Cuisine - 2018-01-01




Cookbooks based on food blogs are a dime a dozen these days, but it’s hard to feel jaded about this one as the premise of Kate Young’s The Little Library Cookbook is so great – food inspired by literature. Divided rather charmingly into Before Noon, Around Noon, Family Dinners and Midnight Feasts, the book features 100-plus recipes from all kinds of works of fiction. While the heavy hitters of literature are there – Austen (“an egg boiled very soft” from Emma), Proust (madeleines), Joyce (Queen Ann’s pudding from Ulysses), Plath (crab and avocado salad from The Bell Jar) – there’s also an array of modern classics featured (Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, to name a couple), along with plenty of nostalgia-inducing children’s books (think Charlotte’s Web and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe). Each recipe is prefaced with the book passage in which the dish features, along with musings from Young about where she was in her life when she was reading this particular work. I enjoyed the fact that none of the recipes were trying to recreate the dish exactly as the author might have imagined it, but were rather Young’s very personal interpretations. ALICE NEVILLE


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