Eggs à la Nabokov and Other Interesting Literary Recipes

Food, and literature? Yes.

Here’s a fun one from Flavorwire (“How to Eat Like Your Favorite Authors”). It is quite a list, with varying levels of complexity (ranging from Vladimir Nabokov’s Eggs à la Nabocoque to Salman Rushdie’s Lamb Korma).

Personally, I like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Turkey Recipes —


At this post holiday season, the refrigerators of the nation are overstuffed with large masses of turkey, the sight of which is calculated to give an adult an attack of dizziness. It seems, therefore, an appropriate time to give the owners the benefit of my experience as an old gourmet, in using this surplus material. Some of the recipes have been in my family for generations. (This usually occurs when rigor mortis sets in.) They were collected over years, from old cook books, yellowed diaries of the Pilgrim Fathers, mail order catalogues, golf-bags and trash cans. Not one but has been tried and proven — there are headstones all over America to testify to the fact.

Very well then. Here goes:

1. Turkey Cocktail: To one large turkey add one gallon of vermouth and a demijohn of angostura bitters. Shake.

2. Turkey à la Francais: Take a large ripe turkey, prepare as for basting and stuff with old watches and chains and monkey meat. Proceed as with cottage pudding.

3. Turkey and Water: Take one turkey and one pan of water. Heat the latter to the boiling point and then put in the refrigerator. When it has jelled, drown the turkey in it. Eat. In preparing this recipe it is best to have a few ham sandwiches around in case things go wrong.

4. Turkey Mongole: Take three butts of salami and a large turkey skeleton, from which the feathers and natural stuffing have been removed. Lay them out on the table and call up some Mongole in the neighborhood to tell you how to proceed from there.

5. Turkey Mousse: Seed a large prone turkey, being careful to remove the bones, flesh, fins, gravy, etc. Blow up with a bicycle pump. Mount in becoming style and hang in the front hall.

6. Stolen Turkey: Walk quickly from the market, and, if accosted, remark with a laugh that it had just flown into your arms and you hadn’t noticed it. Then drop the turkey with the white of one egg — well, anyhow, beat it.

7. Turkey à la Crême: Prepare the crême a day in advance. Deluge the turkey with it and cook for six days over a blast furnace. Wrap in fly paper and serve.”

Jonathan Franzen’s Pasta with Kale is the most likely recipe I’m going to try this weekend —

“This is good food for a working writer: cheap, easy to make, handsome, elegant, nutritionally well-balanced, devoid of saturated fat, private, erotic, virtuous, delicious. I eat it hot the first night and then cold as leftovers for two further dinners and maybe one lunch.

1 lb. fresh kale
1 lb. good dry pasta, ideally Del Verde brand
1 kettle of water with lots of salt
3 medium-size garlic cloves
1/2 cup (or less) extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste”

It actually sounds pretty good … but what makes it “erotic”? Freak.

Honorable Mentions:

Ernest Hemingway’s pan fried trout

Elizabeth Bishop’s Brownies

Salman Rushdie’s Lamb Korma

Allen Ginsberg’s Cold Summer Borscht

And check out at NPR Emily Dickinson’s Coconut Cake recipe.

“In all, slightly more than 10 percent of Dickinson’s poems employ images of food and drink,” she writes.”


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I run the ThinkLab at the University of Cambridge, and research digital habits, productivity, and wellbeing.

tyler shores cambridge

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Supercommunicators by Charles Duhigg

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