RadioBDC Logo
Give Me a Try | The Wombats Listen Live
< Back to front page Text size +

Cooking by the book, letter & diary

Posted by Delia Cabe  February 15, 2012 12:27 PM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Key West
Ernest Hemingway's kitchen, Key West, Florida (Photo by Kenshinou, on Flickr)

Literature and food feed the mind and the body. Now you can enjoy the literary and culinary in one place.

In January, a new blog, Paper and Salt, debuted featuring the recipes that appear in books and in author's letters and diaries, along with tidbits about the author. Talk about a literary feast! The blogger, Nicole (no last name), writes,

A love of good books often comes with a love of good food. It’s in the many mouth-watering descriptions we encounter in novels, the wealth of new food memoirs, and the explosion of incredible food writing and blogging online. But it isn’t just today’s writers that have a personal obsession with food. We hear about it in Ted Hughes’ letters, see it in Emily Dickinson’s recipes, and imagine it in Hemingway’s cafés. And when I hear about the food that inspired them, I want to eat it too.

This blog will attempt to recreate the dishes that iconic authors discuss in their letters, diaries, essays, and fiction. In doing so, it will be part historical discussion, part food and recipe blog, part literary fangirling. Above all, I hope it will be delicious.

So far, her recipes have included ones related to Elizabeth Bishop (brownies), Norman Mailer (green bean salad with a raspberry vinaigrette), Jean-Paul Sartre (halvah with almonds) and several others.

This recipe for "Apple Slump," which Nicole adapted from Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House in Concord, Mass., was the author's favorite.
(photo illustration by Paper and Salt)
Apple Base:
5 to 6 tart apples; pared, cored and sliced (Granny Smiths work well)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or bourbon)
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the inside of a 9 x 13 baking dish.

2. Make apple base: In a large bowl, gently mix apple slices, lemon juice, and vanilla (or bourbon). In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Add the sugar mixture to the apple mixture and toss until coated.

3. Spread apple base evenly in prepared pan and bake until soft, about 20 minutes.

4. Make topping: While the apples are baking, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add egg, milk, and melted butter. Stir gently.

5. Pour flour mixture over baked apples and sprinkle walnuts evenly over the top. Continue baking 25 minutes, or until the top is brown and crusty. Cool 5 minutes and serve with your favorite ice cream (or bourbon).

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

About the author

Delia Cabe's work has appeared in The Boston Globe Magazine, Boston Magazine, Self, Prevention, Scientific American Presents, and other publications. In between posts, you can read Cabe's tweets at!/DeliaCabe, More »

More community voices

Child in Mind

Corner Kicks

Dirty Old Boston

Mortal Matters

On Deck

TEDx Beacon Street


Browse this blog

by category