since I read it 40 years ago.

21Sovay
Jun 17, 2022, 2:23 am

I couldn't resist; sensibly priced second-hand copy of The Little Library Cookbook arrived yesterday.

I'm considering what should be my policy in respect of my cooking-all-the-books mission - should I set myself the additional challenge of reading the book from which the recipe is taken (if not already read)? That would rule out Madeleines, for one ...

22bayleaf
Jul 21, 2022, 12:01 pm

Has anyone heard of The Little Library Year: Recipes and reading to suit each season? It also sounds interesting.

23sarahemmm
Jul 22, 2022, 12:20 pm

>12 Sovay: Yes, indeed! And always served with sliced banana...