Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins, and it’s the time of year when all of us are guilty.

What better time than the holidays to showcase a book that celebrates stuffing your face?

Novelist Nan Lyons, co-author of “Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe,” published “Gluttony: More is More” (Red Rock Press, $24.95), her paean to loving food a little too much, about 12 years ago. The publisher is offering it at a 40 percent discount during the holidays, and it would make a great little stocking stuffer for the foodie in your family. (

The book covers the history of gluttony (those Romans and sheltered medieval monks really knew how to pack it in), covers gluttony in film, and includes lots of interesting, um, bites of information, such as James Beard’s comment that he might be a cannibal “if there were enough tarragon around.” You’ll learn about the frog-eating contest in Rayne, La., and the Testicle Festival in Vinita, Okla.

There’s also a cornucopia of recipes, from instructions on how to make Chocolate Ants to Escoffier’s Lobster Newburg. For example:


2 eggs

1 8-ounce container sour cream

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

11/2 cups cake flour, not self-rising

1 teaspoon baking soda

11/2 teaspoons powdered ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1/2 cup melted butter

1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch-square pan. Beat eggs until light in color. Add sour cream, molasses and brown sugar; mix well. In a separate bowl, sift together cake flour, baking soda, powdered ginger and salt. Add to the egg mixture. Stir well, then mix in fresh ginger. Add the melted butter and beat well. Finally, fold in the crystallized ginger. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, Makes 12 servings.