Readers of Gherkins & Tomatoes / Cornichons & Tomates will see something new in the coming weeks — tiny photo essays. A weekly showcasing of some of the basic components of the Provençal (and frankly French) pantry, enlivened with a blessedly small pinch of poetry, these meditative snippets incarnate my intense desire for fresh, nay … More The Provençal Pantry in Poetry and Photos
Rocks tumbled down the rugged sloping ground and dust spun like little tops as Egeria, a nun from early fourth-century Galicia, climbed toward the rocky summit of Mount Sinai. From that craggy point, she gazed at a world she defined by the holy sites mentioned in the Bible. And from there we saw beneath us … More Peregrinations and Pilgrimages: Egeria and the Flour Soup
If you think that real cooking needs to be resurrected, you’d be right. You can’t exist on McNuggets alone, as the film Super Size Me proved. But if you think we should all go back to cooking everything just like our foremothers (and sometimes forefathers) did, you’d be a bit misguided. Romantic, yes, and it’s … More Forgotten Recipes and Forgotten Cooks
We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival. ~~ Winston Churchill ~~ Suffering? Why on earth write about suffering on a food blog, especially one ostensibly about cookbooks and their history? Aren’t food blogs supposed to be full of fun-but-complex recipes that you can make in 1 minute, … More Suffering — Sometimes it’s Just About Food and Sometimes Not
I’m going to bed every night now with Barbara Kingsolver’s latest book, The Lacuna: A Novel, about Mexico, politics, art, El Norte, and — best of all — cooks. After her last book (Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: A Year of Food Life), Kingsolver still finds food a fascinating part of life. In The Lacuna, here’s how … More In the Kitchen with Barbara Kingsolver: I
He turns the spit who never tasted a morsel from it. Proverbes en Rimes, no. 117. Continuing our salute to cooks this holiday season (Thanksgiving), today’s post includes some depictions of male cooks, as well as female cooks. Medieval opinions of cooks, mostly men, tended to reflect the lowly status accorded to people who worked … More To the Cooks, Prosit! Part II
Sir Thomas More in his Utopia (1516), in delineating what would make an ideal society, said: .. all vyle service, all slaverie and drudgerye, with all the laboursome toyle and busines, is done by bondmen. But the women of every famelie by course have the office and charge of cokerye … and orderyng al thinges … More To the Cooks, Prosit! Part I
Why on earth so many cookbooks, when no one cooks? Or do they? Read Adam Gopnik’s thoughts in the latest food issue of The New Yorker. He starts out by saying Handed-down wisdom and worked-up information remain the double piers of a cook’s life. The recipe book always contains two things: news of how something … More Why Cookbooks?