The Book Lover’s Cookbook

January29

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I love to read and I love to cook. My family knows this best and that is why my eldest gave me Outlander Kitchen which I wrote about last week. At any given time I will have a work of fiction and another of non-fiction, in addition to what I have going on my Kindle and what I am reading for blog research.

I typically borrow books from Sister #2 who holds an unbelievable library or my eldest who’s book collection is equally fine but focused towards literature that helped her attain her Masters Degree in Disability Studies. In fact her thesis included excerpts from various fiction and how she related to it in light of her personal disability. The thesis is absolutely fascinating, but I’m her Mom, so I guess that makes me biased. If you would like a copy to ready for yourself, just let me know and I can send it to you.

I also borrow extensively from the library. D and I sometimes go on book dates. We will spend a cozy evening in a bookstore and while I am there, I will make a note about new authors and titles I would like to read and then come home, go online and request them from the library. A good friend of mine who happened to own a bookstore asked me to please not advertise this habit of mine, so that booksellers (who already have a tough go of it), could make some money. I do also purchase second books on Amazon.

When I am in the midst of a good read, I use a bookmark to keep my place but I also turn up the bottom corner of a page that includes a particular culinary reference. I go back through the book once I am finished and make note of these references. Sometimes you see them below as one of “Kath’s Quotes”.

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I have never been invited to a book club but I think that I would greatly enjoy one, not just to hear other perspectives but to imbibe with some other bookies. Here is one such book that is extremely popular among the book-club set. It is called The Book Lover’s Cookbook by Shauna Kennedy Wenger and Janet Kay Jensen. Together they have compiled many references to noshing in literature both past and current and then included the recipe for said reference. For example a recipe entitled “Wished-For Spicy Tomato Sauce with Meatballs” includes a reference from Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms.

A number of my favourite writers are quoted, in addition to Ernest Hemingway, including: Anne Tyler, Isabel Allende, Frank McCourt, Maya Angelou, Jan Karon, Margaret Atwood, Jane Austen, Isak Dinesen (Babette’s Feast), Barbra Kingsolver, Elizabeth Berg, Maeve Binchey, Toni Morrison, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Charlotte Bronte, Marlena de Blasi, Robertson Davies, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Fanny Flag, Charles Frazier, Joanne Harris, Alice Munro, John Irving, Wally Lamb, D.H. Lawrence, Madeline L’Engle, C.S. Lewis, Charles Dickens, William Faulkner, Laura Esquivel, Colleen McCullough, Yann Martel, James A. Michener, Anais Nin, Rosamunde Pilcher, Annie. E. Proulx, Anita Shreve and last (but not least) Amy Tan. Wow, I didn’t think the list would be that long!

As I write this it is the coldest day of the year and throughout the night it was -50 degrees! Last night we snuggled up in front of a hockey game and then got under the feather covers to read our books as the wind howled outside our window. Luckily for me, I work from home and had no client meetings to venture out for. This evening just may be the repeat of the last one. Stay warm Lovies.

Kath’s quote: “The return to the kitchen was not easy. I wanted my daughter to know her past, to eat what I had eaten in my childhood; however, I quickly realized that I no longer remembered my family’s recipes…I forced myself to try and remember a recipe on my own. And that is how I discovered, as I had already known in my childhood, that it was possible to hear voices in the kitchen”.-Laura Esquivel, Between Two Fires

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Love never fails.

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