2021 - Geeky Cookbooks

Since you know I worked as a freelancer as an editor and proofreader, and that I am starting to do some writing, you probably have guessed I enjoy Reading. As you likely can surmise from my blog, following my social media, or hanging out for me any length of time, I enjoy Cooking and baking. And if if have not realized by this point I am a Geek, you have not been paying attention.

What does this all mean when taken as a whole? It means I have fallen down the rabbit hole of geeky cookbooks and have begun to build a library of them and likely will be adding more and more…hopefully from your suggestions. The first geeky cookbook I picked up shouts it right in the title: Cooking for Geeks. I picked that up years ago and was fascinated by the science behind cooking. I am mostly self taught, with a desire to someday take some culinary classes, but for now I am fascinated to learn more and more about cooking, and this book just opened my eyes.

Cooking for Geeks book cover

Why do we cook the way we do? Are you the innovative type, used to expressing your creativity instead of just following recipes? Do you want to learn to be a better cook or curious about the science behind what happens to food as it cooks?

More than just a cookbook, Cooking for Geeks applies your curiosity to discovery, inspiration, and invention in the kitchen. Why do we bake some things at 350°F/175°C and others at 375°F/190°C? Why is medium-rare steak so popular? And just how quickly does a pizza cook if we overclock an oven to 1,000 F/540 C? Author and cooking geek Jeff Potter provides the answers to these questions and more, and offers his unique take on recipes — from the sweet (a patent-violating chocolate chip cookie) to the savory (slow-cooked brisket).

This book is an excellent and intriguing resource for anyone who enjoys cooking or wants to experiment in the kitchen.

Cooking for Geeks back cover

This historical gem, The Medieval Cookbook, was next to enter my library and helped me understand the origins of many dishes and to see the culinary changes over the years. Being so passionate for fantasy literature, medieval history, and knighthood, these images and recipes helped me better visualize daily life during that time. The kitchen is a gathering place for my family today, and shared meals one of my favorite ways to gather with friends and family, so it is fascinating to see how that existed in ages past as well.

The Medieval Cookbook cover

Drawing on the cuisine of the Middle Ages, from the fall of the Roman Empire to Henry VIII’s break with Rome, this new treatment of a classic book explores the relationship between food, religion and the ever-widening gap between the tables of the rich and the poor. Featured is an appetizing collection of recipes inspired by medieval manuscripts, richly illustrated throughout with stunning scenes of food, feasting and cooking from paintings, tapestries and drawings. “The Medieval Cookbook” has been thoughtfully adapted for the modern kitchen, whilst retaining the true essence of dining in medieval Britain.

The Medieval Cookbook back cover

When an official D&D cookbook was announced, Heroes’ Feast, it was an instant preorder for me. With its recent arrival, this collection of fine recipes, beautiful photography, and D&D “flavor” text spoke to my heart, and stomach. I am looking forward to trying some of the recipes within and envisioning what they would be like for my characters to be enjoying while they rest between adventures.

Heroes' Feast book cover

From the D&D experts behind Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana comes a cookbook that invites fantasy lovers to celebrate the unique culinary creations and traditions of their favorite fictional cultures. With this book, you can prepare dishes delicate enough to dine like elves and their drow cousins or hearty enough to feast like a dwarven clan or an orcish horde. All eighty dishes—developed by a professional chef—are delicious, easy to prepare, and composed of wholesome ingredients readily found in our world.

Heroes’ Feast includes recipes for snacking, such as Elven Bread, Iron Rations, savory Hand Pies, and Orc Bacon, as well as hearty vegetarian, meaty, and fish mains, such as Amphail Braised Beef, Hommlet Golden Brown Roasted Turkey, Drow Mushroom Steaks, and Pan-Fried Knucklehead Trout—all which pair perfectly with a side of Otik’s famous fried spiced potatoes. There are also featured desserts and cocktails—such as Heartlands Rose Apple and Blackberry Pie, Trolltide Candied Apples, Evermead, Potion of Restoration, and Goodberry Blend—and everything in between, to satisfy a craving for any adventure.

Heroes’ Feast back cover

And soon to be added to my collection is winding its way through the postal system, Recipes from the World of Tolkien. The literary and scholarly works of J.R.R. Tolkien are a passion of mine, as well as the games and media inspired by them. When this book popped up in my recommendations I knew I had to check it out. Who doesn’t want to enjoy Second Breakfast?!

Recipes from the World of Tolkien

Ever wondered what Lembas Bread, Cram, or Beorn”s Honey Cakes might taste like?

From Crickhollow Apple Loaf, Pippin”s Minas Tirith Lunch, and Brandywine Fish Pie to Dwarven Spiced Pickled Beetroot, Westfarthing Fairings, and Beorn”s Twice-Baked Cakes, Recipes from the World of Tolkien includes over 75 mouth-watering recipes that will take you on a journey through Middle-earth, delivering a treat for your taste buds and your imagination.

Immerse yourself in Tolkien’s epic fantasy world with recipes inspired by its places and characters. Whether it’s breakfast or second breakfast, elevenses or afternoon tea, lunch or dinner – cook up a feast fit for orcs and elves alike.

This collection of delicious recipes also features stunning illustrations and artwork throughout, as well as short feature essays that explore the compelling role of food in Tolkien’s works. This is the perfect, must-have addition to any Tolkien fan”s bookshelf.

Recipes from the World of Tolkien back cover

What geeky cookbooks have you found fascinating and flavorful?

Reading + Cooking + Geek =

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4 thoughts on “Reading + Cooking + Geek =

  1. Hi, T.R. Now that I am a widow I don’t cook much because it isn’t much fun to prepare food for just one person. However, I still love to read cookbooks and the ones you reviewed sound fascinating! I guess I could be called a geek too, because I love learning new facts. I may just have to track these down!

  2. FanFic cookbooks are fun but I also find reading old cookbooks fascinating! What was popular at the time changes a lot as well as what we find acceptable. If you add in how diets (die with a T) change it really gets strange….
    I was amazed to find my library had the “Geek” and the “D&D” cookbooks on the shelf…It will be fun to scan them!

    1. The challenge I find with old cookbooks is often converting the recipe or finding modern equivalent ingredients. Sounds like you have a great library that carries fun cookbooks!

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