All November long cookbooks in the booksale will be half-off, so we’re sharing some literary recipes to inspire your creative culinary side!

Seed Cake – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte


  • 1 1/2 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 1 lb butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup candied citrus peel
  • 1 1/2 tbsp brandy or whiskey


  • Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter a 7- or 8-inch round cake pan and line it with parchment paper.
  • Toast the caraway seeds. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, 2 minutes. Add the caraway seeds and, shaking the pan occasionally, toast the seeds until they’re lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
  • Make the batter. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and the toasted caraway seeds; mix with a fork. Slowly add the flour to the batter, beating on low speed to combine. Add the brandy and citrus peel and stir until just combined. Transfer to the prepared cake pan.
  • Bake the cake. Bake for 60-90 minutes — somewhere around 75 minutes seems to be the sweet spot, so check often with a toothpick. When it’s finished, the cake should be golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.


Crabmeat Salad Stuffed Avocado Halves – The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 

Yields 12 avocado halves


  • 1 lb crab meat 
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro 
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley 
  • 1/2 small red onion 
  • 1 ripe mango 
  • 1/2 package grape tomatoes 
  • Juice of 3 medium limes 
  • ¾ c mayonnaise  
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 6 ripe avocados 


  • Drain crabmeat.
  • Dice red onion, along with mango, cilantro, and parsley, and add to the crab meat.
  • Slice grape tomatoes in half and mix in.
  • Juice two limes over the salad and mix until well-combined.
  • Add mayonnaise and stir.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Slice avocados in half, remove pits, and pile crab salad into the center. 

Clam Chowder – Moby Dick by Herman Melville 


  • 2 tbsp butter 
  • 1/2 white onion 
  • 3 red potatoes 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 1/2 c water 
  • 3 tsp chicken bouillon powder 
  • 3/4 c chopped celery 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper 
  • 1 1/2 tsp thyme 
  • 6 tbsp flour 
  • 2 c milk, separated 
  • 2 cans minced clams, undrained 
  • 4 slices bacon 
  • 1 c canned or frozen corn (drained if canned, thawed if frozen) 


  • Melt butter in a large soup pot. Meanwhile, chop onion and potatoes.  
  • Saute onion in the melted butter until tender. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more.  
  • Stir in the water and bouillon powder. Add the potatoes, celery, salt, pepper, and thyme. Bring to boil. Turn the heat down and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. 
  • While you wait, chop your bacon into bits, fry it, and drain it on a paper towel. Set aside. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk together your flour and 1/2 cup of the milk until smooth. Gradually stir it into the pot. Stir in the remaining milk. Add the clams, bacon, and corn. Cook until heated through. Do not allow it to come to a boil. 
  • Serve. 


Peach Pie – James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl 



  • 3/4 c cold butter 1 1/2; sticks  
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour  
  • 1 tbsp sugar  
  • 1/4 tsp salt  
  • 3-5 tbsp milk  

Crust topping: 

  • 1 egg white  
  • 1 tsp water  
  • 2-3 tbsp VANILLA SUGAR for sprinkling on top  


  • 3 c peeled pitted, and sliced peaches  
  • 1/2 c brown sugar  
  • 2 tbsp flour  
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon  
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg  
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice  
  • Flour for dusting  
  • 1 tbsp cold unsalted butter cut into pieces  
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten  
  • 2 tsp sugar  
  • 5 c sliced ripe peaches 8-10 peaches  


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. 
  • Stir together peaches, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice in a large bowl until combined. 
  • On a well-floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the pie dough into a large circle, about 12 to 14 inches in diameter. Move the dough circle to the prepared baking sheet. Chill the rolled-out dough in the refrigerator until firm, about 15 minutes. 
  • Spoon the fruit mixture into the center of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold the edges of the dough over the fruit, pleating the dough, then dot the fruit filling with the butter pieces. Lightly brush the dough with the beaten egg, and sprinkle with sugar. 
  • Bake the pie until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling 25 to 30 minutes. 
  • Cover if the crust browns too quickly. Allow the pie to cool slightly. 


Lemon Cake – The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender 


  • 3 c cake flour 
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder 
  • ½ tsp baking soda 
  • ½ tsp salt 
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme 
  • 2 c granulated sugar 
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest 
  • 1 c unsalted butter, softened 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 2 egg whites 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • ¼ c lemon juice 
  • 1 c milk 


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease/flour two 8 in cake pans 
  • In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and thyme 
  • In another bowl, rub together sugar and lemon zest 
  • In an electric mixer with paddle attachment, mix butter on medium speed until smooth. Add lemon-sugar and turn speed up to medium-high until the mixture is light and fluffy. 
  • Turn mixer down to low and add vanilla and eggs (one at a time) 
  • With mixer still on low, add half the flour mixture, then milk and lemon juice, then second half of the flour mixture
  • Divide batter between pans and bake for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cakes cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from pans. 
  • Frost with your favorite buttercream icing. Between layers, you can also add lemon curd or drizzle your sponges with a little thyme simple syrup


Beouf en DaubTo The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf 


  • 2 1/2 lb beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes  
  • 3 tbsp olive oil  
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced and divided  
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped into lardons  
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and diced  
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds  
  • 3 oz (85 grams) shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped  
  • 2 oz (57 grams) roughly chopped pitted olives of your choice  
  • 1 tbsp capers, rinsed  
  • 1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes  
  • 1 c red wine + additional wine as needed  
  • 1/2 c beef broth or water  
  • 1/4 c brandy  
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme  
  • 2 dried bay leaves  
  • 10 sprigs parsley  
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns  
  • 1 tsp cornstarch (optional)  
  • cooked egg noodles and/or crusty bread and butter for serving (optional)  


  • Place the beef, olive oil, and half the minced garlic in a sealable gallon-size plastic bag. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour (or overnight in the refrigerator).  
  • Chop vegetables. 
  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. 
  • In a large, heavy-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy.  
  • Spoon out the bacon and reserve, but leave the fat in the pan. 
  • In batches, add the marinated beef to the pan and cook for about five minutes, turning the meat, so all sides are browned but not burning your garlic.  
  • Transfer the cooked beef and garlic to a bowl. 
  • Add the onion, carrots, mushrooms, olives, capers, and remaining garlic to the Dutch oven. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently until the vegetables are soft. 
  • Add the tomatoes, wine, broth, and brandy to the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer, scraping up all the yummy browned bits.  
  • Return the beef and bacon to the Dutch oven. 
  • Add the thyme, bay, parsley, and peppercorns to the Dutch oven. If you don’t like them floating around in there, you can make a bouquet garni by wrapping them in cheesecloth (or a coffee filter or empty teabag), tying it closed with butcher’s twine. 
  • Cook in the oven for 3 hours, until the beef is so tender, you can pull it apart into shreds with a fork. 
  • Serve with noodles, bread, or your favorite comforting starch. 

Bread and Butter Pudding – Atonement by Ian McEwan 

Source: Book Club Cook Book by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp. Pg. 33-36 


  • ½ c light brown sugar 
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg 
  • ½ c unsalted butter softened 
  • 12 slices white bread 
  • 1  raisins  
  • 4 C half and half 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 4 egg yolks 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • sweetened whipped cream (optional) 


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, set aside. 
  • Spread butter on one side of each piece of bread and slice in half diagonally; overlap bread triangles in a baking dish, buttered sides up, with cut edges facing the same directions. Sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture and top with raisins.  
  • In a small bowl, mix the half and half, eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla with a whisk. Pour the mixture over the bread and raisins in baking dish—press edges of bread down and set aside 15 minutes to let bread absorb liquid.  
  • Place the baking dish inside a larger pan and fill the outer pan halfway with water. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Serve warm, topped with sweetened whipped cream.  


Britta’s Sabzi Challow (Spinach and Rice) with Lamb – The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini  

Source: Book Club Cook Book by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp. Pg. 222-227 


  • ¼ c olive oil 
  • 8 lamb shanks 
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced 
  • 1 ½ tsp turmeric 
  • 5 c baby spinach, stems removed 
  • 3 c cilantro leaves 
  • 1 c Italian parsley, stems removed 
  • 16-18 scallions, whole, outer layer, and tough upper green removed 
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic 
  • 3-5 c beef stock 
  • 5 tbsp fresh lime juice 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in large dutch oven and brown the lamb shanks on all sides. Remove lamb and set aside. Add the onions to the pot and sauté until soft and lightly browned. Stir in the turmeric. Add the spinach, cilantro, parsley, and scallions. Sauté for 20 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and sauté briefly. 
  • Return the lamb to the dutch oven. Add enough beef stock to barely cover the shanks. Bring to a boil, then cover, transfer to oven, and cook for 2-2 ½ hours. 
  • Stir in lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over shallow. 

For challow:

  • 4 c uncooked basmati rice 
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp salt 
  • ¼ c olive oil 


  • Rinse and drain the rice 3 times. Place rice in large bowl and add 8 C of water and 1 tbsp of salt. Soak for 2-3 hours 
  • Fill medium-size pit halfway with water. Add 2 tsp of salt and bring to a rapid boil. Drain rice well and add to the boiling water. Return to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Test the rice – It should be soft on the outside and still firm. Strain rice and rinse, drain well.  
  • Rinse out pit with water and add oil. Place over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add the rice, ¼ C water, and pinch of salt. With handle of wooden spoon, poke 5 holes through the rice. Cook for 1-2 minutes, do not stir. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cover with a lid wrapped in a kitchen towel. Steam the rice for 20-30 minutes. Do not remove lid while steaming. The bottom should be crisp.  


Pumpkin Soup – The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith 

Source: Book Club Cook Book by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp. Pg. 312-315 


  • 3 tbsp butter 
  • 2 large shallots, chopped 
  • 1 large red onion, chopped 
  • 1 carrot, diced 
  • 1 29oz can pureed pumpkin 
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste 
  • 3 c chicken or vegetable broth 
  • 2 c water 
  • 3 tsp chili powder 
  • 1 tsp ground coriander 
  • ¼ tsp cardamom 
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves 
  • 1 tsp sugar 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 1 c chopped roasted salted peanuts 
  • 2 ½ tbsp honey (optional) 


  • Melt butter in stockpot. Add the shallots, onion, and carrot and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. 
  • Add pumpkin, tomato paste, broth, water, chili powder, coriander, cardamom, cloves, cumin, and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.  
  • Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with peanuts and top each with 1 tsp of honey (optional). 


Shaw’s Crab House Lobster Bisque – The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson 

Source: Book Club Cook Book by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp. Pg. 99-102 


For lobster stock 

  • 2 lb lobster bodies 
  • 1 lb shrimp shells 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 
  • 1-2 stalks celery, chopped 
  • 1-2 stalks fennel, chopped 
  • 2-3 sprigs Italian parsley 
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme 
  • 1-2 bay leaves 
  • 1/8 tsp black peppercorns 
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste 

For lobster bisque base 

  • 1 c unsalted butter 
  • 2 carrots, diced 
  • 4 stalks celery, diced 
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 
  • 1 ¼ tsp dried tarragon 
  • ¾ tsp whole fennel seed 
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper 
  • ¾ tsp dried thyme 
  • ¾ tsp dried oregano 
  • ¾ tsp dried basil 
  • 1 ¾ C all-purpose flour 
  • 1 c tomato paste 
  • 2 ½ tbsp lobster base, or salt to taste 
  • 2 ½ tbsp brandy 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 2 c heavy cream 


For lobster stock:

  • Rinse lobster bodies and shells in cold water. Place in a large pit with cold water to cover.  
  • Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered for 3 hours. Skim off any film from the surface while cooking. 
  • Remove from heat. Skim off any fat from the surface and strain, discarding solids. You should have about 4 quarts of stock. Set aside.  

For lobster bisque base:

  • Melt butter in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic and stir. Add the tarragon, fennel seed, black and cayenne peppers, thyme, oregano, and basil. Sauté at medium-low heat until vegetables are soft (about 30 minutes). 
  • Add flour, stirring to incorporate with butter, and cook for approximately 4 minutes. 
  • Add lobster stock, tomato paste, and lobster base, combine thoroughly with whisk. Bring to a boil and allow to reduce by 1/4th 
  • Puree using a hand blender, blender, or food processor. Strain. 
  • Add the brandy and season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  • In a large pot, combine 4 quarts of lobster bisque base with the heavy cream. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and serve warm.