Every time we tell someone about this book we get puzzled grins, raised eyebrows, and hilarious guesses as to what on earth The Ex-Boyfriend Cookbook might possibly be. Every time we tell a guy about it, he becomes instantly intent on doing pretty much anything if it'll get him into the book. One boy (who swears he only went out with Thisbe in order to get a recipe named after him) found out he'd missed the print deadline by a hair but that the cover wasn't done yet and quickly e-mailed with a list of potential subtitles for the front jacket: Men Are from Marzipan, Women Are from Bean Dip; Dear John, I'm Leaving You and Taking the Cuisinart; He Would Eat His Grandmother's Pie All Night While Mine Just Sat There and Got Cold, Love in the Time of Colander . . . We don't have anyone exactly clamoring to be our boyfriends, yet they're practically lining up to get to be our exes!
We swear we didn't conceive of this book as a way to pick up guys. At least it didn't start out that way. Really: One day we were planning a barbecue at the Iowa farmhouse where we lived and Erin said, "Oh, I'll make Davis's spicy BBQ rub!" And we kind of looked at each other and said, "We should write a cookbook of all the recipes we've gotten from ex-boyfriends over the years!" And an idea was born.
It was the perfect project for us, too. We're both pack rats, collectors who hold on to every scrap of paper anyone's ever handed us. While all our friends grilled burgers that night and played volleyball on the lawn, the two of us took our beers upstairs and hauled out all of our aging boxes and envelopes full of tear-stained letters, ticket stubs, withered flowers, valentines....We told each other the stories behind every one of those scribbled scraps. "And, god," we'd find ourselves saying, "he made the most incredible vinaigrette . . . . " We never made it outside to our own barbecue. We've pretty much been in our rooms since then, pecking away at this book like crazy people, the floors littered with old letters, our hands covered in rubber cement. We were driven, obsessed, compulsively determined to bring you The Ex-Boyfriend Cookbook. And voila! Here it is!
Now that the book is out, we're starting to let our imaginations take hold of us again. We've got all sorts of ideas. Like maybe we could spend a year letting a different man cook us dinner every night. We'd bring along cameras, collect artifacts from the evening like budding archaeologists, and select the best dishes for a sequel! But maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves.
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About the Author
Erin Ergenbright and Thisbe Nissen met at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where they spent many nights discussing gastronomic creations gained from ex-boyfriends and moved with their four cats into a farmhouse outside Iowa City where it was very cold in the winter. They ate frozen bagels, drank red wine, reminisced about their ex-boyfriends' culinary delights, and kept their fingers warm by collaging. Erin, Lucy, and Sinclair now live in Oregon. Thisbe, Fernanda, and Maisie remain in Iowa. Both Erin and Thisbe hope one day they will meet men they love as much as their cats, but they are not holding their breath.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A treasure in the rough is all I can say about this cookbook! Tried several of the recipes in this book so far delicious. If you want funny stories about ex-boyfriends and bring back a few fond or not so fond memories you need to buy this.
Although I will try very few of the recipes contained within, The Ex-Boyfriend Cookbook was extremely entertaining. I read it straight through and put post-its on the recipes I do intend to try. The anecdotes from the authors lives make this a very lively book. I also liked how they separated the sections: Sweet things, Sort of fluffy things, Savory things, Spicy things, Slippery things and Substantial things.