FEELING HUNGRY? How about some panfried rainbow trout, fresh from a mountain stream, and sizzled to a golden brown by none other than Ernest Hemingway?
Or would you prefer a steamed leg of mutton with capers, a smoking-hot platter prepared for you by England's immortal 18th-century novelist Henry Fielding?
You'd rather dine on American food? Fine. Could you go for a red-hot skillet of cracklin'-broiled pigs' feet -- a dish concocted by this country's all-time champion Southern literary chef, William Faulkner?
Still not interested? You'd rather feast on something lighter, something more elegant? All right: How about a delicious French pastry, served up by no less a figure than that Gallic literary immortal Marcel Proust?
It sounds like good eating -- and good reading, too.
Here are (along with apologies to all four of the gentlemen) the favorite recipes of Hemingway, Fielding, Faulkner and Proust -- text and recipes composed, of course, in the literary style that brought its author fame. Ernest Hemmingway
That was when we ate the trout.
There were leaves falling when we ate the trout. The leaves fell on the trout and lay on the trout. And there was dust, and the sound of many fishermen moving down the road toward the trout stream, and the sound of the fishermen's feet, and leaves falling on the trout, and we ate the trout.
I did not look at Ruiz. Ruiz had been hit earlier in the day. Ruiz had been struck by a trout fly, and there was nothing to say to him. He sat in the leaves, and the blood ran down Ruiz and into the leaves.
"It is good trout," I said to Ruiz.
"Yes," said Ruiz, "it is good trout."
He did not move. I watched the leaves falling. "It is good trout," said Ruiz, "but it will not help my wound."
"No," I said. "It will not help your wound."
"It is my fault," said Ruiz. "It is my own fault, I did not cast my fly with truth. There was no truth in my arm when I cast my fly."
I was careful not to look at him.
"It is good trout," I said.
He did not answer. After a very long time, I looked over at Ruiz, and I saw that he was not eating his trout. I saw that his trout would go uneaten. Ruiz sat very still under the leaves. The blood ran down into the dust, silently, and you could see that Ruiz would never eat his trout.
Then it got cold. I finished my trout. I got up and walked back through the dusty streets to the cafe. I sat down at a table in the cafe. I did not think of Ruiz, or about the trout he would not be eating.
I sat alone at the table. I wrote down, very slowly, with much truth in my hand, a recipe: Hemingway's Pan-Fried Afternoon Trout
Take two glistening, freshly caught rainbow trout from a cold, clear-running mountain stream.
After removing the heads, entrails and scales, wash them.
Dip the wet fish in corn meal.
In a metal skillet that has seen many campaigns, melt butter and bacon drippings to a depth of one-eighth of an inch.
When the fat is hot, drop the fish in it. Cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serves two (more if diners expire before finishing.) Marcel Proust
In those days (how futile our efforts, once old age has brought, in the same manner by which autumn ivariably brings to the green leaves and the wind-blown shoots of summer the dry, listless breezes which inexorably transform that same green to a withered brown, one's youth to a vacant and saddening termination, to recall those vanished days!) it was my custom, soon after retiring to bed, to take from beneath the coverlet (the same coverlet which had sheltered me throughout those days at my grandfather's summer estate, a coverlet which never failed to remind me, because of its musty, faintly decayed odor and also because of its curious, irregularly woven texture which felt like nothing so much as the hand of some woman one has loved, long ago, but who has with the passage of the years declined into faded, threadbare, ragged infirmity, so that the hand which once gave such pleasure, such ectasy, now conveys by its touch not passion, not aching desire, but only the faint, flickering presentiment of mortality's inevitable end, of times long lost, long forgotten) a platter of chocolate chip cookies madeleine, there, ringed about as I was by the thick impenetrable darkness of that shuttered room, to discover in the aroma of these cookies, in their grainy, crumbly texture, in the delicate flavor which, melting instantly against the trembling palate, they brought to the passionately salivating mouth, the memory of those other cookies, the ones I had so greeedily devoured at my grandfather's estate, in the slow, drowsy, summer-filled days before this recipe was at last set down: Proust's Chocolate Chip Cookies Madeleine
Beat 1/2 cup of butter until creamy.
Add 6 tablespoons of brown sugar and 6 tablespoons white sugar, beat mixture unitl creamy.
Beat in 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.
Sift and stir in 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 cup of chopped nut meats, 1/2 cup chipped chocolate.
Drop the batter from a teaspoon, well apart, on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in an oven at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.
Makes about 45 cookies (if savored fully, luxuriously, about a decade's-worth). Henry Fielding
Being an honest, if exceedingly diverting account of how our hero, a genial and affecting lad of large and diverse APPETITE, WHILE DEVOURING ONE JOINT, MANAGED TO COMPLETELY DESTROY ANOTHER.
Now, whatever censures may otherwise be laid upon the head of our noble hero, it is to be staunchly hoped that the discerning reader will refrain from admonishing him for those two passions, namely his great regard for steamed mutton, and his even greater regard for the inn-keeper's daughter who served this savory, smoking repast to him at table -- two passions which, as so often happens when conflicting human appetites collide, carried the poor youth very close indeed to his final end. For it transpired that when young Bess, the blue orbs of her most winsome eyes shooting sparks whose heat would have served to ignite the chilliest, hoariest heart, and whose plump red lips, trembling as they were with a thousand as yet unreleased gentle becks and rosy nibbles, stepped forward bearing the platter, our young Tom, unable to repress one hunger in favor of another, attempted with sudden lunge to embrace both the lissome lass and the steamy, mouth-watering joint -- so that all of them, the maid, the youth and the smoking platter went flying together backwards over the table, with the result that the poor boy, his head buried in the heaped dish, nearly suffocated upon his own supper! Fielding's Steamed Mutton with Capers la Wholesale Riot
Rub a leg of mutton all over with a cut clove of garlic, and with butter.
Melt, in a large kettle, 1/2 cup fat or bacon drippings. Brown the meat on all sides. Place the mutton in the kettle, add four cups boiling water. Cover kettle and simmer the meat until tender.
After one hour, add two small whole onions, two peppercorns, three cloves and a sprig of thyme.
When the meat is tender, remove and season with salt. Place it where it will remain hot. Now melt 6 tablespoons of butter, or use the fat skimmed from the stock. Stir in 4 tablespoons of flour. Stir in slowly 3 cups of strained lamb stock. Cook and stir sauce until smooth.
Add 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup drained capers, season as needed.
Serve immediately, but do not overheat the dish: It should never be served by an innkeeper's daughter. William Faulkner
Walking down the road, thinking, not so much that the war has been lost, with all our fine furious hopes blown and scattered like the merest summershot fireflies winking, glimmering down to the immemorial faded trumpeting, the darkness of a dusk that was not even dusk any longer, but only a memory of dusk, faint and dimming and yet somehow still discernible, monstrously elegant, that vision by which, against all the drumming, furious bloodtide of a passion which could not, finally, even have been said to have ever existed except in the clangorous, reverberating silence of a few terrifically beating Confederate hearts, and that against all reason, against all good human earthly sense -- thinking, no, not that it has all been lost, the bright banners flapping through goldshot autumn Natchez sunset,and the hollow muffled wailing of the bugles there in the furiously motionless stillness of one single afternoon in the courthouse square at Appomattox -- thinking, not that, not lost, not ever lost, but kept, sustained against all hopeless odds and reasonable expectation, the legend, the code, the shining and gallant recipe for that which, everafter, would triumphantly, even transcendently endure: Faulkner's Cracklin'-Broiled Pigs Feet Vainglorious
In the smoldering, shattered ruins of a baronial mansion, find two pigs.
Collect six of their feet.
Wrap the feet in cheesecloth, in order to retain their shape, and cover with boiling water.
Boil the feet for three hours, after adding one large sliced onion, one cut clove of garlic, one sliced lemon, two bay leaves, three or four whole black peppercorns and six or eight whole cloves.
After pouring off the water, cut each foot in two. Roll in butter, then in corn meal. Place on a greased broiler and broil, turning once, for about 15 minutes. Serve with pickled beets, lemon wedges and a battered, rusting bugle. Ingredients and cooking instructions adapted from "The Joy Of Cooking," by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker.