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The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  413 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
The contents include The French Tradition; Food in French Homes; Dishes for Artists; Murder in the Kitchen; Beautiful Soup; Food to which Aunt Pauline and Lady Godiva led us; Treasures; Food in the United States in 1934 and 1935; Little-known French Dishes suitable for American and British kitchens; Servants in France; Food in the Bugey During the Occupation; Recipes from ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published November 1st 1984 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1954)
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Sep 19, 2015 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-of-women
3.5 stars
Yes this really is primarily a cookbook with some reminiscences thrown in. It was written after her partner, Gertrude Stein’s, death. Food was clearly very important in their lives and it is written with great passion. Contributory to that may be that Toklas had jaundice when she wrote it and was on a strict diet. Most of the recipes are French because that I where Toklas and Stein spent most of their time. But there are some thrown in from the US and a sprinkling from most other Europe
This book always reminds me of one of my (late) godmothers who would pick up her glass of pre-dinner sherry and start reminiscing how she had ‘discovered’ the young and (then) unknown Daniel Day Lewis.

In Paris, in 1908, after moving in with Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas began to develop a knowledgeable passion for the fine cooking of France. This scintillating literary memoir of a recipe book is one result of that.

That, in a nutshell, is to me the prime delight of this book. Alice writes in a
Jul 14, 2015 Rhian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book ever. The recipes are basically impossible, but that's immaterial.
Jul 02, 2014 Roberta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biografico
Alice Toklas incontra Gertrude Stein in Francia, verso la fine della II guerra mondiale. Si offrono quindi volontarie per guidare veicoli di rifornimento per ospedali francesi e truppe americane, avendo così la possibilità di girare buona parte della nazione. La Toklas nasconde una piccola biografia di quei giorni in questo interessante libro di cucina.

Le ricette citate sono quasi esclusivamente francesi. Si tratta di piatti assaggiati nelle case in cui sono state ospiti, negli alberghi in cui h
Jan 21, 2017 Joanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked reading the stories in this cookbook. If you want to make any of the dishes, make sure you have lots of butter, cream, and hog fat !
Oct 11, 2014 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found a paperback copy of the cookbook in Asheville NC for $1.72 plus tax. It was the literary bargain of the year for me. This is not the hard-cover, ergo no introduction by MFK Fisher. But, the recipes are presented in a similar fashion to Fisher's, i.e., there's a story and some follow-up opinions around each of her recipes. Her flirtation with pot brownies is a fable, inspired by the inclusion of a recipe for "hashish brownies". That lone recipe appears in the appendix of recipes from her ...more
Sep 07, 2009 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not what I hoped for, but I guess I hoped for too much. MFK Fisher's intro sold Toklas too strongly. More than a cookbook, but generally so circumspect about her life and literature that they might as well not exist. I guess I need to read her autobiography. The chapter on servants is like cocktail quips tossed off without the benefit of cocktails or facial expression. Pitiful. The parts about the wars are very good, and I marked many recipes of interest. When she wrote about something she cared ...more
MFK Fisher really is insufferable. Reading her introduction, followed by Toklas's friendly, unpretentious book, really just points out what an asshat and classist Fisher was.

That said, Toklas is not much of a writer, and she knows it. She does have great stories, and lived a fascinating life. Ironically, I like it for much the same reason that I liked Fisher's books from the interwar period: it's great context on a complicated time in European history. Having it witnessed and recorded by America
May 01, 2015 Jerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is less a cookbook than a memory of the people she’s known. She and Gertrude Stein lived in France from 1907 until her death in 1967, and that included both World Wars. But even during the wars, her anecdotes are from the perspective of living under the privations imposed by Germany and saving up for the celebration she knew would be coming when France was finally liberated.

In the village two of the shopkeepers were to become very useful to me. They said it was their patriotic duty to sell
This is really great, partly because it's got a ton of anecdotes and little stories about her artist lesbian ambulance-driver life with Gertrude Stein in France just pre- and during WWII, and partly for the wild prewar French recipes (pheasant stuffed with cottage cheese? 2 gallons of cream and melted butter in everything? lobster and cauliflower salad?!). There are also a bunch of stories from Occupied France, and this image of these ex-pats flowing across the country from place to place, hoard ...more
Nov 27, 2013 Ffiamma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: donne, americana, ebook
che delizia questo ricettario di alice b. toklas in cui le ricette sono il punto di partenza per raccontare la vita quotidiana in francia (e la vita della inossidabile coppia stein/toklas), parlare di gusto, cercare l'origine di alcuni piatti famosi. per quanto quasi tutti i piatti siano di una pesantezza incredibile (visto il modo di cucinare di oggi) e non sia certo un ricettario per vegetariani- ho letto con piacere le elaborate preparazioni e l'ho trovato un libro incredibilmente piacevole e ...more
Feb 27, 2015 Monique rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Take half a pound of butter, add a cup of cream. This sums up pretty much all the recipes in this interesting cookbook cum memoir by Alice B" Toklas. Living in France in the twenties and thirties meant eating classical cuisine and Alice both supervised the series of cooks who worked in their household or she did the cooking herself.

My arteries were clogging as I was reading. I did not dare try any of the recipes for fear I might drop dead on the spot. Different times...

The memoir part was more i
Ricky German
Oct 15, 2012 Ricky German rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is quite possibly my favorite cookbook. It's very personal and it covers the art of french entertaining. I think it's a perfect supplement to Julia Child's Master the Art of French Cooking. You get so much with this book: a great French cookbook, a neat narrative about mid-century Paris, the recipes of countless other celebrities, and the amazing wit of one of the greatest women of the 20th century. It's so funny how bold she is about how good the recipes are.
Amy Ruth
Jun 17, 2008 Amy Ruth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
Too bad I can't link to my edition, a small 1960 Anchor Books paperback. Probably one of my favorite cookbooks of all time, though I have never made a thing from it. This summer I swear I will make Scheherezade's Melon. It will mean adding even more useless bottles of liqueurs to my already overstocked bar. No matter--it must be done. I also long to make a Custard Josephine Baker just so I can call it such. This is an utterly charming and absorbing read.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
My recollection is that there were a few recipes I would like to try but that many of them would require adaptation. These are somewhat like medieval recipes in the sense that they don't have the ingredients conveniently listed before the instructions.
Jan 17, 2017 Artfulreader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspirational. Funny. Heart-warming.
May 31, 2012 Helynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Alice B. Toklas was quite the unusual character in American history and literature, and as she was always the secretary-companion to Gertrude Stein, 1907-46, and never an author herself, it is nice to hear her voice in this volume as well as to receive the numerous recipes from both American and French cuisine that she collected during their life together in France. But this is far more than just a cookbook. Toklas was persuaded by friends after Stein’s death to publish a collection of her memoi
May 17, 2011 Cat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really fabulous. The descriptions of the food are incredible--both because of the elaborate nature of many of the dishes, the copious inclusion of cream and butter, and because of Toklas's delicious and funny asides even within some of the recipes. I love the form of this cookbook as her reminiscences about living in Paris and the French countryside during two world wars are punctuated by recipes to illustrate visits she had, people she met, or routines she upheld. Though the proce ...more
Apr 19, 2014 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yay! I enjoyed this, especially the last section on the vegetable gardens at Bilignin. And there are some recipes I want to try. Brioche: put in ALL THE EGGS and then some flour. Kalouga: heat up sugar and butter. Puree of artichoke which sounds like a pain in the ass, but she even say that it's worth the pain in the ass. Many recipes were fine until they mentioned an ingredient I'm not prepared to use. Most of the chicken recipes say you should cover the bird in back fat of pork which sounds li ...more
Cartea de bucate scrisă de Alice B. Toklas este ultima raritate pe care am pus mîna, după ce am tot vînat-o, vreo doi-trei ani. Nu am vrut s-o comand online, am zis să văd dacă apare pe vreun raft. Şi a apărut: un singur exemplar, într-o librărie mică, genul de loc unde îmi şi închipuiam, de fapt, c-o să dau peste ea.

Ştim că în celebrul cuplu Alice-Gertrude Stein, Alice era cea care gătea. Gătea, nu se juca. Asta pe lîngă multe alte lucruri la care se pricepea foarte bine, inteligentă şi spirt c
Sandra Scott
Aug 03, 2016 Sandra Scott rated it really liked it
What a fun romp ! I read the book straight through following the culinary adventures of Alice B Toklas and Gertrude Stein. I laughed at Alice's unexpected explanation of her first murder in "Murder in the Kitchen" and about Aunt Pauline and Lady Godiva. Some of the recipes puzzled me with their combination of ingredients and other's, especially the story behind and the recipe for The Macon Cake, almost had me going to the store to start my own experiment. I did resist though. When I see a 3 poun ...more
Apr 09, 2014 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Molte volte si comprano i libri solo spinti da puro istinto. Questo è il caso per "I biscotti di Baudelaire". Pensavo di ritrovarmi nella Francia oppressa dalla guerra, con le ricette della tradizione fatte con gli ingredienti scarsi che si trovavano in quel periodo; invece è un libro fatto di frammenti, non necessariamente legati fra loro, frammenti di ricordi dove era normale andare a fare la spesa mentre profughi in fuga dai paesi bombardati passsavano lungo la strada. Mi sono sentita un'alie ...more
Dec 30, 2010 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the most charming find ever. A historical memoir revolving around the meals of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, who cooked for them, how ingredients were sourced, entertaining, and how they got through two wars. The recipes vary in complexity and I am not a foodie at all but it was interesting to hear about continental tastes and the elaborate production that went into cooking. I've passed on some recipes including proper hot chocolate, French onion soup, and home made curacao liqueu ...more
Diane C.
Jan 30, 2012 Diane C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book has quite a notorious (and undeserved as such) reputation. It is in reality a lovely, informative and entertaining book about what eating and cooking in France, in one's own home, friends homes, great homes and also restaurants grand and humble, during the first half of the 20th century was like. Toklas takes us through the end of WWII, documenting the shortages and occupation by the Germans.

And TONS of recipes, which are rather dated, but most you'll want to try, especially the desser
Stein'a yemeğe gelen Paris tayfası hakkında bir şeyler okuyacağımı sanıyordum ama sadece Toklas'ın zaman/mekan tanımayan yemek tutkusu ve 20.yy'ın ilk yarısında tomurcuklanan Yemekteyiz tohumunu görebildim. Tariflere gelince, isimleri çok eğlenceli fakat ağır ve yağlı. Bir yemeğe kalıp kalıp tereyağı koymaktan bahsediyoruz. İki tatlıyı denedim ve sürpriz, kimse yiyemedi. Çıkardığım iki ders:

1) Fransız mutfağı bana/bize göre değil.
2) Sevgililerin yazdığı kitaplar arasında seçme yapacaksan yazar o
Jun 26, 2015 Mari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nel libro c’è la storia di mezzo secolo di vita di due donne che si trasferiscono dall’America alla Francia, Alice Toklas e Gertrude Stein, di cui ammetto non sapevo nulla. Attraverso ricette, colazioni, pasti frugali o luculliani la Toklas ci racconta di come hanno vissuto durante le due guerre, dei personaggi che hanno condiviso la tavola con loro. Un libro che incuriosisce ma dal quale mi aspettavo qualcosa di più.
Ma quanto burro consumano i francesi?
May 07, 2007 Preeta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like random stories about crazy adventures
Alice B., oh Alice B. She's as smart as a whip, so bewitching, so generous. Her love of life and for Gertrude Stein (to whom she never refers otherwise) come through in every sentence. Can anyone ever be as cool as these two ladies? They drive a car called Aunt Pauline all around France during the war and make soldiers do what they want. Plus the recipes are all amazing and will make you wish people still cooked like that.
Jul 13, 2009 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wouldn't read it for the recipes unless you like using lard, heavy cream, butter and pork fat, but I loved the way the memoir was woven in with the recipes. Reading this book made me very nostalgiac for France. The description of Stein and Toklas's various servants is an interesting glimpse of class in this time period. It also describes what life was like for Toklas and Stein during the war.
May 15, 2011 Deborahkemp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In anticipation of the upcoming MOMA exhibition of the "Stein Collection: Matisse, Picasso and The Parisian Avant-Garde," I've been reading the works by and about the expat community in Paris. I read Alice's cookbook as a memoir of her travels, gardening & culinary experiences. A delightful read with remarkable insights about the differences between French and American culinary styles.
Elena T.
Apr 03, 2015 Elena T. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Con il loro salotto artistico letterario, Alice Toklas e Gertrude Stein hanno fatto un pezzo di storia. Poliedrico e bohemienne, il testo è pieno di ricordi e aneddoti sulla prima metà del Novecento ma è anche un po' pretenziosetto / snob, come lo sono parte delle ricette che riporta.

Ma erano altri tempi, ca va sans dire.
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Alice Babette Toklas was an American-born member of the Parisian avant-garde of the early 20th century.
She was born into a middle-class Jewish family (her father had been a Polish army officer) and attended schools in both San Francisco and Seattle. For a short time she also studied music at the University of Washington.
She met Gertrude Stein in Paris on September 8, 1907, the day she arrived. T
More about Alice B. Toklas...

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“Experience is never at bargain price.” 4 likes
“Godiva was tired and old and Gertrude Stein in spring bought a new car...” 3 likes
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