Wednesday 27 February 2019

Nicoletti, Cara "Voracious"

Nicoletti, Cara "Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way through Great Books" - 2015

This is such a lovely book. If you like recipes, you might want to read it just for the recipes. But if, like me, you love reading, you will love to read it for the parts in the books you loved. Who doesn't remember Mr. Woodhouse (in "Emma") tell everyone at their dinner about the perfectly boiled egg? Makes me laugh every time I boil eggs.

And the other recipes are just as nice, great reminders about some wonderful books. Even if you don't like cooking or would never cook any of those recipes.

Here are the recipes with links to the books I reviewed:

Austen, Jane "Emma" - Perfectly boiled egg
Austen, Jane "Pride and Prejudice" - White Garlic Soup *
Banks, Lynne Reid "The Indian in the Cupboard" - Grilled Roast Beef
Burnett, Frances Hodgson "The Secret Garden" - Currant Buns
Capote, Truman "In Cold Blood" - Cherry Pie
Cunningham, Michael "The Hours" - Birthday Cake
Dahl, Roald "The Witches" - Mussel, Shrimp, and Cod Stew
Dickens, Charles "Great Expectations" - Pork Pie
Didion, Joan "Goodbye to All That" - Grilled Peaches with Homemade Ricotta
Eugenides, Jeffrey "Middlesex" - Olive Oil Yogurt Cake
Flynn, Gillian "Gone Girl" - Brown Butter Crepes
Franzen, Jonathan "The Corrections" - Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting
French, Tana "In the Woods" - Chocolate-Covered Digestive Biscuits
Golding, William "Lord of the Flies" - Porchetta di Testa
Grimm, Jacob + Wilhelm "Hansel and Gretel" - Gingerbread Cake with Blood Orange Syrup
Harris, Thomas "The Silence of the Lambs" - Crostini with Fava Bean and Chicken Liver Mousses
Heller, Peter "The Dog Stars" - Whole Roasted Trout
Homer "The Odyssey" - Red Wine-Rosemary Bread
Houston, Pam "Waltzing the Cat" (incl."The Best Girlfriend You Never Had") - Red Flannel Hash
Hugo, Victor "Les Misérables" - Black Rye Bread
Ingalls Wilder, Laura "Little House in the Big Woods" - Breakfast Sausage
Irving, Washington "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" Buckwheat Pancakes
Keene, Carolyn "Nancy Drew" - Double Chocolate Walnut Sundae
Kesey, Ken "Sometimes a Great Notion" - Blackberry-Hazelnut Coffee Cake
Lee, Harper "To Kill a Mockingbird" - Biscuits with Molasses Butter
Lindgren, Astrid "Pippi Longstocking" - Buttermilk Pancakes
Maurier, Daphne du "Rebecca" - Blood Orange Marmalade
Melville, Herman "Moby Dick" - Clam Chowder
McCloskey, Robert "Homer Price" - Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Donuts
Montgomery, L.M. "Anne of Green Gables" - Salted Chocolate Caramels
Morrison, Toni "The Bluest Eye" - Concord Grape Sorbet
Numeroff, Laura Joffe "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" - Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Orwell, George "Down and Out in Paris and London" - Rib-Eye Steak
Paola, Tomie de "Strega Nona" - Black Pepper-Parmesan Pasta
Plath, Sylvia "The Bell Jar" - Crab-Stuffed Avocados
Poe, Edgar Allen "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether" - Goat Cheese Pumpkin Pie
Rawls, Wilson "Where the Red Fern Grows" - Skillet Cornbread with Honey Butter
Roth, Philip "American Pastoral" - Hot Cheese Sandwich
Salinger, J.D. "The Catcher in the Rye" - Malted Milk Ice Cream
Sendak, Maurice "In the Night Kitchen" - Scalded and Malted Milk Cake
Singer, Isaac Bashevis "Gimpel the Fool" - Challah
Tartt, Donna "The Little Friend" - Peppermint Stick Ice Cream
Tartt, Donna "The Secret History" - Wine-Braised Leg of Lamb with Wild Mushrooms
Tolstoi, Leo "Anna Karenina" - Oysters and Cucumber Mignonette
Toole, John Kennedy "A Confederacy of Dunces" - Jelly Donuts
Virgil "The Aeneid" - Honey-Poppy Seed Cake
Warner, Gertrude Chandler "The Boxcar Children" - Chocolate Pudding
Waugh, Evelyn "Brideshead Revisited" - Blinis with Caviar
White, E.B. "Charlotte's Web" - Pea and Bacon Soup
Wilder, Laura Ingalls "Little House in the Big Woods" - Breakfast Sausage
Woolf, Virginia "Mrs. Dalloway" - Chocolate Éclairs

* Here, I would have chosen the "excellent boiled potatoes" that are served in a "superbly featured room". As we all know, it's been many years since Mr. Collins had had "such an exemplary vegetable".

From the back cover:

"An Irresistible Literary Feast

Stories and recipes inspired by the world's great books

As a young bookworm reading in her grandfather's butcher shop, Cara Nicoletti saw how books and food bring people to life. Now a butcher, cook, and talented writer, she serves up stories and recipes inspired by beloved books and the food that gives their characters depth and personality.

From the breakfast sausage in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods to chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream from Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, these books and the tasty treats in them put her on the road to happiness.

Cooking through the books that changed her life, Nicoletti shares fifty recipes, including:
* The perfect soft-boiled egg in Jane Austen's Emma
* Grilled peaches with homemade ricotta in tribute to Joan Didion's "Goodbye to All That"
* New England clam chowder inspired by Herman Melville's Moby-Dick
* Fava bean and chicken liver mousse crostini (with a nice Chianti) after Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs
* Brown butter crêpes from Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl

Beautifully illustrated, clever, and full of heart, Voracious will satisfy anyone who loves a fantastic meal with family and friends-or curling up with a great novel for dessert."

And I just had to add both English book titles since they combine books and food so well.


  1. Great! Amazing how many of the books you listed I have read. Sometimes one does find recipes in the novels themselves. In A Terrible Country, which I reviewed the other week, he includes how to make perfect kasha, as learned from his grandmother.

    1. Well, the list is from the book. ;) And yes, I was surprised how many I had read.

      And this is now among my cook books from which I shall try a few recipes.

  2. This sounds like such a fun book to read. I have added it to my list!

    1. It's not just a novel, it's also a cook book, so you can look back a lot of times. Some great ideas.