Top | Newsletter 2010

Culinate Newsletter September 29 10

(mailing, James Berry)

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 h1. Dear readers,
 I have fortunate friends who are heading to French wine country this weekend, but I will not be following in their footsteps soon. Instead, I am contenting myself with a vicarious trip to France — 20th century France that is. My guidebook is The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook, which I had heard about for years but not owned until recently. 

 Toklas was, of course, the longtime companion of the writer Gertrude Stein; the two women lived for decades in Paris. You may know about her infamous brownies, but Toklas was an accomplished cook on all fronts.

 In one chapter, "Murder in the Kitchen," she describes having to kill a carp and a cage full of pigeons before eating them. "That is why cooking is not an entirely agreeable pastime," she writes. "There is too much that must happen in advance of the actual cooking. This doesn't of course apply to food that emerges stainless from \[the\] deep freeze." 

 Few cookbook authors acknowledge that cooking is not entirely agreeable — but sometimes it's true, even when there's no "murder" taking place.

 One soon-to-be author, Harriet Fasenfest, whose book on householding will be out later this fall, might concur. In her most recent post, [/mix/dinnerguest/shunthephotoop '"Shun the photo op,"'] Fasenfest writes, "Let me be the first to say that householding is … so much more mud and guts than milk and honey." 
 So here's to cooking — even when it's not entirely agreeable.
 Kim Carlson
 Editorial Director

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story1id: 299517 
story1text: "Laura Parisi finds that recreating a memory is an impossible task, even with a recipe."
story2id: 300131 
story2text: "Piper Davis teaches us to make a simplified version of this favorite French dessert." 

recipe1id: 275787
recipe1text: "Italian prunes covered with a crunchy topping by Ina Garten."
recipe2id: 300364
recipe2text: "Marcella Hazan's interpretation of a classic sauce that highlights early autumn produce."

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