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Fictitious Dishes“When there are fifteen people sitting down to dinner, one cannot keep things waiting for ever.” So starts a passage from To the Lighthouse that accompanies a photograph of a bowl of boeuf en daube—the solid brown chunks of meat accented by shiny black olives and bright orange carrot slices—accompanied by a dish of Brussels sprouts and a glass of claret, served on a green cloth scattered with seashells.

This is just one of the 50 extracts from novels included in Fictitious Dishes by Dinah Fried (“fried,” really—would I make it up?). The opulence of the elegant tea spread for Rebecca and the cocktail party fare—caviar, smoked salmon and more—to represent The Great Gatsby are balanced by a simple and sumptuous basket of strawberries for Emma and, of course, Proust’s tea and madeleine.

I can’t resist the juxtaposition of food and literature, food in literature, and especially Woolf and food. It was the topic of my paper at the 20th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: “’A Certain Hold on Haddock and Sausage’: Dining Well in Virginia Woolf’s Life and Work,” which was published in the selected papers from that conference.

This collection was a delightful find. There’s a website too, but the book is a visual feast. Do what I did—buy it for a gift but read it first!

 

 

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Jans Ondaatje Rolls, author of The Bloomsbury‬ Cookbook will be giving talks at a number of festivalsBloomsburyCookbook_title_26523 and venues this year, but you will have to be in England to attend.

  • May 24, noon – 1 p.m., Charleston Festival, Lewes, East Sussex
  • July 15, 2–3 p.m., Buxton Festival, Derbyshire
  • July 17, 7–8 p.m., National Portrait Gallery, London
  • Sept. 14, 3:30–4.30 p.m., Hampstead & Highgate Literary Fetitval, London
  • Sept. 27, TBA, Porlock Literary Festival, Somerset
  • Oct. 4, TBA, Ilkley Literary Festival, West Yorkshire
  • Oct. 6, TBA, Cheltenham Literary Festival, Gloucestershire
  • Oct. 16, 2:30 p.m., Knutsford Literary Festival, Cheshire

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Thanks to Chris Sullivan for sending Blogging Woolf this image of a recipe for Angelica Garnett’s Cherry Tart. It’s from Jans Ondaatje Rolls’  The Bloomsbury Cookbook: Recipes for Life, Love and Art, published this spring.

The book offers more than 180 recipes — some handwritten and never before published — from Frances Partridge, Helen Anrep and David and Angelica Garnett.
Bloomsbury Recipe

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BloomsburyCookbook_title_26523A Bloomsbury cookbook promising a combination of food, life, love and art, will be available in hardcover on April 22.

The Bloomsbury Cookbook: Recipes for Life, Love and Art by Jans Ondaatje Rolls offers more than 180 recipes — some handwritten and never before published — from Frances Partridge, Helen Anrep and David and Angelica Garnett. The recipes, according to publisher Thames & Hudson, promise to “take us into the very heart” the world of the Bloomsbury Group by recreating mealtime atmospheres at locations such as Monk’s House, Charleston Farmhouse and Gordon Square.

The publisher is billing the book as more than a cookbook. Its photographs, letters, journals and paintings will contribute a social history angle as well. It is priced at £24.95.

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Alice Lowe, a regular contributor to Blogging Woolf, blends her life stories, food and Virginia Woolf in her writing.leftovers on lettuce

Read her latest creation, “Leftovers on Lettuce: ABCs of a Life in Food,” an essay published Feb. 24 in Middlebrow Magazine.

Lowe describes the British journal as playing on “Woolf’s snooty but tongue-in-cheek essay in which she castigates ‘middlebrow’ as ‘the bloodless and pernicious pest who comes between’ the highbrow and the lowbrow, ‘the bane of all thinking and living.'”

Lowe writes that “the editors seek to reclaim it as a positive concept, calling Woolf’s own essays middlebrow, so I consider myself in good company on their pages.”

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