Heidi (the little girl in the Alps) basically lived on brown bread, goat cheese and milk. Dickon’s mother brought clotted cream, new eggs and fresh bread to Mary and Colin’s meetings in the secret garden. And when Marie Curie fainted from exhaustion on the doorstep of her pensione after weeks of sleepless work isolating polonium, her landlady revived her with steak frites.

At least, this is how I remember it from a juvenile biography I read in grade school.

Since childhood, the parts I remember best in what I read are the parts about food. (Colette’s Claudine loved overripe bananas. Laura Ingalls Wilder's mother made fresh-fried doughnuts for her party.)

So I love the idea of this latest series of food events in Utah: Harmons Grocery Stores and Kings English Bookshop are partnering to start a literary book club, Cooks and Books.

The first meeting will be September 14 at Harmons Bangerter Crossing, where Harmons’ own Chef Evan Francois will do the cooking and the reading discussion will be led by booksellers from The King’s English. Whenever possible, the book’s author will attend to cook and discuss their books.

The first book will be Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love and War by Annia Ciezadlo to be paired with Middle Eastern cuisine.

Other fall classes include Small Sweet Treats by Marguerite Marceau Henderson, to be paired with chocolate cookies and other desserts on October 12 and Chocolate Snowball: and Other Fabulous Pastries from Deer Valley by Letty Halloran Flatt to be paired with desserts on November 9.

Meetings will be held the second Wednesday of each month beginning in September from 6:30 to 8:30 p. m. at the Bangerter Crossing Harmons store. The cost is $50 per participant, which includes the price of the book and food. Sign up at harmonsgrocery.com/cooking-school, print your receipt, then pick up your book either at the Business Center at Harmons Bangerter Crossing at 125 E 13800 S in Draper, or at The King's English Bookshop at 1511 South 1500 East in Salt Lake City. Then attend the class.

How fun is that?

I have to say, I hope the reading list will be expanded beyond cookbooks, although good writers make cookbooks great reading. Years ago, Les Dames d’Escoffier in Dallas held a dinner featuring readings from M.F.K. Fisher’s books about food, and different local chefs created dishes inspired by the words.

 

Food and eating have inspired many great writers—Calvin Trillin, A.J. Liebling, Wendell Berry, Jim Harrison, Laurie Colwin…

 

The possibilities are temptingly endless.