28 March 2009

The Ex-boyfriend Cookbook

I once wrote a note to Thisbe Nissen on this laptop. Now, every time I write the word “this” it flashes her name on the screen. I don’t know why. What I do know is that she and Erin Ergenbright wrote one of the most clever cookbooks in recent memory. The Ex-Boyfriend Cookbook is appropriately subtitled, They Came, They Cooked, They Left…(But We Ended Up With Some Great Recipes).

Thisbe and Erin, were both at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. The story goes that one day as they were planning a barbecue, Erin said, “I’ll make Davis’s spicy BBQ rub!” They looked at each other and said, “We should write a cookbook of all the recipes we’ve gotten from boyfriends over the years.” And as they say, the rest is history.

Each recipe is printed on a nifty collage of ephemera, presumably gathered from the ex-boyfriends. The recipes are quite good, but the stories are even better. “Keith was a heavy-lidded, shaggy haired poet who sometimes wore his pants inside out.”

Here is his recipe.
Keith The Pathological Liar’s Cold Remedy

2 shots brandy
8 ounces hot water (nearly boiling)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons honey

Repeat as often as necessary.

Check out Thisbe's other books, including Out of the Girls' Room and Into the Night: Stories.

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