cooking Archive

Communists and Cassoulet: Julia Child on Dried Herbs, Dull Knives and Joseph McCarthy

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If Julia Child and Avis deVoto were here today, they’d be great Facebook friends. Julia and Avis bonded over food—buying it, cooking it and eating it. But since they were without technology, they wrote letters, which Joan Reardon collected into a book titled As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis

The High Art of Food Literature. Seriously?

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“The writer who never talks about eating, about appetite, hunger, food, about cooks and meals, arouses my suspicion as though some vital element were missing in him,” wrote the Italian writer Aldo Buzzi, in his book, The Perfect Egg: And Other Secrets. Yet, writers who write primarily about food

Roundup: Traditions

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In our Roundups segment, we’re looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. We explore posts from our archives as well as other top literary magazines and websites, centered on a certain theme to help you jump-start your week. Food and family are the most common holiday traditions.

The Best Writing Advice I Never Gave

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A while back a friend of mine contacted me with a good idea: he wanted to collect one piece of advice from a number of writers he knew and pass all of them on to his advanced undergraduate workshop students. If you’re anything like me, this is the kind

Reading Cookbooks Like Novels: Bookseller Bonnie Slotnick

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Looking for an international cookbook by horror-film actor Vincent Price? A 1920s etiquette manual suitable for Jay Gatsby? Or Alice B. Toklas’ infamous tome with its recipe for fudge spiked with hashish? Bonnie Slotnick‘s got you covered. With a collection of some 4,000 out-of-print and antiquarian culinary titles stocked

Cookbooks, Compost Heaps, and Poetry Booby Traps: A Conversation with Poet and Pie-maker Kate Lebo

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The first poetry anthology I owned was How to Eat A Poem: A Smorgasbord of Tasty and Delicious Poems for Young Readers. The title still gives me the giggles, though my amusement is perhaps more nuanced—as a kid, I delighted in the simple silliness of the concept; now, the

Calves’ Feet and Cake: Adventures in 100-Year-Old Recipes

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I dreamed of calves’ feet for two weeks, wondering if I could actually boil four of them in my kitchen. The goal? Homemade gelatin according to the recipe in Helen Cramp’s 1913 edition of The Institute Cookbook. I wanted to engage the cookbook the way I had the other

Writing is Like Cooking

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Today I decided to make roasted carrot soup, which got me thinking that writing and cooking are particularly ripe for comparison. At first glance, both seem easy. Buy these ingredients and prepare them, and voila, dinner.  Come up with a plot, write it out, and voila, novel. Both cooking