Cooked Books: The Bell Jar

I hosted a book club/potluck in residency to discuss the Bell Jar, both a beautiful literary work and a painful look at mental illness. I include in this post initially my own creation but also a few of the very inspired contributions others made — it was so special to have so many participants!

My contribution —

I made baked panko-encrusted butter-poached chicken with herbed greek yogurt, fish eggs and a bit of dill

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page 27
Under cover of the clinking of water goblets and silverware and bone china, I paved my plate with chicken slices. Then I covered the chicken slices with caviar thickly as if I were spreading peanut butter on a piece of bread. Then I picked up the chicken slices in my fingers one by one, rolled them so the caviar wouldn’t ooze off and ate them.

 

Everyone else’s contributions are below — such great interpretations!

Jill’s Figs with Ricotta and Pistachios

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page 55

This fig tree grew on a green lawn between the house of a Jewish man and a convent, and the Jewish man and a beautiful dark nun kept meeting at the tree to pick the ripe figs, until one day they saw an egg hatching in a bird’s nest on a branch of the tree, and as they watched the little bird peck its way out of the egg, they touched the backs of their hands together…

Eric’s 3

 Eric’s 3 bean salaEric’s 3- bean saladΩΩpage 181

Eric’s 3-bean salad

p.181

Now I knew perfectly well you didn’t serve two kinds of beans together at a meal. Beans and carrots, or beans and peas, maybe, but never beans and beans. [He] was just trying to see how much we would take.

Vinod brought Mac ‘n’ Cheese…

page 181
I lifted the lid off the second tureen and uncovered a wedge of macaroni, stone-cold and stuck together in a gluey paste.

page 181

Now I knew perfectly well you didn’t serve two kinds of beans together at a meal. Beans and carrots, or beans and peas, maybe, but never beans and beans. [He] was just trying to see how much we woul

Eric’s 3 bean salad

 

page 181

Now I knew perfectly well you didn’t serve two kinds of beans together at a meal. Beans and carrots, or beans and peas, maybe, but never beans and beans. [He] was just trying to see how much we would take.

Jill’s Figs with Ricotta and Pistachios

 

page 55

 

This fig tree grew on a green lawn between the house of a Jewish man and a convent, and the Jewish man and a beautiful dark nun kept meeting at the tree to pick the ripe figs, until one day they saw an egg hatching in a bird’s nest on a branch of the tree, and as they watched the little bird peck its way out of the egg, they touched the backs of their hands together…

 

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