Do you have a recipe from a favorite book?
June 28, 2020 12:00 PM   Subscribe

I recently got so intrigued by a mention of "buttered eggs" in Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Views the Body that I dug up this great blog entry, followed the recipe, and made 'em. Delicious. Now I want to undertake more literary cooking. Ideas, great hive mind?
posted by bearwife to Food & Drink (32 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have one personally, but there are a few projects like this out there, this is actually a blog post collecting a bunch of them:
posted by lgyre at 12:04 PM on June 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

I haven’t tried their recipes but I enjoy this blog.
posted by brilliantine at 12:07 PM on June 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

Hobbit Seed Cake! I adore caraway anyway, this was always going to be a winner for me.
posted by DSime at 12:20 PM on June 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

Dracula has a good Chicken Paprika
posted by thelonius at 12:35 PM on June 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

I loved this thread about how you might go about making Antwerp Flinders from Winter's Tale
posted by Mchelly at 12:35 PM on June 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

The Nero Wolfe mystery series by Rex Stout is stuffed with mid-century gourmet meals, and the amazing official cookbook put together in 1973 by the author with a chef friend and the Viking Press editors is a treasure trove of favourites - not just recipes inspired by the series or thematic dishes, but recipes for the actual meals and snacks the characters are mentioned having in the books.

My favourite that I get the most use out of is the forty-minute scrambled eggs. (That's not forty minutes of active prep, mind you, and shorter if you half the recipe like I do). They're incredibly rich and satisfying custardy soft-scrambled eggs cooked in a double-boiler that make a great indulgence on a weekend morning, and you can find a copy of the recipe here.

Someday, on some landmark birthday, I am determined to try making Saucisse Minuit, which for Nero Wolfe is that recipe in the same way that other detectives have that woman in their past.
posted by northernish at 12:44 PM on June 28, 2020 [5 favorites]

In Valerie Stivers’s Eat Your Words series, she cooks up recipes drawn from the works of various writers. I'm always trying to get people to enjoy it as much as I do - so I hope you find something fun there!
posted by rdnnyc at 1:08 PM on June 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

I can recommend the Black / la Faye Austen cookbook in lgyre's link. There is also Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer on recipes from children's fiction, The Lord Peter Wimsey Cookbook (which I have not read because of the cost of second-hand copies) and The Pooh Cookbook.
posted by paduasoy at 1:19 PM on June 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

The Debt to Pleasure is well disguised as an idiosyncratic recipe book.
posted by flabdablet at 1:22 PM on June 28, 2020

Crime author Val McDermid has been making cooking videos during lockdown with recipes from her own books. Being Scottish, they include porridge, (vegan) stovies and Scotch Broth.
posted by penguin pie at 1:42 PM on June 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

George Simenon frequently mentions Mme. Maigret's dishes in his Inspector Maigret mystery series. One we have enjoyed for years is "boiled potatoes lightly fried in oil". The name is the recipe. Be sure to use a waxy potato and cook them slightly underdone so they don't crumble when sliced.
posted by Botanizer at 2:23 PM on June 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

As a child I had and loved Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes. It featured more-or-less impractical recipes interpreting some of the fanciful foods described in his books. (Children's books, that is. There's no Lamb To the Slaughter-themed recipe for leg of lamb.)
posted by doift at 2:53 PM on June 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

The (sadly recently passed) Sicilian author Andres Camilleri's well-known books featuring Inspector Montalbano are famous for their many descriptions of Sicilian food. These dishes are collected in the book Segreti della tavola di Montalbano : Le ricette di Andrea Camilleri (Secrets from Montalbano's table : The recipes of Andrea Camilleri). There is no English translation, but the recipes aren't too difficult to figure out. Otherwise a google search for "Montalbano recipes" will turn up plenty of iconic dishes such as i perciati ch'abbrusciano, pasta con le sarde, arancini di riso, caponata, agnello alla cacciatora , sarde a beccafico, ‘mpanata di maiale, Salvo's favorite pasta 'ncasciata and others.
posted by slkinsey at 3:03 PM on June 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Like Water for Chocolate is a novel in which the recipes form part of the structure of the story. The recipes look delicious, though I've never made them.
posted by forza at 3:24 PM on June 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

Try Fried Green Tomatoes at the WhistleStop Cafe. Food is a strong element in the book and recipes are an Easter egg at the end.
posted by SLC Mom at 3:52 PM on June 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is always a favourite, however hard to get any of that Ol' Janx Spirit during lockdown
posted by el_presidente at 3:58 PM on June 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

not kidding: there is a great recipe for blood pudding in the annotated dracula.
posted by evilmonk at 5:24 PM on June 28, 2020

In the BBC adaptation of a Whimsy mystery, Bunter offers Mary Whimsy an asparagus omelet. It's not in the book. Clouds of Witness, I think. There is also an omelet and some candy in Strong Poison that figure strongly in the plot, but (spoiler!) dont emulate the exact recipe.

With a little research, you might be able to duplicate some of the dishes served at the Box Hill picnic in Emma (Jane Austen).
posted by SemiSalt at 5:25 PM on June 28, 2020

The Little Library Cafe is a nice website dedicated to recipes inspires by literature. There are accompanying cookery books too I think.
posted by Ballad of Peckham Rye at 6:53 PM on June 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

I came here to rec the eggs from the Nero Wolfe cookbook, but northernish beat me to it. They're good eggs! There is a Lord Peter Wimsey cookbook as well, but to be completely honest, the recipe for scones was not as good as the one from Delia's.
posted by betweenthebars at 7:30 PM on June 28, 2020

I am intrigued by the recipes in A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook.

Pumpkin Pasties from Harry Potter!

I would also love to be able to pull off the Hobbit Day: A Meal Plan for Middle Earth menu, although it would take extensive prep work, a small well-trained army of assistants, and the willingness to be constantly cooking from sunrise to well beyond sunset.

Marilla's Raspberry Cordial from Anne of Green Gables.
posted by erst at 8:17 PM on June 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer always makes me so hungry for Agnes’s sour cream pancakes with pecans!
posted by epj at 8:45 PM on June 28, 2020

Almanzo’s apples’n’onions! There’s lot of recipes out there as it’s not a complicated dish...
posted by Tandem Affinity at 9:31 PM on June 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

Heartburn by Nora Ephron has THE all-time definitive vinaigrette recipe along with some other good ones.
posted by lois1950 at 11:19 PM on June 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch could inspire weeks of peculiar meals.
posted by aws17576 at 11:51 PM on June 28, 2020

Food to Die For - secrets from Kay Scarpetta's kitchen - by Patricial Cornwell. Love the early Scarpetta books, find the later ones a bit weird, but the cookbook is fun!
posted by sedimentary_deer at 3:24 AM on June 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Ballad of Peckham Rye mentioned the delightful blog The Little Library Cafe, by Kate Young. The book that sprang from it is The Little Library Cookbook, and it's lovely. Here's the recipe listing, and here's an extract in The Guardian.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 6:50 AM on June 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

In John Mortimer's Rumpole books the is z character called Dodo Macintosh who is famous for her "cheesy bits". Fans have created recipes. See here
posted by SemiSalt at 7:02 AM on June 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Nthing The Little Library Café! I think the blog is kind of petering out, but likely that's because of the actual cookbook.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:02 AM on June 29, 2020

As a huge Barbara Pym fan I was gratified to find a slim volume (The Barbara Pym Cookbook) of recipes referred to in many of her books, usually eaten alone by genteel spinsters.
posted by primate moon at 8:36 AM on June 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh! And I stumbled upon a Discworld tie-in cookbook once. I don't know if it's 100% "food from the books", some of it may be food inspired by or evocative of the books.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:45 AM on June 29, 2020

Thanks all! EVERYONE gets a best answer! I am looking forward to much literary cooking, starting with that hobbit seed cake.
posted by bearwife at 1:03 PM on July 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

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