Biblio-cookbooks


Fall 2003 (Vol. IV, No. 3) Table of Contents

Betcha didn’t know that Sherlock Holmes had five different cookbooks? Bet he didn’t know either, what’s more I bet Mrs. Hudson didn’t know. We all know about Alice B. Toklas’ cookbook, but did you know that there’s a Hemingway Cookbook? A Steinbeck Cookbook? How about a Jane Austen Cookbook? Mind you, NONE of these people spring to mind as people most happy puttering around in a kitchen. But that doesn’t stop people from pretending or publishing for that matter.

This rant isn’t really about literary cookbooks, those cookbooks that are a better read than most NYT hypermoderns (without them some of us would never get up at two in the morning to whip up a three egg omelet); it’s about those cookbooks that masquerade as part of a writer’s opus. Those that exist only to give the avid Aubrey & Maturin fanatic a Christmas present, something they can’t possibly cook out of but that looks impressive as hell when they unwrap it.

By far the most cookbooks cum literature have attached themselves to kids book series like limpets. EVERY storybook series that warms the cockles of your heart also has recipes for self same cockles: Alice in Wonderland, Wind in the Willows, Wizard of Oz, Beatrix Potter, Secret Garden, Winnie the Pooh, Little House buy the cookbook, Anne of Green Gables cooks Cajun….Is it just me or does anyone else find Peter Rabbit’s Cookbook a little unsettling? And just how many of these things have edible recipes in them? The thought of curds and whey makes me gag and unless Walker’s Shortbread has gone out of business in the last ten minutes my guess is not many of these are going to ever see the top of a kitchen counter. Yet we buy them…well, cause they’re cool.

At first glance there seems to be a cookbook for every fan base; Barbara Pym’s, Frances Parkinson Keyes’, Marjorie Rawlings’, Mark Twain’s, George Bernard Shaw’s, Pearl S. Buck’s, Len Deighton’s. The mystery crowd seems to lean towards cookery at the drop of a corpse, Nero Wolf’s and Lord Peter Wimsey’s, and for some reason ones written by cats …the Cat Who whatevered, Sneaky Pie’s Cookbook (to me a cat lover’s cookbook has a really bad ring to it). But upon further study I find there are some areas that aren’t being catered to:

Where is my Mike Hammer Cookbook? “meat, potatoes, coffee, meat, potatoes, whiskey, cigarettes.”

Where is the Proust Cookbook? “1001 Recipes For Madelines.”

Where is my Sylvia Plath Cookbook? “preheat oven to 350, insert head, remove when done.”

Where is the Tolstoy Cookbook? “potato soup prepared with or without weevils.”

Where is Emily Dickinson’s “Home Cooking for Agoraphobes.”?

And there just HAS to be a Agatha Christie Dinner Party Cookbook; how else would you ever get anyone to sit down with a detective at the table?

Hemingway and Steinbeck have cookbooks in their name but why not “F. Scott Fitzgerald: a Bar Guide”?

But then we would have to have one each for Brendan Behan, Charles Buchowski, and Dashiell Hammett.

I think Ms. Parker would prefer “How to Order Room Service….and Bar Guide.”

What? no Tolkien cookbook? Is it because Hobbit’s all taste like chicken?

What would a Hunter Thompson cookbook be like? I suppose just a DIY guide to psychopharmacology.

I would say there is as yet no Harry Potter Cookbook, but I haven’t checked for one in the last twenty minutes, so I could be wrong.

Quick n Dirty list of Biblio-cookbooks:

Alice B. Toklas Cookbook, Toklas, Alice B.
Barbara Pym Cookbook, Pym, Barbara
Bookmen’s Trio: Ventures In Literary Philandering, Blumenthal, Walter Hart
Books And My Food: Literary Quotations And Original Recipes For Every Day In The Year, Cary, Elisabeth Luther
Cat Who Cookbook, Murphy, Julie
Cross Creek Cookery, Rawlings, Marjorie
Dining With Sherlock Holmes, Rosenblatt, Julia Carlson
Gone With The Wind Cookbook, Mitchell, Margaret
Green Eggs And Ham Cookbook, Seuss, Dr.
Len Deighton’s Cookstrip Cookbook, Deighton, Len
Lillian Beckwith’s Hebridean Cookbook, Beckwith, Lillian
Lobscouse And Spotted Dog: A Gastronomic Companion To The Aubrey/maturin Novels, Grossman, Anne Chotzinoff
Madame Maigret’s Recipes, Courtine, Robert J.
Mary Poppins In The Kitchen, Travers, P. L.
Mrs. Rasmussen’s Book Of One-Arm Cookery, Lasswell, Mary
Mud Pies And Other Recipes: A Cookbook For Dolls, Winslow, Marjorie
Pearl S. Buck’s Oriental Cookbook, Buck, Pearl
Peter Rabbit’s Cookery Book, Emerson, Anne
Plots & Pans: Recipes And Antidotes From The Mystery Writers Of America Webb, Nancy And Jean Francis, Intro By Isaac Asimov
Sherlock Holmes Cookbook Or Mrs. Hudson’s Stoveside Campanion, Wright, Sean
Sherlock Holmes Victorian Cookbook, Bonnell, William
Sneaky Pie’s Cookbook For Mystery Lovers, Brown, Sneaky Pie
Star Trek Cookbook, Phillips, Ethan
Star Wars Cookbook Wookie Cookies & Other, Davis, Robin
Stone Soup To Bagels: A Children’s Literature Cookbook, Amster, Barbara
The Alice In Wonderland Cookbook, Fisher, John
The Anne Of Green Gables Cookbook, Macdonald, Kate
The Beatrix Potter Country Cookery Book, Lane, Margaret
The Book Lover’s Cookbook: Recipes Inspired By Celebrated Works Of Literature And The Passages That Feature Them
The Boxcar Children Cookbook, 
Blain, Diane
The Charles Dickens Cookbook, Marshall, Brenda
The Frances Parkinson Keyes Cookbook, Keyes, Frances Parkinson
The George Bernard Shaw Vegetarian Cookbook, Bates, Dorothy R.
The Hemingway Cookbook, Boreth, Craig
The Jane Austen Cookbook, Black, Maggie
The Literary Gourmet, Wolfe, Linda
The Little House Cookbook, Walker, Barbara
The Lord Peter Wimsey Cookbook, Ryan, Elizabeth Bond
The Louisa May Alcott Cookbook, Anderson, Gretchen
The Mark Twain Library Cookbook
The Nancy Drew Cookbook, 
Keene, Carolyn
The Nero Wolfe Cookbook, Stout, Rex
The Pooh Cookbook, Ellison, Virginia H.
The Secret Garden Cookbook, Burnett, Frances Hodgson
The Sesame Street Cookbook, Tornborg, Pat
The Sherlock Holmes Cookbook, Mills, Charles A.
The Sherlock Holmes Cookbook By Mrs Hudson, Cradock, Fanny
The Star Wars Cookbook Darth Malt And More Galactic Recipes, Frankeny, Frankie
The Steinbeck House Cookbook, Hillyard, Kay
The Storybook Cookbook, Macgregor, Carol
The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz Cook Book, Bayley, Monica
Walt Disney’s Winnie-The-Pooh Cookbook, Illustrated By Color
Wind In The Willows Cookbook, Boxer, Arabella
Winnie The Pooh’s Teatime Cookbook, Milne, A. A.
Wond’rous Fare, Stallworth, Lyn

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