This week The Hypothetical Library is featuring its first guest designer, the magnificent poet, Jennifer L. Knox. Jennifer is a designer in the sense that she has a black Sharpie marker, glue stick, and a preexisting book to deface.
As a wedding present for her friends, she did an impromptu adaptation of Mark Bittman’s beloved cookbook How To Cook Everything. By adaptation I mean it is Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything, with his name scratched out and “Jennifer L. Knox” written above it wherever possible throughout the book. The main (only) difference between the original and the adapted books is Jennifer’s hilarious new introduction.
There is probably nothing more unfunny than talking about what makes something funny, so I’m not going to even attempt that. What I will say is that at a poetry reading some time ago, Ms. Knox’s piece was so funny that I spat out the beer I was drinking midsip. As a result, I now refuse to drink liquids when hearing or reading her work.
I will have a much longer introduction and biography for Jennifer on her next post which is coming soon—a hypothetical young adult series called Jr. Detective Tales #19: Perplexed By A Porpoise. That book follows in the YA tradition of Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and the films of David Lynch. Perplexed By A Porpoise will also feature the considerable talents of artist Elizabeth Zechel, who will handle the cover art.
Like all good cookbook introductions, Jennifer’s involves dirty language, animal cruelty, sex acts involving The Partridge Family and then later mirrors and video cameras, crystal meth, and The Betty Crocker EZ Bake Oven™. As such is intended for grown-ups only.
Mark Bittman has written a wonderful award winning cookbook enjoyed by millions of people in it’s 10 years of publication. It is copyrighted by the fine publisher Wiley, with one of the most big-hearted, and friendly legal departments in all of America. Their sense of humor and understanding of parody is well known if not legendary. I imagine they are far to busy with contracts and the like to pursue litigation against a small blog that makes absolutely no profit from its own efforts. If you happen to meet or know one of their legal team, buy them a drink, pat them on the back, say “good job,” and please don’t give them this web site address.
Jennifer would also like to apologize for what she said about Mr. Bittman’s recipe for meatloaf. She concedes that it is in fact delicious.
HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING by Mark Bittman Jennifer L. Knox—Introduction
(Please click on the images for an easier reading experience.)
The adjusted flap, spine, and front matter
Next week: Nick Abadzis