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Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection

4.43 of 5 stars 4.43  ·  rating details  ·  763 ratings  ·  155 reviews
Supper of the Lamb is a collection of recipes and essays by Robert F. Capon.
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 1st 1989 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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(showing 1-30 of 1,869)
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Jay Miklovic
Every once in awhile I read a book that I know has altered me in some way, and not necessarily for the better or for the worse. This is one of those books.

It's hard to even know where to start with this book. I supposed you start by saying it is a cookbook, a life altering cook book. Yet this is not the typical utilitarian cookbook that gives you a couple hundred choices as to what to have for dinner tomorrow, instead it gets to the very heart of cooking. Yet it goes beyond the heart of cooking,
Mar 05, 2013 Phil rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Matthew Green
Shelves: christian
This quirky little book (a much re-read one in our house, I should add) is a reflection not only on food and eating, but on life, God and everything in between. Father Capon's writing is witty and full of verve, starting with his address to an onion and ending on the subject of heartburn (the lesser and greater). In between, he discusses such things as tin fiddles (useless, but well marketed substitutes for useful tools), a lot of culinary technique, dieting and the joys of almost a well organiz ...more
LOVE. Read immediately.

From Chapter 16. "Why do we marry, why take friends and lovers, why give ourselves to music, painting, chemistry, or cooking? Out of simple delight in the resident goodness of creation, of course; but out of more than that, too. Half of earth’s gorgeousness lies hidden in the glimpsed city it longs to become. For all its rooted loveliness, the world has no continuing city here; it is an outlandish place, a foreign home, a session in via to a better version of itself—and i
Moses Operandi
I bought a used, sparsely underlined, and I had to shake my head sadly at what the former owner thought was important. Capon's observations on the mechanics of food are no doubt helpful, but his inspired ruminations on food and spirituality are the real meat on this bone. It was distressing to see that someone could read this book and completely miss the point.

This is, of course, a book about food. More than that, though, it's a book about food as a testament to the "unecessariness" of creation
Feb 23, 2007 mandy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes food
Shelves: food-ish
This book is a fantastic addition to any chef's collection of quasi-entertaining, good-food-in-general, why-don't-we-as-a-society-stop-and-eat-together-more, with glimmers of faith shining through. It's more than about food; it's about sacrament and good times with friends. Among his more interesting assertions is that for 'a serious dinner party', one must have 3/4-1 bottle of wine per guest. Needless to say, he had my attention. Beyond the wine, he shows the reader how he or she can create 4 s ...more
I was giddy by the time he finished the work on the onion in chapter one. You feel like you are sitting at an large old wooden table in the Farrar kitchen, while he cuts into a red onion and simply, easily, beautifully cuts into the secrets of life. Oh and the chapter on wine will make you dizzy. A beautiful and hearty book on everything from the view of your kitchen table.
Daniel Wolff
This book is about the desubstantialization of modern life from the focus of how to properly cook a leg of lamb. I have learned much about both life and lamb.
Nov 02, 2007 Auntie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: a good cook!
I was facing a 9 hour flight to England this Fall and I brought along this new author. I'd read a glowing review in the magazine Christianity today and on impulse bought a few of Capon's books.

This particular book is a cookbook plus much more! Capon starts with the directive to buy an entire leg of lamb, from which a home cook with a good arm and excellent cleaver constructs 4 sections to be cooked in multiple ways for a total of 8 dinners.

But this is also a meditation on theology...and as he is
Capon is one of the best writers I have ever read. Period. Here he weaves theological meanderings inside of a cookbook. I doubt anyone could do it as effectively as he. Capon and I would disagree on many theological matters, no doubt, but the way he engages the reader's heart when it comes to the majestic grace of God in Christ and enjoying the goodness and fullness of creation, there are few competitors. Eat, drink, and be drunk with love for food and love for God.
Brandon Andress
I am pretty sure that this is my favorite quote of all time: "“Why do we marry, why take friends and lovers? Why give ourselves to music, painting, chemistry or cooking? Out of simple delight in the resident goodness of creation, of course; but out of more than that, too. Half earth's gorgeousness lies hidden in the glimpsed city it longs to become.” ― Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection
Missy Wagner
This book is simply the best theology of cooking and food book I have ever come across. It is a joy to read and gives inspiration to my cooking.
Jesse Broussard
Magnificent. The prose is very reminiscent of Chesterton, with the same playfully bemused, grandfather smoking a pipe in his easy chair feel.
Stephen Case
Robert Farrar Capon can come across a bit pompous, even pretentious, I admit. There were several times I cringed or rolled my eyes reading this work. He writes with a spirit of absolute confidence, and his tone is not mitigated (or only slightly mitigated) by the fact that he is so absolutely, insufferably, correct throughout.

That intro almost makes it sound as if I didn’t love this book. This is a cookbook that will change your life, and anything that changes your life-- especially something th
Johan Haneveld
Wow! What a book! Definitely recommended!
As a kid I had a habit of reading cooking books, with recipes, like they were novels. I remember climbing in the kitchen to get to them, and re-reading them even, until I knew them by heart. I liked to look at the pictures of well prepared food, but I also read the recipes, and devoured books without pictures as well, just to know all the ways foods could be prepared. Funnily enough this didn't lead to me wanting to be a cook, or spend time in the kitchen
Donovan Richards
In Consideration of the Cookbook

Don’t get me wrong; I love cookbooks. But they are a hollow medium. At its core, a cookbook is an instruction manual—many more pretty pictures, but an instruction manual nonetheless.

A successful cookbook inspires you to cook.

First, a succulent picture heats your metaphorical oven. The food—photographed to cut to the core of your carnal desires—rumbles your stomach and leads you toward the grocery store to collect ingredients.

Second, the text offers careful instruc
Eric Chappell
Years from now when people accuse me of being a foodie (in the best sense of the word) this book will be to blame.

A delightful feast of a read. Not exaggerating when I say: life-changing. This was my first Capon book and I think I'm beginning to understand the hype.

The Supper of the Lamb is a culinary meditation on onions, sweetbreads, knives, water and wine, noodles, pots, dinner parties, heartburn, and God. Capon takes the reader on a journey around the kitchen and to the dinner table, showi
Emily Schatz
A culinary reflection indeed. If God created the world and food is part of the world, then the theology of creation ought to bear out in how we approach our dinner plates (and the time in the kitchen beforehand). I had never thought of this before, and apparently neither have most other people, which is why the best description of the book is probably "surprising."

Another apt description is "funny." I laughed my way through the whole chapter on noodles and a good part of the rest of the book whi
The NYT review blurb, presumably from 1965 the year this book was first published, described "The Supper of the Lamb" as "awesomely funny, wise beautiful, moving, preposterous..." Preposterous it is. The meditation on cutting onions could be dropped into any anthology of food writing or Christian meditation.
However, 1965 keeps getting in the way. Capon's advice on cigars at a dinner party while presumably spot on for the need of good quality cigars feels like a missive from another planet. There
Sep 18, 2008 Kirsten rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: You who love cooking or eating, you who love fellowship over food and drink
Shelves: cookbooks
I've never encountered anything quite like this book. The author's narrative voice is entirely his own and undeniably charming. In that, the book is a well told theology of the enjoyment of food and of preparing it written by a priest who loves those things. His premise is that the one who loves what he does looks grace into the world by seeing what is good. The idea can be applied to most of life, especially the more ordinary kind that needs it most. Since reading it cooking and eating are rich ...more
There are some really lovely parts and musing on spirituality and human nature. Unfortunately, it is also pretty dated.
Aaron Guest
I hardly anticipated enjoying a book like this. A book that inspires and corrects. That shows a glimpse of the sacredness of cooking. Capon is funny and charming, profound and strict, but above all he cares and makes the reader care about a panoply of things: from the making of broth to strudel to a warm belief in Christ. It is a book with a sincere power to alter a worldview.

He also advocates a glass of something warm in the afternoon for parents ("minor lubrications of the frequently sandy ge
You will never look at an onion them same way again. Pages and pages describing the lowly but fantastic onion.

Capon encourages us to enjoy our food without the guilt. "The modern diet victim sees his life at the table not as a delightful alternation between pearls of great price and dishes of lesser cost, but as a grim sentence which condemns him to pay for every fattening repast with a meal of carrot sticks and celery."

He writes with humor; on plastic wrap he says, "... cover with plastic wrap.
Amazing book.

"It is probably possible to divide the human race into butter-eaters and non-butter-eaters. I am not sure what the division really says about us (and no wise man should go around looking for more divisions than we already have), but I am sure where my sympathies lie...Since butter is not grease and not a spread, it is not replaceable by anything that is simply a greasy spread. Exit here, therefore, into outer darkness and weeping and gnashing of teeth, margarine and all its works."
A delightful fusion of cookbook and theological mediation with the aim of igniting imaginative wonder and gratitude for the superabundant goodness of the Creator of food and all good things. Capon mixes one part kitchen chops and one part wit with poetic theological reflection sufficient to make the mouth water and the soul stir.

"Food is the daily sacrament of unnecessary goodness, ordained for the continual remembrance that the world will always be more delicious than it is useful."
Matt Moran
Wonderful, humorous, and exceptionally eccentric.

Very quotable.

"The habit of contemplation, therefore - the ability to sit down in front of something and care enough to let it speak for itself - cannot be acquired soon enough. Acccordingly, I invite you, too, to put your feet up on the stove. If some true believer in the gospel of haste comes along and asks us why we are wasting time, we shall tell him we are busy getting the seats of our pants properly shined up for the millennium."
I can't count how many pages I marked with stars and brackets and underlines to remind me of the absolute genius and inspiring words in nearly every chapter. If you love to cook and you've always felt that no one quite understands the DEPTH of your love of good ingredients, technique and dinner gatherings, fear not - Robert Capon understands you perfectly.
A fabulous book that has already profoundly influenced the way I think about food and how to enjoy it without abusing it. Capon's wonderful mix of food, cooking, theology, poetry, and yes, recipes, is not to be missed. The writing is fantastic - witty, humorous, offbeat, and entertaining, yet somehow serious and deep at the same time.
This romp through cooking and theology by an Episcopalian priest who loves cooking is utterly delightful. With the playfulness of Chesterton, Capon muses on each aspect of his Lamb Stew for Eight Persons recipe, from slicing the onions (he recommends you set aside a full hour to spend with them), to thickening agents, meat and wine (water in excelsis). He gives his advice as a cook on everything from the proper rolling pin for pastry to what makes a good wine bottle opener. As a priest, he elabo ...more
I found a 40 year old paperback copy at a book sale. This is both a cookbook and a manual on how one should eat (the author probably wouldn't think much of vegetarians; his few recipes for vegetables are meat-flavored) with reflections on spirituality and the fast paced world. Highly literate, recommended.
Back in 1976 or 1977, my friend Louise introduced me to this book. I can still see the cover of the paperback she lent me. This was a revelation. Until that time, I had no idea that people wrote about food. I had learned about recipes thanks to home ec classes and I had even won a few cooking contests.

However, I didn't know about M.F.K. Fisher, Elizabeth David or all the other wonderful people who like Capon wrote about food. I continue to be thankful to my friend - food writing has sustained a
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Robert Farrar Capon was a lifelong New Yorker and served for almost 30 years as a parish priest in the Episcopal Church. His first book, Bed and Board, was published in 1965 and by 1977 left full-time ministry to devote more time to writing books, though he continued to serve the church in various capacities such as assisting priest and Canon Theologian. He has written twenty books on theology, co ...more
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“Do you seriously envision St. Paul or Calvin or Luther opening bottles of Welch's Grape Juice in the sacristy before the service? Luther at least would turn over in his grave.” 28 likes
“Why do we marry, why take friends and lovers? Why give ourselves to music, painting, chemistry or cooking? Out of simple delight in the resident goodness of creation, of course; but out of more than that, too. Half earth's gorgeousness lies hidden in the glimpsed city it longs to become.” 20 likes
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