Monday, July 14, 2014

Eat, Drink, and Be Literary

Post by Jenny

It was nice to see the many NCW members who attended Wine and Words on Saturday! The rain stayed away, and we enjoyed good food, good wine, and good company. It made me wish I had another summer writer’s party coming up on the calendar. If I were to suddenly and uncharacteristically go all Pinterest/Food Network/Martha Stewart about it and plan my own, I’d find plenty of inspiration in two fun books that put a great literary spin on food and drink.

The first is Fictitious Dishes, in which author/photographer Dinah Fried sets the tables for fifty of “literature's most memorable meals.” Take this one: “It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazelnuts…” The ‘it’ in question is the chowder from Moby Dick, shown with a pewter tankard and a hunk of crusty bread. Rose-patterned china makes a very proper setting for Alice’s tea party, and the buffet from The Great Gatsby is a complicated spread worthy of the Jazz Age excesses.

Not all of the meals are so appetizing, however. I might make it through Oliver Twist’s gruel, but I’d have to pass on the pile of rotting scraps from The Metamorphosis. Ditto for the scattering of pills next to the bathroom sink a la Valley of the Dolls.

Now, for the drinks. It doesn’t get much better than Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist, by Tim Federle. I didn’t have to read any farther than the Table of Contents to be totally charmed by this book (but of course I did). One Flew Over the Cosmo’s Nest, Ethan Pom, Rye and Prejudice. You’re chuckling already, right? (Unless you’re one of those people who is allergic to puns, and for that, I pity you immensely.) And those are only the first three of Section I: Drinks for Dames. (I think my favorite might be Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margarita.)

Gents, Federle has your back, too, with Section II: Gulps for Guys. The Last of the Mojitos, The Lime of the Ancient Mariner, One Hundred Beers of Solitude… With the inclusion of a few pages of non-alcoholic drinks (Cherry Poppins) and some recipes (The Deviled Egg Wears Prada), this book is a bibliophile's party just waiting to happen.

Do you have a favorite literary food or drink to share?


Shirley Drew said...

Love thie post!! One of my favorite memories is reading "Little House in the Big Woods''--I love Wilder's description of how the family made spigots to get maple syrup from the trees--then putting the syrup on snow and eating it.

Jenny said...

I remember the syrup on snow, too! I could never get it to work quite as she described. I think my syrup was inferior. Darn you, Mrs. Butterworth.

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