Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Food for Thought

There's definitely a relationship between what I read and what I feel like eating. A good 25 years ago, I vividly remember sitting in a pizza parlor in upstate New York, reading Jane's House. Every time I've packed that book for a move, unpacked it at my new home, or just seen it on my library bookshelves, I find myself thinking about pepperoni pizza, and longing for a New York slice.

I was reminded of that today. After seeing the film Julie & Julia with friends last year, of course I read Julie Powell's book (I really must read My Life in France, also). I then promptly requested both the DVD of the movie, and Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Christmas. My husband, possibly the best Santa Claus ever, made sure they were both under the tree for me. He even watched the DVD, and loved it. He also wondered when I would start serving him meals from the cookbook. He's out of town on business right now, but I decided to start right in, and experimented with a terrific omelette a la Julia for brunch this morning. I'd never have strayed from my ordinary omelets if not for these books.

Inspiration for food often comes from my reading. When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out, I eagerly attended a midnight release party and enthusiastically swapped theories for hours with friends (and total strangers) in the bookstore. I got my copy at 12:02 and raced home to start reading. At some point it occurred to me that it had been a long time since I'd last eaten. As Harry, Ron and Hermione were on the run at the time, camping out and eating lean, that's probably not too surprising. But they were reduced to eating toadstools - not too appetizing. I read on. Then Hermione found eggs and bread at a lonely farm and made scrambled eggs on toast. Yes! I set the book aside long enough to scramble some eggs and toast some bread, and got back to reading. There are probably still a few crumbs in the middle of Chapter 15, The Goblin's Revenge.

Memorable books provide food for thought in more ways than one.