Review: “Kafka’s Soup” by Mark Crick

Thumbs up for Kafka’s Soup: A Complete History of World Literature in 14 Recipes by Mark Crick. Humor/food.

Ah, impulse buys. But how could I not, when it’s a collection of recipes written in the style of famous authors? Lamb with Dill Sauce à la Raymond Chandler, Quick Miso Soup à la Franz Kafka, Chocolate Cake à la Irvine Welsh, and my favorite, Coq au Vin à la Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Crick is a great mimic, and the recipes look delish, to boot. It’s a trifle of a book, but a tasty one.

K. recognized that if a man is not always on his guard this kind of thing can happen. He was looking into the refrigerator and found it to be almost completely bare, apart from some mushrooms, which he began to slice. His guests sat waiting at the table and yet he appeared to have little to offer them. Whether he had invited them or whether that had arrived uninvited was not clear. If it were the first case he was angry with himself for failing to engage a cook for the evening so that he might command some authority at the table; for now his visitors were looking towards him as though he were a subordinate whose inefficiency was delaying their dinner. But in the second case they could hardly expect to be fed, arriving unexpectedly at such a time. The sound of a kettle boiling brought his attention back to the food and at the same time he noticed a jar of fermented miso and a block of silken tofu, perhaps left by his landlady. He placed two spoonfuls of the miso into a saucepan and poured on four cups of hot water, shielding the process from the panel as he did so. He became angry with himslf for thinking of the new arrivals as a panel; they had not announced their purpose in calling on him and as yet he did not know what position each of them held. Their manner suggested, perhaps, that they were higher officials but it was also quite possible that he was their superior and they were calling on him merely to create a good impression.

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