British author Enoch Arnold Bennett was born on May 27, 1867 and died on March 27, 1931. He’s remembered for more than his plays and novels, he’s also remembered because of a recipe. Bennett was a frequent visitor at the Savoy Hotel. Whenever he ate there he ordered an omelette made with smoked haddock, Parmesan cheese and cream. The Savoy renamed the dish Omelette Arnold Bennett.
I was browsing through Amazon.com and was happily surprised to find The Book Lover’s Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature. You can be sure that I’ve added it to my wish list! It combines two of may favorite things, cooking and reading.
Wake up to a perfect breakfast with Mrs. Dalby’s Buttermilk Scones, courtesy of James Herriot’s All Things Bright and Beautiful and Ichabod’s Slapjacks, as featured in Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. There’s homey comfort food like Connie May’s Tomato Pie, created with and inspired by Connie May Fowler (Remembering Blue); Thanksgiving Spinach Casserole (Elizabeth Berg’s Open House); and Amish Chicken and Dumplings (Jodi Picoult’s Plain Truth) . . . Sample salads, breads, and such soul-warming soups as Nearly-a-Meal Potato Soup (Terry Kay’s Shadow Song); Mr. Casaubon’s Chicken Noodle Soup (George Eliot’s Middlemarch); and Mrs. Leibowitz’s Lentil-Vegetable Soup (Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes) . . . After relishing appetizers and entrees, there’s a dazzling array of desserts, including Carrot Pudding (Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol); Effie Belle’s Coconut Cake (Olive Ann Burns’s Cold Sassy Tree); and the kids will love C.S. Lewis’s Turkish Delight from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Sprinkled throughout with marvelous anecdotes about writers and writing, The Book Lover’s Cookbook is a culinary and literary delight, a browser’s cornucopia of reading pleasure, and a true inspiration in the kitchen.
Some of the Recipes and the Books that Inspired Them
Jo’s Best Omelette . . . Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
No Dieter’s Delight Chicken Neapolitan . . . Thinner by Stephen King
Extra-Special Rhubarb Pie . . . The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas
Grand Feast Crab Meat Casserole . . . At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon
Persian Cucumber and Yogurt . . . House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
Tamales . . . Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Bev’s No-Fuss Crab Cakes . . . Unnatural Exposure by Patricia Cornwell
Macaroni and Cheese . . . The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
Veteran Split Pea Soup . . . The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Alternative Carrot-Raisin-Pineapple Salad . . . Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
Summer’s Day Cucumber-Tomato Sandwiches . . . Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
Refreshing Black Cows . . . The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
Dump Punch . . . Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Not Violet, But Blueberry Pie . . . Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Innocent Sweet Bread . . . The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Daddy’s Rich Chocolate Cake . . . Fatherhood by Bill Cosby