This quirky little book was recently on display at my library, and I couldn't resist taking a closer look. It consists of fourteen recipes, each reading more like a short story. The fun begins when you realize the "stories" are written in the style of a famous author.
As I skimmed through this slim collection, I was particularly drawn to "recipes" by Jane Austen, John Steinbeck, Virginia Woolf, and Geoffrey Chaucer. As expected, Chaucer's Onion Tart recipe was beyond my comprehension (as is his work). Harold Pinter's Cheese on Toast recipe is, naturally, presented as a play.
My favorite recipe was for Tarragon Eggs a la Jane Austen:
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried
4 tablespoons butter
Pinch of salt
It is a truth universally acknowledged that eggs, kept for too long, go off. The eggs of Oakley Farm had only recently been settled in the kitchen of Somercote, but already Mrs. B- was planning a meal that would introduce them to the neighbourhood with what she hoped would be universal acceptance. Her eggs had been strongly endowed by nature with a turn for being uniformly agreeable and she hoped to see at least a half dozen of them make fine matches in the coming week. The arrival of a newcomer in the parish presented the perfect opportunity and Mrs. B- wasted no time in sending out invitations to a luncheon....The book is very clever. Of course, it helps to be familiar with the writing of each recipe's author, but even if you just know a few, it's still pretty funny.
Written and illustrated by Mark Crick
Harcourt, Inc., 2005
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