Literary cookbooks do more than just fill your belly. They fill your brain! Here’s a sampling of cookbooks that will make you go “oh, I read that!”… Support our news coverage by subscribing to our Kindle Nation Daily Digest. Joining is free right now!
Pull out the mixing bowls and make yourself a fancy literary meal from one of these fancy literary cookbooks:
by Maya Angelou
Kindle price: $5.99
Throughout Maya Angelou’s life, from her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas, to her world travels as a bestselling writer, good food has played a central role. Preparing and enjoying homemade meals provides a sense of purpose and calm, accomplishment and connection. Now in Hallelujah! The Welcome Table, Angelou shares memories pithy and poignant—and the recipes that helped to make them both indelible and irreplaceable.
Angelou tells us about the time she was expelled from school for being afraid to speak—and her mother baked a delicious maple cake to brighten her spirits. She gives us her recipe for short ribs along with a story about a job she had as a cook at a Creole restaurant (never mind that she didn’t know how to cook and had no idea what Creole food might entail). There was the time in London when she attended a wretched dinner party full of wretched people; but all wasn’t lost—she did experience her initial taste of a savory onion tart. She recounts her very first night in her new home in Sonoma, California, when she invited M. F. K. Fisher over for cassoulet, and the evening Deca Mitford roasted a chicken when she was beyond tipsy—and created Chicken Drunkard Style. And then there was the hearty brunch Angelou made for a homesick Southerner, a meal that earned her both a job offer and a prophetic compliment: “If you can write half as good as you can cook, you are going to be famous.”
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by Francine Segan
Kindle price: $6.99
Francine Segan introduces contemporary cooks to the foods of William Shakespeare’ s world with recipes updated from classic sixteenth- and seventeenth-century cookbooks. Her easy-to-prepare adaptations shatter the myth that the Bard’s primary fare was boiled mutton. In fact, Shakespeare and his contemporaries dined on salads of fresh herbs and vegetables; fish, fowl, and meats of all kinds; and delicate broths. Dried Plums with Wine and Ginger-Zest Crostini, Winter Salad with Raisin and Caper Vinaigrette, and Lobster with Pistachio Stuffing and Seville Orange Butter are just a few of the delicious, aromatic, and gorgeous dishes that will surprise and delight. Segan’s delicate and careful renditions of these recipes have been thoroughly tested to ensure no-fail, standout results.
The tantalizing Renaissance recipes in Shakespeare’s Kitchen are enhanced with food-related quotes from the Bard, delightful morsels of culinary history, interesting facts on the customs and social etiquette of Shakespeare’ s time, and the texts of the original recipes, complete with antiquated spellings and eccentric directions. Patrick O’Connell provides an enticing Foreword to this edible history from which food lovers and Shakespeare enthusiasts alike will derive nourishment. Want something new for dinner? Try something four hundred years old.
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by Nicole Gulotta
Kindle price: $14.99
A literary cookbook that celebrates food and poetry, two of life’s essential ingredients.
In the same way that salt seasons ingredients to bring out their flavors, poetry seasons our lives; when celebrated together, our everyday moments and meals are richer and more meaningful. The twenty-five inspiring poems in this book—from such poets as Marge Piercy, Louise Glück, Mark Strand, Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, Jane Hirshfield—are accompanied by seventy-five recipes that bring the richness of words to life in our kitchen, on our plate, and through our palate. Eat This Poem opens us up to fresh ways of accessing poetry and lends new meaning to the foods we cook.