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Literary Feasts: Inspired Eating from Classic Fiction by Sean Brand

Sadly for this blog, I am back at school, studying and soaking up the 76-degree California weather. However, between playing golf and my hours of homework, I managed to escape the toils of Claremont to visit Pasadena and the Huntington Gardens today. After walking around the property and appreciating the various native plants in the Desert Garden, I stopped to take a gander in the gift shop (one of my favorite parts of visiting a museum).

Much to my surprise, I stumbled upon this gem on one of the bookshelves!

As the book jacket so succinctly puts it, "Our busy twenty-first-century lifestyle doesn't allow much time for us to enjoy the pleasures of a good meal. Literary Feasts aims to change that by restoring readers' desires to eat, drink and be merry."

The book is divided into different sections. The first four sections are "Breakfast," "Lunch," "Tea" and "Dinner," highlighting meals from James Joyce's Ulysses, John Milton's Paradise Lost, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest and even Beowulf! The other, broader sections are "Eating Outdoors," "Children's Meals" and "Special Occasions."

To give you a sampling of how each section reads, each two pages focuses on one feast in a particular literary work. The spread includes an introduction to the book, what you will need to reenact the scene and sometimes a recipe. To reenact "the splendor of one of Gatsby's famous receptions" in F. Scott Fitzgerald famous novels, you will need: champagne and claret, wine glasses bigger than finger bowls, moonlight on the lawn, banjo players and jazz signers, two suppers (five hours apart), old men dancing with young girls and an air of world-weary sophistication. Sure, it's a tall order, but you get the idea!

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