Serendipity Day at the library is always fun for me. I wander around and pick books off the shelf almost arbitrarily and take them home to look them over. Usually I find I'm not all that interested in the book about agronomy in subtropical Africa or the latest novel by somebody I've never heard of (and will never hear of again), but sometimes I hit on a treasure.
Such a treasure is The Book Lover's Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature and the Passages that Feature Them, by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger and Janet Kay Jensen.
Recipes range from tea cakes (mentioned in The Great Gatsby) and oatmeal cookies (apparently that was the kind of cookie envisioned in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie) to Mr Casaubon's Chicken Noodle Soup (from Middlemarch) to pork roast with cabbage (served by Jim in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.)
There is so much food in literature. The book offers a recipe for oysters (mentioned in "The Walrus and the Carpenter"), fried green tomatoes (featured at the Whistle Stop Cafe), strawberry fudge (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), liniment cake (Anne of Green Gables), tarts ("Mr and Mrs Dove," by Katherine Mansfield and Jane Eyre), punch (Pride and Prejudice), onion soup (Les Miserables), and . . . and . . . and . . .
Along with quotations from the books that inspired these recipes are quotations about books and reading, all of them inspiring. I haven't made anything from these recipes, but the book is so readable I don't need to use it in that way to enjoy it.
"My family can always tell when I'm well into a novel, because the meals get very crummy." -- Ann Tyler