JP Library Lagniappe: Author of ‘Dunces’ cookbook talks about food, culture _lowres

Photo provided by Howard Nobles -- Cynthia LeJeune Nobles says she jumped at the chance to write a cookbook based on John Kennedy Toole's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. LSU Press will release 'A Confederacy of Dunces Cookbook: Recipes from Ignatius J. Reilly's New Orleans' on Monday.

Cynthia Lejeune Nobles, author of a new cookbook titled “The Confederacy of Dunces Cookbook: Recipes from Ignatius J. Reilly’s New Orleans,” will talk about the book at 7 p.m. Thursday at the East Bank Regional Library, 2751 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey.

In John Kennedy Toole’s novel, Ignatius J. Reilly is never short of opinions about food, and he’s never far away from his next bite. Whether issuing sarcastic comments about canned food as a perversion or taking a break from his literary ambitions with an occasional cheese dip, this lover of Lucky Dogs, cafe au lait and wine cakes navigates 1960s New Orleans focused on gastronomical pursuits.

Nobles talks about the fare of Ignatius and his cohorts. Through a narrative and almost 200 recipes, Nobles explores the intersection of food, history and culture found in the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, opening up a new avenue into New Orleans’ culinary traditions.

The book includes dishes inspired by Ignatius’ favorites: macaroons and “toothsome steak” as well as recipes based on supporting characters: Officer Mancuso’s pork and beans and Dr. Talc’s bloody marys. A guide to the D. H. Holmes Department Store’s legendary chicken salad, the likely offerings of the fictitious German’s Bakery and an in-depth interview with the general manager of Lucky Dogs round out the cookbook.

Nobles is a food columnist for The Advocate, of Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Acadiana. She is the author of “The Delta Queen Cookbook” and serves as series editor for The Southern Table. She is a member of the Newcomb College Culinary History Writers Group. She lives in Baton Rouge.

CHECK OUT COMICS: Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead! Did you know you could check out comic books with just a few clicks of your mouse? All it takes is a library card. The Jefferson Parish Library, in partnership with Comics Plus Library Edition, allows patrons to check out comic books online — without having to come to the library. To access comics, patrons should go the Jefferson Parish Library, click on Digital Content, then click on the icon for Comics Plus Library Edition. Popular comic books include “Harbinger Faith,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Grendel vs. The Shadow,” “Solar Man of the Atom,” “Lumberjanes,” “Peanuts,” “Farscape,” “Zorro” and “Jason and the Argonauts.” One of the most popular series is “Archie,” featuring the title character, Betty, Veronica and Jughead, all of whom have their own series.

COLLEGE FINANCIAL AID: Carol Langston, Ph.D., director of college guidance at Metairie Park Country Day School, will discuss financial aid possibilities for college students at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. Langston will discuss the College Scholarship Service Profile, generally referred to as the CSS Profile, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid program and Louisiana’s Taylor Opportunity Program for Students.

HOME-BUYING SEMINAR: Puentes New Orleans sponsors “Basic Steps to Purchasing a Home for the First Time” from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the West Bank Regional Library, 2751 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey. It will be given in both English and Spanish. Though not required, participants can reserve a spot in advance by calling (504) 821-7228. Puentos New Orleans is a Latino-operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization that supports Latino families and other minorities.

‘THE CANTERBURY TALES:’ The Great Books Discussion Group at the Old Metairie Branch Library meets at 7 p.m. Feb. 2. The library is located at 2350 Old Metairie Road, Metairie. The book to be discussed is “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer. This event, moderated by Jim Cagle, operates on the principles of The Great Books Foundation, which is dedicated to helping people learn how to think and share ideas by educating them to become participants in, leaders of and advocates for shared inquiry.