Sunday, April 14, 2019

The House with a Cook in its Kitchen

Longtime readers of John Bellairs no doubt have their favorite scenes and some may even have favorite scenes that include food. How many times, for example, did Johnny scurry over to Professor Childermass's house with plans to discuss or decipher a clue only to be deterred as attention turned to cakes, candies, or tortes? What made Mrs. Zimmermann's chocolate chip cookies so popular? What makes a proper snake year sherry?

Longtime readers of Bellairsia may recall Ursula Bielski and her attempt to put together a cookbook inspired by the works of John Bellairs. After watching the recent film adaptation with her daughter, Ursula is back and she's started a blog to share recipes and reminiscences of the house with a cook in its kitchen:
I first had the idea to create a collection of John Bellairs  -inspired cookery almost forty years ago, when my mother and I became immersed in literary cookbooks, inspired by the likes of similar books written by fans of Sherlock Holmes, the stories of Jane Austen, Beatrix Potter and so many others.  I don’t think anyone can doubt that the stories of John Bellairs are custom made for such company.

The project got a great start, and I created a good twenty recipes, accompanied by text references, for what was to be a cookbook: “The House with a Cook in its Kitchen.”  Alas, a robbery saw the loss of my computer and its hard drive. The disk I had saved the precious manuscript on was also lost.
What your favorite food-related memory from the Bellairs Corpus?


UrsulaBielski said...

Ah! The snake-year sherry! We are going to be having some fun!

Jean said...

Oh, what a fun idea. I'd buy that cookbook! I wanted for years to try a Sacher torte and was thrilled when I finally got a taste.

Chris Benedetto said...

As a kid when I was reading his books in the mid to late 80s, I lived not far from Haverhill, Massachusetts, and my grandparents house and entire neighborhood fit my imagination perfectly of what Duston Heights would have looked like in the 50s. John's vivid descriptions of Professor Childermass' various chocolate cakes made my mouth water. In fact, I used to make my mom bake a pan of Betty Crocker and I would spread the frosting on. Today when I delve back into the the world of Duston Heights impossible not to do it with a brownie or chocolate cake and a glass of milk! Thanks John for so many great memories over the past 35 years.

Anonymous said...

I would love to try Mrs. Zimmermann's chocolate chip cookies. I also immediately 'sympathized' with Lewis' book pages adorned with chocolate--many of my books are in this same condition.