The Narnia Cookbook by Douglas Gresham
The Official Narnia Cookbook:
One Cookbook To Rule Them All
Before anyone asks. Yes, I know that I was mixing my made up worlds. Narnia is NOT Middle-Earth! But you could say that The Narnia Cookbook, originally published in 1998, is the root of my love of geeky cooking. Much like the One Ring is the ring that binds Sauron’s spirit to Middle-Earth in The Lord of The Rings. Except more devious, because this awesome cookbook is geared towards kids and I’ve had my copy since it first came out in 98′ without turning into Gollum.
So, let’s get this show on the road!
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The Food of The Narnia Cookbook
What can I say? The food in this book is a list of classics from around the world, including several jellies in the desert section and a recipe for Turkish Delight! And to top this off, all of them are, of course, delicious. I loved them as a kid and I love them now.
The recipes in this book helped form the base for so many classic dishes I love to cook. Perhaps especially because I adapted spices etc. to my own tastes as I’ve become more adept at cooking over the years.
The Writing of The Narnia Cookbook
Yep. It’s a cookbook, but I’m going to wax poetic about the writing. How can I not?
The writing is clear and concise. Douglas Gresham’s commentary is fun to read even 20 years later. The Forward? Fun! The thorough but not overly long paragraphs at the top of each recipe? Yes, you guessed it. Fun! And the book includes a lot of little quotes from C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books on top of it all.
That’s not to mention the thorough but concise cooking directions. Reading The Narnia Cookbook just to read it is a delight that helps immerse you into the world of Narnia.
However, my 1st Edition copy does not have any nutrition information besides how many people the recipes are meant to serve. And I cannot say whether later copies, which are all e-books, have complied with modern need to know how many calories are in things. It’s not a bad thing to me that this book doesn’t have that, but it is a reason to look for a later edition and check if it is more forthright in terms of such things. After all, cookbooks are not just pretty. They’re tools that help explore the world of food. Or, as is the case in this book, a fictional world’s food. And buying something you won’t use due to a lack of proper nutrition information is silly.
The Photography of The Narnia Cookbook
One would think this section the simplest. The Narnia cookbook has no photography, only gorgeous illustrations. But I do think this is a book that doesn’t need photography.
When I say need, I mean that many cookbooks then or now struggle to get the point across without photographs of the food and/or process. But Baynes’ illustrations bring the food and world of Narnia alive without any help. Much like with the writing, I still flick through the book just to look at the illustrations which dot the pages and bring the quotes sprinkled throughout the book to life.
Do you have a favorite geeky cookbook? Drop a comment below or join my email list to get access to my upcoming resource library full of geeky things.