“The Book Club Cookbook” by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp
So when I found a copy of Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp’s 2004 “The Book Club Cookbook” for half-price at Chicago’s best used bookstore, Open Books, I was intrigued and bought it.
And then it sat in my pile of “things to read” for a while.
And then one day I decided that this blog was/is woefully lacking in cookbooks — and it all seemed to fall into place.
“The Book Club Cookbook” is a collection of over 75 recipes created to go along with books – from classic to contemporary - read by book clubs. Some are recipes of foods actually made within the book, and some are simply inspired by the setting or time period for the book. For example, there’s a recipe for Mojitos to correlate with Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera,” while J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” is represented by a recipe for Treacle Tarts, which are actually mentioned in the book. (Don’t think for a second that I won’t be trying the chocolate/rum fondue from “Chocolat” at some point, either.) Other books with recipes include “The Great Gatsby” (Mint Juleps of course,) “The Perfect Storm” (Swordfish kebobs, knock yourselves out), and “To Kill a Mockingbird” (Some Southern-inspired ambrosia.)
I decided to try out one of the recipes, because that’s how I roll. My only rule was that the recipe I chose had to be based on a book I’ve actually read, so I selected “Griet’s Vegetable Soup,” inspired by Tracy Chevalier’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” which I read a bunch of years ago. (Sound familiar? The book was made into a movie starring Scarlett Johannsen and a pre-Academy Award Colin Firth.) I was charmed by the recipe’s introduction, in which Chevalier herself decides to try and make the soup she’s written about, and (very pregnant) winds up nauseated. No worries, Gelman and Levy Krupp have adapted a vegetable soup recipe from a Belgian cookbook.
The soup – made of bacon, chicken stock, cabbage, turnips, leeks, and onions – was pretty easy to make (as it really just requires a bunch of chopping), turned out delicious, and I’m definitely going to make it again. We had it with fresh-baked rye bread and a winter lager, and it was pretty darn super.