When Moleskine and Foodista approached me about guest-judging their upcoming Recipe Contest, my initial response was, "Does Proust like his madeleines?!" Answer: YES. As a literature blogger, you may question the fit, but for me, books and food are the rhyming couplet that completes the sonnet of my life. They are an intrinsic part of my daily ritual; good food and good reading go hand-in-hand. As a child, nights were spent perched at the kitchen table, reading from The Secret Garden, while my mother's homemade tomato sauce filled the house with its warm, rustic aroma. I fell in love with Oriel and Griff from The Wings of a Falcon over steaming cups of oolong tea and kale soup. My grandfather, an Italian baker, would knead his dough across the countertop while telling me stories of his youth as I hovered, rapt, with a copy of The Bell Jar placed gently in my lap. I have never found a need to separate or divert the courses of food and literature in my life. Even now, as the writer of Drunk Literature, I constantly find myself comparing what I am reading to eating a well-prepared meal. Books, in my opinion, cannot satisfy a reader by plopping down a heavy, main course, nor can they serve merely a chocolate-covered dessert; good literature must strive to produce a feast that excites its reader from appetizer to appertif, and everything in between.
I began Drunk Literature as a personal book-and-thought blog that focused on "literatures of intoxication," a very different kind of convergence between consumption and writing. However, I still employ the same basic beliefs when judging good literature as I do when judging good cooking: both must excite the palate, encourage improvisation, and leave you satisfied, yet sad that the meal is over.
Rebecca Hansen is a grad-school hopeful and author of Drunk Literature. Currently, she works as a freelance writer in Connecticut. Her foodie cred stems from her work at The Harvard Common Press, an award-winning independent publisher of cooking and parenting books, and as a former food blogger for RecipeKey.com. When she is not reading or writing, you can find Rebecca sitting among the stacks of her local bookstore, coffee in hand and iPod blaring, choosing where to go for her next adventure.