Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Book Advent Calendar Day 10: Food and books, and cookbooks stash

   I love Terri Windling's blog Myth and Moor.  On Friday, December 5 she blogged about food blogs that have to do with books.  You have to scroll down to Dec 5's post.  She has put up photos of the most amazing foods recreated from novels, photos of dishes that several bloggers have been recreating  from various literary sources, or from poets and author's diaries and journals.  They are fascinating to look through.  I have listed all of the blogs she mentions under a new setting on my sidebar, Food and Book Blogs.  I will be going to peruse each one in depth.  Some have the most delightful stories and anecdotes about authors.  Glorious pictures about food.  I am so delighted to discover these blogs.  I love the idea of eating the food that characters did, or authors loved.  Especially older books.  Who can resist trying to recreate Jane Austen's Brown Butter Bread Pudding Tarts? 
 Or Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell's Black Forest Raven Cake?


I also love Terri's blog because she talks about the creative process, what it's like to be an artist in today's world, the struggles to be creative.  She discusses nature, and fairy tales, and so many other interesting topics.  The post on Dec 4 is about the folklore of food.  In this post she talks about books that feature food, like Joanna Harris' Chocolat.  Her blog is interesting, creative, soul-nurturing.  And now I have all these lovely new-to-me food and book blogs to go visit!  This has been like a Christmas present for me, so this was my advent calendar opening for the day.

For your treat, I thought I would show a few photos of the cookbooks I currently have. Cath at Read-Warbler did a post last week on Show Your Bookstash,  from Carolyn at Riedel Fascination who come up with this idea.  Margaret at Books Please and Pat at Here, There and Everywhere blog did a post on Dec 7. So here are my cookbooks stash, on their bookshelf in the dining room:

The only cookbook not on the shelf is The Jane Austen Cookbook by Maggie Lane, which is on my classics shelf with the Jane Austen books.   If I feel like shaming myself in revealing just how double-booked my shelves are in my reading corner, I'll take some photos for you tomorrow.

I'm interested in the history of food, how we eat, how the way we cook and serve food has evolved over the centuries.  A book that I just realized you can't see on my shelves because it was hidden by some papers is Kate Colquhoun's Taste: The Story of Britain through its Cooking.  That's a book I've dipped into on occasion and loved.   The magazines on one of the shelves are all food magazines, which I love to look through and cut out recipes from. 

An idea I am forming is that I think in 2015, one of my goals is to start using my cookbooks more.  I like the idea of cooking my way through a book, like Julie Powell did with Julia Child in her book and the movie, Julie and Julia. 
I loved how she cooked her way right the way through the cookbook.  I might try something like cooking a recipe from every cookbook I own, or something along those lines.  I need to try expanding my cooking.  I love how cooking is a marriage of magic and alchemy in the kitchen. I love the comfort I get from making good food for my family, that tastes good and I know is nutritious and healthy.  I definitely want to explore taste and colour and spices more.  And maybe I'll check on those book and food blogs for some other creative ideas to do with cooking over the next year.  A literary feast sounds fun, doesn't it?

Of course I confess I haven't read Julie & Julia, I've only seen the movie.  And I haven't read Chocolat or Like Water For Chocolate yet, though I have seen those movies as well.  *hangs head in shame*

Here is something soul-comforting and immensely nurturing that I baked yesterday:

The taste of homemade chocolate cookies is sublime.  Yum.

So what are some of your favourite books that feature food?  Have you discovered a favourite recipe/dish/food because of a novel? 


Anonymous said...

What a nice surprise to meet you, Susan and have you join me special event at the eleventh hour! I corrected the ladies that being in my challenges (which includes a mystery one!) wasn't necessary. I invited all peers, whether subscribed to my blog or at Goodreads.

I took great pleasure in what you shared and thank you profusely for promoting me on your blog! For my little blog, this theme generated the kind of interest I have always hoped my ideas might. Something easy but more communal than simply drawing a name for prizes.

I see your family includes cats. We lost one too soon, to an unknown cause very recently. I have a great need to hear from people who understand he isn't a pet. Everyone's book photos and enthusiasm have given me a lot to smile about! Appreciatively, Carolyn.

Belle Wong said...

The Myth and Moor blog looks so interesting - it looks like she talks about a lot of intriguing things. I love reading books about food. I always think the best kind of cookbook is one that you can sit with and read from cover to cover. The best cookbooks can hook me like a good novel!

Susan said...

Carolyn: my pleasure! I'm so happy you have had a good response to your challenges and book stash idea :-)

I'm so sorry about losing your cat. It's so hard at the best of times. To not know what happened makes it even harder. We still talk about our cat Bandit and miss her, even though it has been 4 1/2 years since she died. Our two new cats keep us very busy! lol One day I hope you will find you are ready for a new feline to come into your life, not to take the place of the one you lost, but to come beside and be loved too.

Belle: I like that thought, that the best cookbooks can hook you that way! You are so right. My sister was so surprised when I said I read through them, and I do - I love the comments and the thoughts that each cook has placed by their recipes. It creates an aura of the cook talking to me, being with me in my kitchen. I hope you enjoy Myth and Moor, it is beautiful blog - and you're a writer too, so there will be lots to interest you there!

Anonymous said...

It sure does help that we aren't cat-less. Love's Mom, elders, and siblings are here. Anyone misses a child for who they are individually no matter their quantity. I don't understand dying at scarcely 4 (they were all merely lounging with me on the bed that day), when I have a 10 and 14 year-old trucking along. I have trouble with the unfairness. But yes, our other 6 give me reason to smile daily and it takes all of them to do it! Thank you: condolences matter too. I salute your dear Bandit.

It's no secret standing back to look at my lifetime of 'to be read' books makes me smile too! Comments to the "Show Me Your Stash" Follow-Up that I spent all day posting (dial-up internet) would surely brighten my day. :) By the way: the "Julie & Julia" film you referred to is the reason I have a blog today.

Susan said...

Carolyn: You have 6 cats??! Or am I misreading your comment?

Will come and look at your new post :-)

Did you like the Julie & Julia movie?

JaneGS said...

Books about food--perfect combination.

I've always associated Pickwick Papers by Dickens with foood--seems the Pickwickians are always stop for a meal, a snack, a drink...or two or more.

Chocolat is a favorite, as is Like Water for Chocolate, which I really need to reread.

In the Anne books, there are also a fair amount of baking references--toothsome pink cakes are what I remember best :)

Homemade cc cookies are the best!

Anonymous said...

That's why I said we lost one too soon and why there's a hole. Love is part of a family, including Mom, that we kept together (and spaid). It boggles me that people thought our 7 a handful. One dog (poorly cared for, of course) is a great hassle. Live in my rural community for one day and see there is no peace. :( When people come over, I don't understand why they're surprised to not see animals milling everywhere. They're bathed tri-monthly and are a well-trained group. They sit when we ask "please sit" and other instructions, all in unison. It's wonderful to see. :)

Yes, I loved the film enough to want a blog of my own. Speaking of which, what it's eager for is not solely lookers but comments; so I know how folks enjoy what they see.

Susan said...

Jane: I really need to read Pickwick Papers. I have read very little Dickens, to my shame. *hangs head down* It's on my list of classics to read!

I'll have to think of other books where food plays a part - Laura Ingalls Wilder is one that comes to mind. I wonder why in adult fiction is not a big role?

Our cc cookies were gone in 3 days! lol

Carolyn: 7 cats is alot, though if you live in the country, there is more space/land for them, too. However did you train them? lol