When I read a book I love to be fully immersed in the story. In a good book the characters soon become my close friends, and I’m enraptured by their lives and loves; I experience their pain, anger, happiness, sadness, and all the hardships and triumphs they endure. The outside world vanishes while I read, but every once in a while the real world intrudes, usually in the form of my stomach growling. One of my weird reading quirks is if food is described I often start craving whatever delicacy is extrapolated upon. When I devour a Jane Austen novel I scrounge around for tea (and biscuits if I have any). After reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe my mouth waters at the thought of Turkish delight. When I pick up Game of Thrones I start thinking about stews and those gigantic turkey legs you find at Renaissance Faires. This penchant of mine is why I have yet to pick up any of the recent food memoirs that have become so popular ( I can only imagine how much weight I would gain).
In spite of my love for cooking shows and a fair hand when it comes to baking, I’m not much of a chef. Since my skills extend to the lofty heights of grilled cheese and spaghetti they don’t really facilitate creating these literary confections. If, like me, you are cooking impaired I suggest going for some classic Austen (even I can make tea), but for the more culinary adept Austen reader the Austen Only blog has a great section on Austen and Food. The blog is pretty interesting, including recipes and some history on dishes from the books. The George R.R. Martin lovers will want to check out the blog Inn at the Crossroads. The creators of the blog are creating just about every dish in the Song of Ice and Fire, making both an authentic Medieval version and a modern take on the dishes. If you share my tendency to want the food you read make sure to check 0ut our cookbooks and create your own literary inspired dishes (and feel free to share them in the comments)!
Some Delicious titles to get you started…
Victoria, the Essential Tea Companion