I have just learned a tough life lesson: don’t go shopping when you are hungry. Or to be more specific, don’t go book shopping when you’re hungry.
Book Ends, a used bookstore associated with the Toronto Reference Library, opens at noon during the week. We were early, and so went looking for a particular older cookbook, which the Library has in its reference area (meaning you can only look at it, and not take it out of the library).
Of course, we could not exactly remember the name of the book, so we started searching for butch+cookbook, lesbian+cookbook and queer+cookbook. No luck finding the one we wanted. We started to browse the computer system’s close matches (in other words, the thousands of cookbook titles held by the Library).
Although we couldn’t find the cookbook we wanted, I found two cookbooks I did want to look at. I started tapping out a message to myself with the book ID, and Kelly suggested I simply take a photo of the screen. Brilliant!
We head off with, Kelly going to a different floor for her book (a genealogy book), while I went to the cookbooks. I pull out my phone and… Forgot to take a photo of the title as well as the Dewey Decimal classification ID. Problem? Oh yes.
One cookbook I want was classified at a high level, along with dozens of other books, and suddenly, I had no idea of the title I had been looking for. None of the titles looked right. The other, well, at least I remembered the name of the lesbian chef.
I picked up Kylie Kwong‘s Recipes and Stories (she’s the lesbian chef), and started to make notes on some of the recipes. Mum’s Roast Chicken with Gravy, Stir-Fried Beef Fillet with Pepper and Lemon Juice, Stir Fried King Prawns with Green Asparagus and Baby Corn. You’re getting hungry, aren’t you? Or perhaps thirsty? Don’t worry, I got ya.
Wine Bites – Simple Morsels That Pair Perfectly With Wine by Barbara Scott-Goodman matches up wine with simple recipes. I browsed through looking for food that went with the reds I love. Sweet & Spicy Nuts pair with either Merlot or Cab Sav. Mini Crab Cakes with a flinty Chablis. Kielbasa in Red Wine pairs with Cabernet, and pulled pork pairs with Roija and Barbera.
I looked through The Book Lover’s Cookbook, by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger and Janet Jensen, which has recipes inspired by literature. Macaroni and Cheese with a Gertrude Stein quote. Catch ‘Em to Eat ‘Em Chicken and Dumplings with a quote from Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café:
But with all her spooky ways, there wasn’t a better cook in Alabama. Even at eleven, they say she could make the most delicious biscuits and gravy, cobbler, fried chicken, turnip green, and black-eyed peas. And her dumplings were so light they would float in the air and you’d have to catch ’em to eat ’em. All the recipes that were used at the restaurant were hers. She taught Idgie and Ruth everything they knew about cooking.
We finally hit the Library’s book store at 12:30, and my stomach was rumbling. Loudly. Browsing for nothing in particular, I hit all the non-fiction sections they have. Kelly found More Book Lust for me, but I found myself at the cookbook section. Stomach still rumbling.
I picked up Is This Bottle Corked? by Kathleen Burk and Michael Bywater, Let’s Eat by Susan Powter, who is maybe the only radical feminist lesbian to write a cookbook (Chili Cornbread Pie), The Comfort Good Cookbook by Johanna Burkhard (Pot Roast with Beer and Caramelized Onions) and an autographed copy of The Northwest Best Places Cookbook by Cynthia Nims (Mussels in Lavender-Garlic Broth).
I think the dinner menu for the upcoming seasons are set!