When is a cookbook more than a cookbook? Come with me and let’s find out.
In recent release “Cooking with the Bible,” authors Anthony Chiffolo and Rayner Hesse Jr. outline meals they feel would have been served in Biblical times, based on scriptural references and also on their own research into the region and the times. According to the Reader’s Digest, the duo spent over three years researching and experimenting to come up with dishes that would be just right, but because of the scarcity and rarity of some of the ingredients, substitutions were made to suit what is available in our time. An interesting concept, to be sure. The book includes 16 dinners, a lunch and a breakfast. So if you’ve ever wondered what they ate in Biblical times, this sounds like a book for you. (Greenwood Press, 2006.)
What about all the delicious food mentioned in our favorite books? Have you ever sat down to read your favorite novel and had your mouth start to water at the description of the characters’ feast? “The Book Lover’s Cookbook” by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger and Janet Kay Jensen has taken passages from your favorite books, including “Little Women,” “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café,” “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Pippi Longstocking,” and “Little House on the Prairie.” Then, using those passages as their guides, they hunted up and invented recipes for the food mentioned in those books. The final result: a quote from the novel and the recipe, side by side. A truly gastronomical and literary experience, rolled into one. (Ballantine Books, 2003.)
“Celebrate the Seasons” by Maurine Humphris and Patricia Hemming takes you through the year and gives you ideas for the holidays, including decorations, gifts, old-fashioned traditions, and recipes for mouth-watering meals. (Cedar Fort, 2002.)
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with a standard cookbook, it sure is fun to learn a little more about food and the traditions behind it. These books are a great place to get started.