Living Wright: Cookbooks getting a bit saucy
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
11/13/12 at 5:13 AM
Is that Capt. Picard on the trailer
for “Fifty Shades of Chicken”? See
Original Print Headline: Cookbooks getting a bit saucy
"Sometimes, I like a good spanking with my boeuf bourguignon." - Julia Child
OK, so she didn't really say that. But it would've been awesome.
The "Fifty Shades of Grey" phenomenon has inspired a hilariously delicious cookbook, "Fifty Shades of Chicken" ($19.99, Clarkson Potter), which comes out this week.
The cover features a twine-bound chicken - Miss Chicken, specifically - on its side, with additional shots of a bare-chested male model ala E.L. James' Christian Grey character doing various and sundry, saucy things to poultry - such as the bacon-wrapped dish Chicken with a Lardon.
It's not the only parody of James' wildly popular "suburban mommy porn," as a co-worker likes to call the "Fifty Shades" series. Like "Fifty Shades of Bacon" or "Fifty Shames of Earl Grey," both available on Amazon.com.
Books rife for cookbook parodying abound, I believe, and a few immediately came to mind while flipping through Miss Chicken's journey "from raw innocence to golden brown ecstasy."
Much as people talk about the fried chicken at Pitty Pat's Porch restaurant in Atlanta, I'm surprised there isn't a cookbook - is there? - of Scarlett O'Hara's Aunt Pitty Pat's recipes.
Such a book could easily include contributions from other characters from "Gone With the Wind," like Rhett Butler's "Have a Drink of Sherry, Mammy" cocktail or Belle Watling's "Morning of Regret Champagne Brunch" menu.
For something a bit more modern, maybe J. K. Rowling's "The Casual Vacancy" could inspire a list of English country recipes. Perhaps "Pies of Pagford"? It may not be as inspirational as the Harry Potter cookbook and its Pumpkin Pasties - which, contrary to a friend's belief, have nothing to do with a burlesque dancer's outfit.
With all the cookbook parodies, maybe authors should capitalize on their potential success by developing a companion cookbook. I bet John Grisham is just kicking himself for not penning a recipe collection to complement "The Racketeer." Sure, it's been No. 1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list, but he could've secured its place there for longer with "Salads & Such from a Federal Prison Camp Herb Garden." Maybe he can do that for when "The Racketeer" goes paperback.
It's probably easier to do companion cookbooks with nonfiction, right? I mean, the autobiographer - let's take Rod Stewart and his "Rod" - could offer recipe-filled reminiscences. Rod, for example, could offer dishes like "Blondes Have More Fondue" or "Downtown Terrine."
Children's books would be perfect - and a fun, first introduction to culinary arts. Lemony Snicket is a great candidate because the name sounds like a baked good. But I doubt a cookbook for the chart-topping "Lego Ninjago Character Encyclopedia" would fly off the shelves, as the words "choking" and "hazard" come to mind.
As I'm starting work on my own novel, I'll probably ponder some recipes. As it's based in Mississippi, I'll have plenty of Southern staples to consider. No lardons, though - my mama's got to be able to read it without blushing.