Monday, November 5, 2007

Cookbook of the week #14: Nanny Ogg's Cookbook

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Nanny Ogg's Cookbook is more than just a cookbook, as may be seen from the subtitle: A useful and improving Almanack of Information including Astonishing Recipes from Terry Pratchett's Discworld. The authors are Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs, Paul Kidby made the illustrations and Tina Hannan and Stephen Briggs compiled the recipes. The publisher is Doubleday.

For those familiar with the Discworld books no explanations are needed, but for the uninitiated, they are a series of humorous (and sometimes just laugh out loud funny) literary fantasy novels that take place on a world that is as flat as a pizza and is carried on the backs of four cosmic elephants that stand on the back of a gargantuan space turtle who swims slowly through space towards some unknown destination. Nanny Ogg is one of the olives, or possibly anchovies, on the pizza: an old but frisky witch with a very earthy sense of humour and a vast knowledge of aphrodisiac cooking. Unfortunately her magnum opus, The Joye of Snacks, has been banned and no copies have ever found their way onto Roundworld (which is what Discworld wizards call our Earth), but a few edited versions made it into this book, as did recipes from several other denizens of the Disc.

The sample recipes do not give any idea of the humour of the book, as I have only copied the uncopyrightable portions, i.e. the ingredient lists, and I have rewritten the instructions to leave out the copyrighted portions that refer to the Discworld. The recipes are attributed to different characters, and most of them are mentioned in one or other of the books. They are merely a part of the book and are really just a way for fans to get to know the characters better and for non-fans to develop an interest in getting to know them better, but I know the recipes were all tested before being published, and fans who have made them have generally been happy with the results.

I have been longing to try several of the recipes ever since I got the book, and I think 8 years is enough waiting time, so now I am really going to cook one or perhaps more recipes from the book.

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