- The Olive by Algernon Blackwood
"In his dream the olive had been deliberately and cleverly dispatched upon its uncertain journey. It was a message."
- Springtime a la Carte by O. Henry
"Sarah's fingers danced like midgets above a summer stream. Down through the courses she worked, giving each item its position according to its length with an accurate eye. Just above the desserts came the list of vegetables. Carrots and peas, asparagus on toast, the perennial tomatoes and corn and succotash, lima beans, cabbage--and then--"
- Melons by Bret Harte
Boys nicknamed Melon and Carrot might be involved in banana stealing in Harte's appealing reverie.
- A Piece of Steak by Jack London
Reminiscent of Jake Lamotta in the film Raging Bull, London's story is about youth being served. "It was hard for an old man to go into a fight without enough to eat. And a piece of steak was such a little thing, a few pennies at best; yet it meant thirty quid to him."
- Gooseberries by Anton Chekhov
To this timid clerk, owning property and growing gooseberries was his cherished dream. 'Ah, how delicious! Do taste them!' They were sour and unripe, creating an oppressive feeling in his brother.
- A Country Cottage by Anton Chekhov
"What have you got for our supper to-night? 'Chicken and salad...It's a chicken just big enough for two...Then there is the salmon and sardines that were sent from town.'"
- About Love by Anton Chekhov
This story about love and missed opportunity gets your mouth watering from the start: "At lunch next day there were very nice pies, crayfish, and mutton cutlets; and while we were eating, Nikanor, the cook, came up to ask what the visitors would like for dinner."
- A Dinner by Alexander Kielland
"Well on in the dinner, he hammered upon the table for silence, and said that he must give expression to a sentiment that lay at his heart, everybody instantly felt that something unusual was impending."
- The Best Sauce by P.G. Wodehouse
"They are an acquired taste, I expect. Perhaps I am, too. Perhaps I am the human parsnip, and you will have to learn to love me."
- The Green Door by O. Henry
Wondrous adventures awaited Rudolph after fate handed him a calling card to knock on the green door, behind which a woefully thin and pale woman awaits his wholesome supper: an appetizer for Romance.
- The New Food by Stephen Leacock
What? All the nutrients you need in one little pill? Leacock's story provides one scenario for why this invention failed miserably.
- Aristocracy Versus Hash by O. Henry
Who cares about your family tree. Nothing beats an irish stew, cornbread, and a beer!
- White Bread by Zona Gale
"Nobody made white bread like Jane, and no one could find out how she made it."
- A Word for Autumn by A.A. Milne
"Season of mists and mellow celery, then let it be. A pat of butter underneath the bough, a wedge of cheese, a loaf of bread and—Thou."
- The Turnip by The Brothers Grimm
You never know where good fortune may "turnip." Most importantly, don't let the thirst for knowledge fool you.
- Tender Buttons: Food by Gertrude Stein
Stein's "stream of consciousness" poem, some refer to as Cubist literature; see if you can decipher your food cravings in her work.
- The Gingerbread Man in Short Stories for Children
"Run, run, fast as you can! You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"
- Hansel and Gretel by The Brothers Grimm
"Nibble, nibble, gnaw, Who is nibbling at my little house?"
- Turkeys Turning the Tables by William Dean Howells
A word of caution: after reading, your children might want to set free, rather than eat, their turkey dinner!
- The Great Feast by Laura E. Richards
Who would have thought one small cookie could be the source of such an imaginative celebration?
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Remember when Peter was sent off to bed without supper for being bad? Milk and blackberries for good little bunnies.
- The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan by Beatrix Potter
A Pussy-cat invites a little dog to tea. "We will have something so very nice. I am baking it in a pie-dish--a pie-dish with a pink rim. You never tasted anything so good! And YOU shall eat it all!"
- The Chicken Who Wouldn't Eat Gravel by Clara Dillingham Pierson
"You have a strong stomach, and if you eat gravel this stomach or gizzard will rub and press the tiny stones against the grain until it is well broken up and ready to make into fat and strength for your body."
- The Outlaws by Richmal Crompton
Crompton's Just-William series is very nostalgic, this story features licorice water and cakes. But even armed with treats, Willliam is still a terrible babysitter!
- Cousin Tribulation's Story by Louisa May Alcott
You can just taste the comfort in the bowl of delicious, hot oatmeal, and the girl's pangs for giving away her own breakfast to a family in-need in this heartwarming story about an oatmeal parade and "angel-children."
- The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher by Beatrix Potter
After no luck fishing, he invites his friends to dine on roasted grasshopper with lady-bird sauce, which frogs consider a beautiful treat!
- Uncle Richard's New Year Dinner by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Nothing melts an old family feud like a home cooked dinner from the heart to start the new year off right. Author of Anne of Green Gables
- An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott
What happens when you put children in charge of cooking Thanksgiving dinner?
- Thankful by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
In a turkey weighing contest involving Thankful, Sarah and Submit learn a valuable lesson about telling the truth.
- The First Thanksgiving by Albert F. Blaisdell & Francis K. Ball
A story from long ago when the Pilgrims of Plymouth invited the Indian chief Massasoit and his followers to share in a communal feast.
- Turkeys Turning the Tables by William Dean Howells
A word of caution: after reading this story, your children might want to set free rather than eat, turkey for Thanksgiving!
- Ann Mary; Her Two Thanksgivings by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
"'You goin' to put that crust on that pie now, grandma?' 'Yes, I be. Why?' 'You haven't put one bit of sugar in.' 'For the land sakes!'"
- The Pumpkin-Glory by William Dean Howells
"Maybe I can't be a morning-glory, but I can be a pumpkin-glory, and I guess that's glory enough."
- How We Kept Thanksgiving at Oldtown by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Stowe tells one of the best stories about an old-time New England Thanksgiving.
- Deacon Pitkin's Farm by Harriet Beecher Stowe
A story about love and sacrifice: a son willingly sacrifices his education for his family's sake.
- Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen by O. Henry
On this exclusively American holiday, the old gentleman and Stuffy Pete meet every year on the same bench to celebrate Thanksgiving Day.
- Three Thanksgiving Kisses by Edward Payson Roe
"It would not be exactly care or trouble that would sober Elsie into a thoughtful woman, as our story will show."
- Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, 1863 by Abraham Lincoln
In the midst of the Civil War, President Lincoln formally established Thanksgiving as America's holiday to recognize the bounties of "fruitful fields and healthful skies" and to help heal the wounds of the nation.
- The Food of the Gods by H.G. Wells
A satirical science fiction comedy about "scientists" who invent a superfood that turns children into giants! Yes, many B-rated movies were inspired by Wells' silly dystopian tale involving "goo."
- A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband by Weaver & LeCron
A tongue-in-cheek addition to our offerings, enjoy Bettina's narrative ("Home at last!") and her increasingly daring recipes to please her man. You might get inspired to whip up creamed tuna on toast strips, pea and celery salad, and strawberry shortcake!
- Science in the Kitchen by Mrs. E.E. Kellogg
A surprisingly interesting scientific treatise on food substances and their dietetic properties, how to encourage proper digestion, and advice on healthful cookery. Quite prescient for its time, well before foodies.
- Foods that Will Win the War and How to Cook Them by Houston & Goudiss
A fascinating historical account of how precious food was during World War I. Recipes to reduce wheat, meat, fats, and sugars, so we'd have more for our troops overseas.
- Cooking by Troops, for Camp and Hospital by Florence Nightingale
Commissioned by the Virginia Army during the American Civil War, Nightingale offers wartime recipes, such as suet dumplings, soyer's stew and coffee for one hundred men (add 3 lbs. of coffee to 12 gallons water in a suitable vessel), as well as advice about the best foods and broths to heal soldiers in battle field hospitals.