Congratulations To My Book Giveaway Winner!

My book giveaway, started a few weeks ago as a thank-you to my awesome followers for getting me up to 200 follows, has a winner! The great blog at ReadRantRocknRoll, run by the most awesome Mischenko, was randomly drawn as the winner, and will receive Julia Child’s terrific memoir “My Life in France.”

If you haven’t visited Mischenko’s page, I encourage you to do so as soon as you can. She writes about food, music, books, gaming, and a whole other gamut of cool topics relating to pop culture.

As always, a huge thank you to all my readers and followers, and to my family and friends for always supporting me and my vision for this blog. Here’s to many more.

Food in Books Has Reached 200 Followers!

I am thrilled and very grateful to all my wonderful readers and followers who have supported this idea of mine from Day 1! Today, I reached 200 followers on my blog, which may not be much in the grand scheme of things, but I am so happy!

To celebrate, I am giving away a copy of the best-selling memoir by the late, great Julia Child My Life in France, and one of you lucky readers will win! In the comment section below, just tell me what literary feast you would want to eat most, or tell me what your last meal on earth would be! A random winner will be selected within the next couple of weeks!

Again, thank you for your support! It means more to me than I can possibly express.




Feast of Sorrow: A Novel of Ancient Rome by Crystal King

I’m back, and I greatly appreciate everyone’s patience and kind comments asking when I would get my ass back into the blogging world. Well, yesterday was the day. I’m officially moved into my gorgeous new house, which has the most beautiful kitchen, so Food in Books has returned.


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Having lived in controlled chaos surrounded by boxes of packed-up books and kitchenware over the past month was a challenge, and I kept myself sane by picturing the first literary meal I would cook in my new kitchen. While at the library last week I discovered Feast of Sorrow: A Novel of Ancient Rome and of course, with a title like that, I had to read it.

It is the fictionalized story of Apicius, the earliest-known cookbook author. Apicius lived during the reign of Caesar Augustus and then Tiberius Caesar, and is known for writing what is known as De re coquinaria, the earliest collection of recipes known.  The historical detail is amazing, and the few known bits of information about the actual life of Apicius are woven seamlessly into the novel. Actual Roman condiments such as liquamen – a type of fish sauce – and silphium – a now-extinct type of fennel, and so many others – are demonstrated in the book recipes, which was very cool. Foodie nerd porn literature!

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The final feast cooked by Apicius’s cook, a free slave named Thracius, is a magnificent masterpiece of all known cuisines of ancient Rome. There are peacocks roasted and re-dressed in their own feathers, flamingo steaks, stuffed and fried baby birds; and roasted asparagus in mustard sauce. As tempting as it was to try and go all-out Roman and recreate the feast, I didn’t. Flamingos aren’t in season, you realize.


Asparagus in mustard sauce seemed doable, especially in light of the fact that being in modern times, I didn’t have to hand-grind mustard seeds into a paste and season to create the condiment. I cooked the asparagus with roasted garlic lemon chicken, which went deliciously well with the tangy, roasted asparagus dish. The ancient Romans would be pleased, I think.

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1 lb fresh asparagus
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons organic mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 375F. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and rinse well.

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Roast for up to 30 minutes, until they get those nice brown, charred bits.

In a large measuring cup, mix together the red wine vinegar, mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. This is very much to taste, so adjust to your liking.


Drizzle the sauce over the roasted asparagus, serve with the chicken, and wolf down with the greed of an ancient Roman senator.

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And last but not least, a huge thanks and shout-out to Jen at for nominating me for another blog award. Jen, who also goes by the very cool moniker of Mischenko (sounds like a sexy Russian spy, doesn’t it?) writes about music, movies, books, gaming and food, in addition to modern culture, so I highly recommend her blog.


Food in Books Nominated for The Entertainer Blogger Award!

Very pleasantly surprised to learn Food In Books has been nominated by our sister blogger Mischenko at the most awesome site ReadRantRock&Roll, a page I highly recommend you visit. Thank you! I’m honored to have been nominated for this award.

The rules for this award are listed below:

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Add these rules to your post.
  • Answer all the questions below.
  • Display the award picture in your post.
  • Nominate 12 other bloggers who are funny, inspiring and most important of all ENTERTAINING!

Why did you start a blog in the first place?

I had a vision one day about recreating a meal from a book and it went from there. I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid, and learned to cook (and love it) in my early 30s, so it was a natural progression for me. It’s also nice to connect with people who are fellow bookworms or foodies like me, because oftentimes they haven’t made that connection and so when they see how I’ve made the connection – recreating a literary meal or creating a meal inspired by a certain book – they seem to really enjoy it. And I get lots of book recommendations and food ideas from readers and other bloggers, too.

What is your favorite book?

Of all time, The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. From this past year, The Mirror Thief. Both are wonderful literary puzzles and mysteries to get lost within.

What do you dislike the most?

People who hurt children and animals. Really loathe people who do that.

What is your favorite food at the mall?

I haven’t entered a mall in years – hello, Amazon Prime 2-day shipping! – but when I was there last time, we had Dippin’ Dots. Those were pretty good.

What is your favorite pastime?

Besides the obvious ones of cooking and reading, I love taking photographs, writing, traveling, dancing the tango (though not well) and entertaining.

My nominees are:

Thank you for all the support over the past year and a half! Looking forward to much more food in books!     ~Vanessa