amatuer watercolourist, foodie, cook, traveller, all rolled into one. simple yet fun recipes accompanied by watercolour sketches.

Friday, February 16, 2007

kafka's soup

This Valentine’s Day I got a lovely book as a gift. Kafka’s Soup; A complete history of world literature in 14 recipes by Mark Crick. (Libri Publications Ltd.)

The 95 odd page book is filled with quirky illustrations, lovingly composed photographs and recipes in the voices of famous writers: Raymond Chandler, Jane Austen, Franz Kafka, Irvine Welsh, Marcel Proust, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, John Steinbeck, Marquis de Sade, Virginia Woolf, Homer, Graham Greene, Jorge Luis Borges, Harold Pinter and Geoffrey Chaucer.

The recipe for Lamb with Dill Sauce a la Raymond Chandler begins with classic Chandler world-weariness:

I sipped on my whisky sour, ground out my cigarette on the chopping board and watched a bug trying to crawl out of the basin. I needed a table at Maxim's, a hundred bucks and a gorgeous blonde; what I had was a leg of lamb and no clues.
I took hold of the joint. It felt cold and damp, like a coroner's handshake. I took out a knife and cut the lamb into pieces. Feeling the blade in my hand I sliced an onion, and before I knew what I was doing a carrot lay in pieces on the slab. None of them moved.

And the Mushroom Risotto a la John Steinbeck could well have come out of The Grapes of Wrath:

She shared the mixture out carefully in the cracked bowls, and sprinkled on the last of the parmesan. It was not meat and potatoes, but at least her family would eat tonight.

The book's perfect if you love reading and cooking. Thanks, Ash!

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