Saturday, 25 September 2010

My Latest Book

In my latest book, The Casserole Dishes of Letitia Elizabeth Landon, I explore the hidden culinary talents of the 19thC poet and writer, known largely for her simple and sentimental verse.

In 1821, at the age of nineteen, Landon published her first book of poems, The Fate of Adelaide. She also revolutionised the casserole dish by introducing puce, ox blood, and hog rind to the humble stew. It was through her pioneering work in garnish development that her reputation grew, plucking the nostril hairs from goats and chopping them into manageable specks.

Serving her Goat Hair Casserole to the critic Laman Blanchard, he complimented her “magical fusion of the disgusting and the sublime” and went on to give her awful poems a positive review.

With the death of her father in 1824, Landon went into her most prodigious casserole phase, inventing ten new dishes. Among them was The Toffee Nipple which merged the shorn teats of heifers with melted chocolate and elderberries. The dish made her an international sensation, propelling her to stardom in the US. Meanwhile, she wrote and published her first novel, Romance and Reality.

My book examines this turbulent period in the young poet and culinary pioneer’s life, with contributions from Isobel Armstrong, Germaine Greer and Jeremy Clarkson.

Bambam Books, £14.99pp. Order here.


  1. Lovely. I don't think I ever want to go to her house for dinner, thanks anyway.

  2. You mean you don't want the lemon quail gusset stew? No pleasing some people.

  3. BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I just went and ordered it. Did you include that she was having a torrid affair with Aberforth Dumbledore when she thought up that goat hair thing? It was the only thing she could think of to do, as the stuff was unavoidable... might as well work with it.

  4. Indeed! Aberforth's weakness was the crab-thigh blancmange. Crunchy wooble.