As mentioned in our previous post (on how to celebrate your kitchen as the heart and hub of a lot of great learning), there is a whole genre of literature that is worth exploring: literature-based cookbooks!
Understand, I love all kinds of cookbooks from the word go, so this isn’t a hard sell for me. I find them to be homey, personal, inspiring and encouraging, artistically fulfilling and just all-around nourishing to heart, mind and soul (oh – and the belly, too!).
That being said, it’s worth noting that there are scads of books specifically created to enhance and extend your family’s engagement with stories you already love – in a way that’s equally expanding as you consider the history, culture and other elements of the recipes. Lit-cooking is such a fabulous springboard for rabbit trails!
- What is turkish delight? (Narnia)
- What kind of tea did colonists drink after they “refused” the British tea? (Felicity, An American Girl)
- Can Oyster Stew honestly be the best thing Laura ever tasted? (Little House series)
- What is Deeper’n’Ever Pie? (Redwall)
- Doesn’t Lamb Stew with Dried Plums served over Wild Rice sound amazing? (Hunger Games)
Learning about the availability of certain ingredients – because of farming, climate, the austerity of the time – due to poverty, war or natural disaster – opens one’s mind to thinking about the human experience. It invites us to be more conscious of our own abundance, our own choices. It urges us to be more adventurous in trying new things, and finding the pleasure in it that others do (even our fictional heroes) – when normally we might not give it a second thought.
- The Book Lover’s Cookbook, by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger
- The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories, by Barbara M. Walker
- The Jane Austen Cookbook, by Maggie Black
- Dinner with Mr Darcy, Pen Vogler
- Tea with Jane Austen, by Kim Wilson
- The Pooh Cook Book, by Virginia H. Ellison
- The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory, by Dinah Bucholz
- The Boxcar Children Cookbook, by Diane Blain
- The Narnia Cookbook: Foods from C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, by Douglas Gresham
- A Christmas Carol Cookbook, by Jennifer Newman Brazil
- Nancy Drew Cookbook: Clues to Good Cooking, by Carolyn Keene
- Addy’s Cook Book, by Jodi Evert (Editor)
- The Secret Garden Cookbook, by Amy Cotler
- Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes, by Roald Dahl
- The Redwall Cookbook, by Brian Jacques
- The Louisa May Alcott Cookbook, by Gretchen Anderson
- Anne of Green Gables Cookbook, by Kate Macdonald
- Cooking with Shakespeare, by Mark Morton
- The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook: From Lamb Stew to “Groosling”, by Emily Ansara Baines
- Star Trek Cookbook, by Ethan Phillips
- Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters, by Jane Yolen
- Winnie-the-Pooh’s Teatime Cookbook, by A.A. Milne
- Dining with Sherlock Holmes: A Baker Street Cookbook, by Julia Carlson Rosenblatt
- The Sherlock Holmes Victorian Cookbook, by William Bonnell
- The Cat Who… Cookbook: Delicious Meals and Menus Inspired By Lilian Jackson Braun, by Julie Murphy
- Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook, by Georgeanne Brennan
- Grandpa’s Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs Cookbook, by Judi Barrett
- Felicity’s Cookbook, by Polly Athan
- Unofficial Recipes of the Hunger Games, by Rockridge Press
- Kirsten’s Cookbook, by Valerie Tripp
- Samantha’s Cookbook, by Jodi Evert
- The Pooh Cook Book, by Katie Stewart
- Josefina’s Cookbook, by Tamara England
- Turkish Delight & Treasure Hunts: Delightful Treats and Games from Classic Children’s Books, by Jane Brocket
If you don’t see your favorite listed here, simply use the search window on Amazon or your internet browser and type in “[book title] cookbook”. Like: Betsy Tacy Cookbook, or Les Miserables cookbook.
Do watch reviews for cues on the things that will appeal to you – some cookbooks are pretty lame, depending on what you are looking for. But when you find a winner, it’s so worth the time spent!!
And just for good measure: I have to share with you this recipe that I’m going to make for dinner tonight. It looks so amazing!!!
Share your favorites in the comments below….
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