Book Lover's Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature, and the Passages That feature ThemPaperback (2024)

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Breakfast at six-thirty. Skim milk, crusts, middlings, bits of doughnuts, wheatcakes with drops of maple syrup sticking to them, potato skins, leftover custard pudding with raisins, and bits of Shredded Wheat.

Breakfast would be finished at seven.

From seven to eight, Wilbur planned to have a talk with Templeton, the rat who lived under his trough.

About the jelly beans. On the Cheerios. I know this is probably not recommended by nutritionists. But I had never tried it before. And you never know. Somebody has to do the field-testing. The jelly beans were better than raisins, actually. If you want to check it out, I suggest the Jelly Belly brand, which comes in forty official flavors. My choice was a combination of apricot, banana, watermelon, and root beer. If you want a little zing in the mix, throw in a few jalapeno-flavored ones. A little Wow! In the Cheerios. A little whoopee in 0the minimum daily requirement.

When Black Mumbo saw the melted butter, wasn't she pleased! "Now," said she, "we'll all have pancakes for supper!"

So she got flour and eggs and milk and sugar and butter, and she made a huge plate of most lovely pancakes. And she fried them in the melted butter which the Tigers had made, and they were just as yellow and brown as little Tigers.

And then they all sat down to supper. And Black Mumbo ate twenty-seven pancakes, and Black Jumbo ate fifty-five, but Little Black Sambo ate a hundred and sixty-nine, because he was so hungry.
—Helen Bannerman, The Story of Little Black Sambo


Who wants a pancake,
Sweet and piping hot?
Good little Grace looks up and says,
"I'll take the one on top."
Who else wants a pancake,
Fresh off the griddle?
Terrible Teresa smiles and says,
"I'll take the one in the middle."
—Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

Stack of Pancakes

2 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon applesauce
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Maple syrup

Beat the egg whites and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the egg yolks, flour, oil, applesauce, baking powder, salt, milk, and vanilla and mix until the batter is nearly smooth. Some small lumps will remain. Spoon the batter onto a greased hot griddle heated to about 375¡ (medium-high heat), making pancakes a manageable size. Flip each pancake when the batter is bubbled over the entire top and the edges are slightly dry (should take about 2 to 3 minutes). Cook the bottom until golden brown, about 1 minute.

Serve topped with butter or margarine, sliced bananas, and maple syrup.


Variation: Stir 1 cup of fresh blueberries into batter for blueberry pancakes.

Alternative Crepes

11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
Bananas, strawberries, and mango, sliced Blueberries, raspberries

Combine all the ingredients, except fruit, together in a large bowl and beat the batter until it is nearly smooth. Heat a greased, 8-inch crepe skillet to 400¡ or begin warming a large, greased frying pan over high heat with a tablespoon of butter or margarine. Spread the batter out in the pan to a 1Ú8-inch thickness, so that the finished crepe will be thin. Flip the crepe when the batter on top is completely bubbled and the edges are slightly dry, about 2 minutes. Cook the bottom until golden brown, about 1 minute. Place the crepe on a warmed plate. Repeat with the remaining batter. Wrap your choice of fresh fruit inside the crepes (sliced bananas, strawberries, mangos, blueberries, raspberries). Serve with maple syrup.


Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier.
—Kathleen Norris

As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye, ever open to every symptom of culinary abundance, ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. On all sides he beheld vast stores of apples, some hanging in oppressive opulence on the trees, some gathered into baskets and barrels for the market, others heaped up in rich piles for the cider press. Farther on he beheld great fields of Indian corn, with its golden ears peeping from hasty pudding; and the yellow pumpkins lying beneath them, turning up their fair round bellies to the sun, and giving ample prospects of the most luxurious of pies; and anon he passed the fragrant buckwheat fields, breathing the odor of the beehive, and as he beheld them, soft anticipations stole over his mind of dainty slapjacks, well buttered and garnished with honey or treacle, by the delicate little dimpled hand of Katrina Van Tassel.
—Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Behold! Ichabod's Slapjacks

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
21/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons honey
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
Butter or margarine
Maple syrup

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well, scraping sides. Mixture will be somewhat thick. Spoon batter onto a greased griddle heated to about 375¡ (medium-high heat), making pancake a manageable size. Flip the pancake when batter is bubbled over the entire top and the edges are slightly dry (should take about 2 to 3 minutes). Cook bottom until golden brown, about 1 minute.

Serve topped with butter or margarine and maple syrup.


Next time you're browsing the shelves in a library, realize you're standing in the midst of a family discussion. —Kathleen Duey

She moved out of bed carefully, so as not to disturb Jesse. He stirred and opened his eyes. "Was it something I said?" he asked groggily.

"You're suffocating me," she whispered lovingly. On the way to the bathroom she had an idea. She'd make Jesse some waffles. Waffles and muffins and bacon and . . . That was probably enough. Oh, and orange juice and coffee. Coffee with cinnamon in it.

Maybe she shouldn't make waffles, though. Her slapstick tendencies had a habit of rearing their ugly heads during waffle preparation. Still, she wanted to do something nice for him. She'd been staring at him for half an hour, and now she'd sort of woken him up . . . All in all, she felt she owed him waffles. That big waffle gesture was the only one that would do. She smiled at her reflection, filled with enthusiasm of bold reserve.

Twenty minutes later, on the way to the hospital, Jesse said, "But why waffles? I don't even really like waffles."

"Look," said Suzanne stoically. "It's already starting to blister." She held up her left hand, with its domestic scar across the knuckles where the waffle iron had landed.
—Carrie Fisher, Postcards from the Edge


2 eggs plus 1 egg white, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened
11/2 cups all-purpose flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Maple syrup
Mangos, strawberries, or blueberries

Mix all the ingredients except syrup and fruit in a large bowl. Spray a waffle iron with cooking spray. Spoon the batter onto the heated waffle iron. Cook the waffle until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Serve with maple syrup and sliced mangos, strawberries, or blueberries.


I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little further down our particular path than we have gone ourselves.
—E. M. Forster

Back in the kitchen, I gulp down another cup of coffee. Then I mix eggs and milk in a blue-and-yellow bowl that tiny shop in Paris, our weeklong vacation there, I stood at the window one morning after I'd gotten up and he came up behind me and put his arms around my middle, his lips to the back of my neck, add a touch of vanilla, a sprinkle of sugar. I put the frying pan on the stove put his lips to the back of my neck and we went back to bed, lay out two slices of bread on the cutting board. These hands at the ends of my wrists remove the crusts. I'm not sure why. Oh, I know why. Because they're hard.

I sit down at the table. Stand up. Sit down. Concentrate on my breathing, that's supposed to help.

Actually, it does not.
—Elizabeth Berg, Open House

Samantha's French Toast

4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
A sprinkle of sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 slices of dense bread Maple syrup

Mix the eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon in a shallow, wide-bottomed bowl that is large enough to accommodate a slice of bread. Grease a griddle with melted butter or margarine, or use cooking spray. Heat the griddle to 350¡ (medium-high heat). Dip a slice of bread into the egg batter, coating both sides. Remove the bread and place it on the hot griddle. Brown the bread on both sides, cooking each side about 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve with maple syrup.


Variation: Top with maple syrup and berries of your choice: strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries.

"I shall take some up to mother, though she said we were not to think of her, for she'd take care of herself," said Meg, who presided and felt quite matronly behind the teapot.

So a tray was fitted out before anyone began, and was taken up with the cook's compliments. The boiled tea was very bitter, the omelet scorched, and the biscuits speckled with saleratus; but Mrs. March received her repast with thanks and laughed heartily over it after Jo was gone.
—Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Pray don't burn my house to roast your eggs.
—Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1757

When Tyler got home, he put a bag of groceries on the counter. The phone rang and he spoke into it with a low voice. "Tomorrow," she heard him say. "Yes. I promise." Edith felt so silly. She wanted to disappear. But she was much too big to disappear. She decided to make the best of it. She cooked an omelet. Edith was good with eggs and butter and her omelets were always tender and brown. "This is a symphony," said Tyler, taking a bite, "a poem and a symphony."

"This is my specialty," said Edith, proud and happy. "One of my specialties." And she ate her omelet with a big spoon. —Abigail Thomas, "Edith's Wardrobe (Negligee)" from Herb's Pajamas

Specialty Omelet

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 red or green bell pepper, diced*
1/2 onion, chopped
15 large black olives, sliced
6 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon garlic salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon parsley
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large nonstick skillet, sauté the pepper, onion, and olives in olive oil until tender over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the skillet and set aside in a bowl. Mix the eggs, milk, and spices in another bowl. Pour this mixture into the heated skillet. When the egg begins to solidify around the outer edges, lift its edges and tilt pan to allow uncooked egg mixture to slide from top of the omelet to underneath. Continue cooking. Sprinkle vegetables and cheese over the top of the cooking egg mixture. When the top of omelet appears moist and not wet, lift one side of the omelet with a wide spatula and fold it over onto the opposite edge. Cook one more minute, covered. Remove from heat.

Serve with toast and bacon or sausage.


* Filling for an omelet is entirely a matter of personal taste. Possible fillings include cooked sausage, sautfled mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, green onions, fresh chives, broccoli, and cauliflower.

I really have to believe that the people I'm writing about are real, have their own wills, and I can't simply manipulate them.
—Peter S. Beagle

"Real men don't eat quiche," said Flex Crush, ordering a breakfast of steak, prime rib, six eggs, and a loaf of toast.

We were sitting in the professional drivers' section of an all-night truckers' pit stop somewhere west of Tulsa on I-44, discussing the plight of men in today's society. Flex, a 225-pound nuclear-waste driver, who claims to be one of the last Real Men in existence, was pensive:

"American men are all mixed up today," he began, idly cleaning the 12 gauge shotgun that was sitting across his knees. Off in the distance, the sun was just beginning to rise over the tractor trailers in the parking lot.

"There was a time when this was a nation of Ernest Hemingways. Real Men. The kind of guys who could defoliate an entire forest to make a breakfast fire-and then go on to wipe out an endangered species hunting for lunch. But not anymore. We've become a nation of wimps. Pansies. Quiche eaters, Alan Alda types-who cook and clean and relate to their wives, Phil Donahue clones-who are warm and sensitive and vulnerable. It's not enough anymore that we earn a living and protect women and children from plagues, famine, and encyclopedia salesmen. But now we're also supposed to be supportive. And understanding. And sincere."
—Bruce Feirstein, Real Men Don't Eat Quiche

A Real Man's Quiche

1 package refrigerated crescent rolls
3 cups cooked, shredded potatoes
3 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup cooked meat: sausage, crumbled bacon, or diced ham

Coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Press triangles of crescent roll dough into pie pan, sealing seams, to form a pie crust. Crimp edges. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl, stirring gently. Pour the mixture into the crust. Cover loosely with foil and bake at 400¡ for about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes to brown crust. Quiche is done when center is firm.


Book Lover's Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature, and the Passages That feature ThemPaperback (2024)
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