Great discussions of books and fantastic illustrations.
I selected Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way Through Great Books for the recipes but I loved it for the stories about each book. Most of the recipes are way too advanced (or just too much work) for me. However, the stories of the author’s perceptions of the books were insightful. I never even noticed most of the foods when I originally read many of the books. Only if the book’s plot involved a particular food, like Les Miserables, Great Expectations and The Silence of the Lambs, did I recall the food connection. But I believe that I will be paying closer attention in the future due to this author.
As I said, most of these recipes are very complex. But I did learn how easy it is to make homemade ricotta, an excellent rib-eye steak or a terrific toasted cheese sandwich. Even some of the “bleak midwestern foodscape” related to The Corrections encouraged me to Google “Jello Pretzel Salad” as I still recall my Illinois grandma serving a horrendous green jello mold filled with raw cabbage in my childhood. Luckily, the pretzels aren’t somehow suspended in jello but used as a crust for a fairly delicious looking (4.5 stars on most online sites) Strawberry Jello Pie. I could totally see myself making that some hot summer day.
This cookbook memoir made me think about what side topic I most remember in the books I read. I decided quickly that it was the illustrations, either on the cover or if I was lucky also within its pages. This book is no exception. Most cookbooks come with photographs but I really enjoyed the paintings of the food (usually only some of the ingredients) within this book. The peaches, avocados and cupcakes made me hungry they looked so delicious. Yum!