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The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book
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The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  323 ratings  ·  53 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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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
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Roberta
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
...more
Ffiamma
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
Cindy
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
Kevin
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
toft
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
Bookaholic
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
...more
Ricky German
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
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.
Miriam
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
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.
Erin
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
Monique
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
...more
Helynne

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
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Cat
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
Kevin
Alice B. Toklas' remembrances of life in France with Gertrude Stein and the foods they ate and cooked combined my passion for historical reading and cooking. This is one I will come back to again and again.
Raivis
If it`s your first time you want to cook, take this book. The keyword is - butter.
Diane C.

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
...more
Ludmilla
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
...more
Kathryn
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
Preeta
May 07, 2007 Preeta rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Sheryl
I adored this book as much for recipes and memoir, as for the peek into a bygone way if cooking which includes things like braised pigeon, and cooking on an asbestos mat(!). I have yet to try a recipe, but there are several I'm itching to try. My only criticism it that the recipes are poorly laid out.
Kathy
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.
Deborahkemp
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.
Zivile
I expected a typical cookbook (how silly of me!) but the famous companion and lover of Gertrude Stein would never publish a boring typical coockbook!
It was rather a gourmet journey through Alice's and Gertrude's lives with constant details on what they dined. It's like a delicious glance at my favorite boheme circle's eating habits.
Now Julia Child seems quite boring :)
Cindy
I loved the description of travel between recipes and who made each of the interesting foods included in this book. Alice Toklas and her friend Gertrude Stein certainly shared an interesting life, and a love for good food. I wish I'd read this before I travelled in the South of France, it would have served as a roadmap for some interesting trips.
Annie
This was a great book in terms of learning more about French/American history and the relationship between Stein and Toklas. I was hopping, as an added benefit, that there would be at least a few recipes I could actually attempt, but alas, a dislike for sheep's heads, morels and mushrooms means I'll be looking elsewhere for dinner!
Nicoletta Quintini
Molto carino anche se le ricette sono molto elaborate e difficili da riprodurre x tipologia di ingredienti e costi esorbitanti.
tl
my first cookbook. i don’t think i have ever prepared a single recipe in this book nor do i think my doctor would allow me to eat anything from the recipes included (the butter alone would probably kill most people) but i cherish the insights into alice’s world and the stories of this bygone age
Muna
Do you know the worth of eggs during war? How to cook with only black market goods and what you can manage to make grow through all that earth? And then there's always the world renown recipe for brownies.... Really luscious. One of the only cook books you'll ever need.
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Alice Babette Toklas was an American-born member of the Parisian avant-garde of the early 20th century.
She was 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. Togeth
...more
More about Alice B. Toklas...
Murder in the Kitchen Staying on Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas What is Remembered Aromas and Flavors of the Past and Present Ma vie avec Gertrude Stein

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“Godiva was tired and old and Gertrude Stein in spring bought a new car...” 2 likes
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