In the kitchen with Donald Barthelme

2007 was a year of restraint. I got through a Thanksgiving without invoking Donald Barthelme.

Still, no writers’ recipe project would be complete without a mention of Don B.’s soup recipes or event catering strategies. And Soft Skull gives me the perfect excuse: a reprint of The Teachings of Don B., complete with Pynchon introduction, is forthcoming next month. Here’s a brief excerpt:


Take one package Knorr Leek Soupmix. Prepare as directed. Take two live leeks. Chop leeks into quarter-inch rounds. Throw into Soupmix. Throw in 1/2 cup Tribuno Dry Vermouth. Throw in chopped parsley. Throw in some amount of salt and a heavy bit of freshly ground pepper. Eat with good-quality French bread, dipped repeatedly in soup.


Take one package knorr Mushroom Soupmix. Prepare as directed. Take four large mushrooms. Slice. Throw into Soupmix. Throw in 1/2 cup Tribuno Dry Vermouth, parsley, salt, pepper. Stick bread as above into soup at intervals. Buttering bread enhances taste of the whole.

There’s more at overnight to many distant cities.

Since the weekend ancestry posts have started to feel a little rote on this end, I’ll be alternating them with writers’ recipes and love letters to bookstores. I’m soliciting the recipes from particular writers as the mood strikes, but send praise for your favorite indie bookshop anytime.


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