ALPHABET SOUP (al’ feh bet soop’) n. A blog launched in 2007 about food-related literature and adventures in good eating, liberally seasoned with bits of culinary history and a good measure of light fare.

All are welcome to partake of the REGULAR MENU:

  • Alphabetica (an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet)
  • Book reviews, literary and culinary musings
  • Bookish Recipes (many from authors, artists and poets)
  • Interviews with authors, illustrators and poets
  • Poetry Friday
  • Soup of the Day (Pub Day celebrations)
  • Thematic Picture Book Lists
  • Indie Artist Spotlights
  • hotTEAs of Children’s Literature – new!

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crop 2JAMA (jay’mah) n. Virginia-based Author, Blogger, Foodie, Alphabet Lover, Picture Book Nerd, Soup Maker, Word Collector, Diehard Anglophile and Secret Wife of Colin Firth.

Food’s a celebration, an unbreakable habit, a happy memory, a connection to the past, one’s cultural identity. As Brillat-Savarin said, “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”

I love to read about (and sometimes cook) the foods people eat in picture books, novels and poems. I’m curious about what writers nibble on while penning their stories, what tempting morsels might inspire an artist’s best work.

I blog to learn the answers to life’s burning questions. What should I wear when I have tea with the Queen? What do Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney have for breakfast? Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?

And let’s not forget the eternal Quest for Pie.

My picture books include Dumpling Soup (Little, Brown), Truman’s Aunt Farm (Houghton Mifflin), and The Woman in the Moon (Little, Brown). Find out more about them at my Official Website.

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CORNELIUS (kor nee’ lee os) n. Alphabet Soup Mascot, Chief Taste Tester, Shameless Compliment Seeker and Purveyor of Hugs.

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BLOG PHILOSOPHY: “Take the reader by the hand, and show him what you love.”

We’ll save a place at our table just for you. No reservations required, so bring along your best bibs and please visit often! ☺


Jama Rattigan


“The pleasure of the table belongs to all ages, to all conditions, to all countries, and to all areas; it mingles with all other pleasures, and remains at last to console us for their departure.” ~ Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin


***Spread from The Alphabet That Was Good to Eat by Louise Price Bell, illustrated by Dorothy Whidden (Harter Publishing, 1932). 

25 thoughts on “About

  1. Love to read your blog! It’s filled with love and detail and talent. Besides the impressive array of tasty tidbits and jaunts, I always enjoy the sidebars. Aha! I notice a new category: “Eye Candy”. Sweet! Happy New Year to you, Cornelius, and Hatley.


    1. Happy New Year to you too!!

      Glad you like the Eye Candy — not a new sidebar feature, and is changed frequently! Did you hover over Eddie’s picture? Always a secret message . . .


  2. Ooooh, I am so glad Susan Branch sent me here today! What a wonderful blog for a fellow avid anglophile! But I was shocked and saddened to find Colin had strayed and had yet another wife. We must determine which of us came first I suppose. But for now, I shall go and further explore this delightful blog!


  3. Oh my goodness, don’t ask me how I didn’t notice Dumpling Soup on the sidebar before I sent that last note – I was so happy to find this book when I was adopting my first Chinese daughter in 1998! I was looking for books to try and keep her culture as alive as a gringo can, and this was one of our books! You and Grace Lin and then Lawrence Yep and other wonderful authors were rock stars in our house! At this point, I will let you keep Colin! So glad to have found your wonderful blog!


    1. Hi Jan,

      Oh dear — another wife? I am shocked and saddened as well. But I guess it’s inevitable — pretty difficult to find many females with a pulse who don’t love him🙂. For now, we must be content to share him with Livia. . .


    2. LOL — Wonderful to hear you read DS with your daughter! It always amazes me. As I said in my other comment, I’m perfectly willing to share Colin with you — even moreso now😀. Thanks for dropping by. So nice to “meet” you, thanks to Susan.


  4. Hi! I saw the post about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s apple slump…..it looks really good! I’ll pin it. I really like Laura Ingalls because we share a name and our birthdays are only 2 days apart. (-:


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