Table of Contents: From Breakfast With Anita Diamant to Dessert With James Patterson - a Generous Helping of Recipes, Writings and Insights From Today's Bestselling Authors

BOOK: Table of Contents: From Breakfast With Anita Diamant to Dessert With James Patterson - a Generous Helping of Recipes, Writings and Insights From Today's Bestselling Authors
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TABLE
OF
CONTENTS

From Breakfast with
ANITA DIAMANT to Dessert
with JAMES PATTERSON —
A Generous Helping of Recipes,
Writings, and Insights from Today's
Bestselling Authors

J
UDY
G
ELMAN
& V
ICKI
L
EVY
K
RUPP
Creators of
BookClubCookbook.com

Copyright © 2011 by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp
All rights reserved.
This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher; exceptions are made for brief excerpts used in published reviews.

Published by
Adams Media, a division of F+W Media, Inc.
57 Littlefield Street, Avon, MA 02322. U.S.A.
www.adamsmedia.com

ISBN 10: 1-4405-0403-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-4405-0403-7
eISBN 10: 1-4405-0928-X
eISBN 13: 978-1-4405-0928-5

Printed in the United States of America.

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Gelman, Judy
Table of contents / Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.
p. cm.
Includes indexes.
ISBN-13: 978-1-4405-0403-7
ISBN-10: 1-4405-0403-2
ISBN-13: 978-1-4405-0928-5 (ebook)
ISBN-10: 1-4405-0928-X (ebook)
1. Cooking. 2. Cookbooks. I. Krupp, Vicki Levy II. Title.
TX714.G4465 2011
641.5 — dc22
2010038810

While the copyright for this book as a whole is registered under the authors' names, the content by individual contributors was provided to Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp under various permission arrangements and remain under the copyright of the respective contributor.

Readers are urged to take all appropriate precautions before undertaking any how-to task. Always read and follow instructions and safety warnings for all tools and materials, and call in a professional if the task stretches your abilities too far. Although every effort has been made to provide the best possible information in this book, neither the publisher nor the author are responsible for accidents, injuries, or damage incurred as a result of tasks undertaken by readers. This book is not a substitute for professional services.

This book is available at quantity discounts for bulk purchases.
For information, please call 1-800-289-0963.

DEDICATION

For our husbands Peter Krupp and Peter Zheutlin

Introduction

Table of Contents
grew out of our ongoing infatuation with books and literature. As ravenous readers with a passion for great literature and delicious food, we are fortunate to have spent much of the last decade immersed in recipes inspired by the pages of our favorite books. Give us a slice of Sue Monk Kidd's honey cake while reading
The Secret Life of Bees
, and we're happy campers. A mojito with Gabriel García Márquez's
Love in the Time of Cholera
— sublime.

Through our early research into book clubs and our website,
BookClubCookbook.com
, we have confirmed what we had long suspected: we're not the only ones who feel this way. Readers in general are enthralled by food, and many have a strong appetite for recipes connected to the literature they read. Book lovers enjoy being transported to exotic locations and exposed to new cultures in their reading — sampling unfamiliar foods is part of the journey. Some book clubs recreate entire menus to reflect a reading selection, conceive unusual dinner themes based on a book, or research a passing reference made to a dish to serve at their meetings. Countless book club members have shared with us the joy of using food to enhance and enliven their meetings. As one visitor to our website recently wrote, “our greatest pleasures in life include both good books and good food!”

In 2002, we teamed up to create a food and literature resource for book clubs.
The Book Club Cookbook
(Tarcher/Penguin, 2004) matched 100 top book club reading selections with recipes drawn from or inspired by those books. This was followed by a guide for youth book groups,
The Kids' Book Club Book
(Tarcher/Penguin, 2007), which included recipes and activities designed to enhance the reading experience for children and young adults. Our two websites,
BookClubCookbook.com
and
KidsBookClubBook.com
, offer recipes and resources for lovers of food and literature. They allow us to stay connected with book clubs and avid readers, offer current resources to book clubs, and help bring authors and readers together.
BookClubCookbook.com
has become a destination for readers hungry for new and updated author recipes. Here you can find our online “cookbook” of culinary/literary treasures, including Elizabeth Strout's recipe for the doughnuts that her character Olive Kitteridge adores, and the famous Chocolate Pie that Minny bakes in Kathryn Stockett's
The Help
.

Besides tapping the creativity of book clubs, we have frequently turned to authors for recipes inspired by their own writing and this book is the result. Food is often used as a plot device, a way of establishing historical or cultural context, or a method for revealing character in literature. But what we find most fascinating are the stories behind these references. Why did a certain dish appear in a particular scene? Did the author simply imagine the dish? Was it a family recipe? Was it something drawn from the author's travels or life experience? In short, was there a reason a particular food or recipe worked its way into their writing? Authors answered these questions, and through recipes and notes shared their family histories, interests and ambitions, the origin of their characters, or the meaning of their books' settings.

The result is the book you hold in your hands.

For this, our latest book, we chose the fifty authors featured in its pages — from famous and well established writers to a new generation of up and coming literary lights — for their proven appeal to readers. We didn't choose authors simply because their novels or memoirs had culinary themes; we wanted to include authors whose books we know readers and book clubs love.

Many writers were thrilled to participate; they had previously given thought to the role of food in their writing and therefore welcomed the chance to share their culinary creativity with readers. Novelist Barbara Delinsky describes herself as a “noncook,” but says “I cook vicariously through my characters. The opportunity to offer readers a recipe is a gift that not only brings attention to a special element of my book, but has drawn in readers who have never read me before.” Joanne Harris, author of
Chocolat
, perhaps said it best when she ruminated about the early influences of food and its symbolic and practical role in literature:

I think tastes and smells are particularly evocative to us because as newborns we first experience the world through those two senses. That means that our
emotional
response to a taste or a smell (think of Proust and his lime-blossom tisane) can act upon us at a very powerful, subconscious level. This is also true in literature, folk tales, and mythology, where food and drink have played an important symbolic role for centuries.

In more recent literature, such references provide a handy means of reflecting different cultures and distant places. It's also a very useful indicator of personality. Eating habits provide us with an insight into a person's background, character, family, and upbringing, as well as their general attitude to life and to other people. Besides, readers
understand
food; in our increasingly diverse and multicultural society, eating remains one of the very few experiences we all have in common; a pleasure, a comfort, and a means of expression.

As writers submitted recipes, we were mesmerized by the stories that accompanied them. For example, characters inspired some recipes. Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, authors of The Nanny Diaries series, imagine their feisty character, Grandma, serving a Park Avenue Plum Torte to a group gathered in her New York City apartment. Alice, the narrator in Lisa Genova's novel,
Still Alice
, suffers from Alzheimer's disease and can't remember how many eggs belong in the bread pudding she has made so often. The pain of memory loss, explored in Genova's novel, is made palpable as the character struggles to prepare this family recipe.

Some authors linked recipes to their book's setting. Thrity Umrigar set her novel
The Space Between Us
in Bombay, and her recipe for
bhelpuri
— a Bombay street snack made from puffed rice, onions, cilantro, chutneys, and spices — is a culinary parallel to the cultural diversity of the city. Esmeralda Santiago's traditional Puerto Rican recipes conjure the homeland she left behind many years ago — an experience she writes about in
When I Was Puerto Rican
. To make Santiago's recipes — to rub a garlicky
adobo
spice mix onto
pernil
(pork shoulder), and to enjoy the fragrance of a ginger-cinnamon-clove spice infusion as it simmers on the stove — is to be transported to the country that shaped her.

A novel's historical period also offers rich opportunities for culinary creativity. Katherine Howe's novel,
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
, is partially set in colonial New England during the Salem witch trials, and her recipes for Fish House Punch and Herb Sallet were gleaned from historical documents of the time. Similarly, Philippa Gregory, author of novels of ancient royal intrigue such as
The White Queen and The Other Boleyn Girl
, offers a recipe for Medieval Gingerbread. Although she translates the recipe into modern language, the basic ingredients and procedures remain true to Tudor England.

To our delight, there are many family recipes in this collection — from tried and true favorites handed down through generations to new ones inspired by our request.

Chris Cleave challenged his chef wife, Clémence, to create a recipe combining Nigerian and Western ingredients and flavors to accompany his novel
Little Bee
, a story about the unlikely friendship between a Nigerian girl and an English woman. The result features a delicious and unusual combination of ingredients. In Dolen Perkins-Valdez's historical novel
Wench
, Mawu, a slave, practices magic and makes a stew that she claims can “soften the white man.” Many readers have asked the author: what was in Mawu's magical stew? Perkins-Valdez called upon her uncle, whom she calls “the most accomplished cook in my family,” to help her create Mawu's Magical Stew for our book. (You'll have to read on to learn what's in the stew!) Abraham Verghese provides three recipes to go with his novel
Cutting for Stone
, all from his Indian-born mother. The cooking scenes he describes in his novel reflect memories of his own childhood in his mother's Indian kitchen. Elinor Lipman offers her mother's noodle kugel as made by aspiring chef Natalie Marx, the narrator of
The Inn at Lake Devine
. And Jayne Anne Phillips contributes two delicious and elegant cake recipes — both of which are her mother's recipes from hand-written notes — that she imagines Lark (from her novel
Lark & Termite
) might prepare.

Table of Contents
covers every course, from drinks to desserts and everything in between. Authors offered recipes for every mood and occasion — from Sara Gruen's sophisticated Salmon en Croûte to Jacquelyn Mitchard's down home comfort food of meatballs and gravy. Some recipes call for just three or four ingredients and a few simple steps. Others are more involved, but all can easily be prepared by the home cook. We love the diversity of the recipes, too: their origins span the globe, from Paris to Puerto Rico, from Scandinavia to Syria, from Iowa … to Oz. Like our own personal recipe collections, this cookbook contains recipes from authors' family and friends, recipes adapted from their favorite cookbooks, and those well-worn beloved recipes with no known origin.

In addition to their recipes and stories,
Table of Contents
features intimate profiles of these authors. We asked them about their literary influences, what inspires their writing, what they would like readers to know, and questions that readers like you frequently ask. We hope these authors' ideas, anecdotes, and stories will help bring their books alive, encourage thoughtful discussion, deepen the reading experience, and of course, inspire all lovers of good books and good food.

We have spent hours simmering and stewing, kneading and rolling, blending and baking. We learned something about each of these marvelous writers through their stories and their recipes. It's our thrill to share it all with you. Enjoy the feast!

BOOK: Table of Contents: From Breakfast With Anita Diamant to Dessert With James Patterson - a Generous Helping of Recipes, Writings and Insights From Today's Bestselling Authors
8.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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