As I've said before, I always find the most interesting or thought-provoking things at Maria Popova's site Brainpicker. A few days ago she unearthed a rare 1961 book that is perfect for lovers of literature, art, and the melding of all that with cooking...
The Artists' and Writers' Cookbook (illustrated with 19th-century engravings and original drawings) features 220 recipes and 30 courses by 55 painters, 61 novelists, 15 sculptors, and 19 poets, including the likes of Marcel Duchamp, Harper Lee, Irving Stone, and John Keats.
Some offer serious recipes, while others riff on the assignment. In it you'll find the omelet recipe George Sand sent to Victor Hugo; Irving Stone's view of the perfect writers' lunch; Marcel Duchamp's secret to steak tartare; and Anna Tolstoy's (daughter of Leo Tolstoy, in dedication to her father) recipe for Russian mint cookies.
But really, how could you not be on board with a cookbook dedicated to "the art of imperfection" in the kitchen? That's what real cooking is, after all. (For more on that, read Dana's beautiful meditation.)
See a few recipe samples at the link below:
(Images: via Brainpicker)