This guy is a wonderful writer. However, not until the third section of the book, did I really get the theme; I must have been concentrating on the pe...moreThis guy is a wonderful writer. However, not until the third section of the book, did I really get the theme; I must have been concentrating on the personalities. As soon as I'd finished, I re-read the first two sections to better follow that theme. Read in Goleta 12-15 July 2009. John chose this at the Applebutter Inn "Extended-Meloys Accessory Exchange" 17 July 2009.(less)
Tim Ryan's definition for greatness in any artist: --excellent craftsman --innovator --"on trend": innovation perceived to be of value, people buy; not t...moreTim Ryan's definition for greatness in any artist: --excellent craftsman --innovator --"on trend": innovation perceived to be of value, people buy; not tragic, misunderstood, or only appreciated post-mortem --influential - others copy
Cases: Thomas Keller of French Laundry & PerSe (NYC) Melissa Kelly of Primo (Maine + Tucson Marriott) Grant Achatz of Alinea (Chicago) Masayoshi Takayama of Masa (NYC) (less)
p.156 There are only five years between us, but five years is enough time for the geography and topography of a family to change dramatically, for ravi...morep.156 There are only five years between us, but five years is enough time for the geography and topography of a family to change dramatically, for ravines to form, trees to upend, streams to run dry. By the time she is calling me... she's the only member of my family that I still know the entire, detailed landscape of.
o,160 ...and pretty soon he was actually "in love." But with what? With whom? With the place or the person behind the place? I think he was like the teenage girl who falls in love with the drummer in the band--she loves the music, the smoke, the light show, the emotion conjured in her own self, and there at the back of the stage, keeping the whole thing running is the drummer. She decides it's him she wants.
p.162 But lesbians are incredible. We take a year to break up when a week would do, and then we like to remain roommates while still toughing it out at couples counseling. It's so SENSIBLE. (less)
This second reading--of an older edition--I found much more fun. This copy has very beautiful reproductions of the original etchings of Chamberlain. Co...moreThis second reading--of an older edition--I found much more fun. This copy has very beautiful reproductions of the original etchings of Chamberlain. Copies in the newest edition are so fuzzed up as to be dull, losing the detail, vibrancy, and contrast of the originals. (The cartoony drawings are by Henry Stahlhut.) There are only 100 recipes in this edition, apparently done in Clementine's original style (precision not a goal). The later edition, which I read first, contains 150 recipes, more modernly laid out, by the author's daughter. This appears to be the greatest difference in the two editions.(less)
p.xxiii-xxv I grew up as an army brat, and thus was completely sheltered from the economic forces--and resulting stresses--that shape most American li...morep.xxiii-xxv I grew up as an army brat, and thus was completely sheltered from the economic forces--and resulting stresses--that shape most American lives. No one we knew risked losing their job because of a downturn in the economy or the whim of a new boss, or possessed conspicuous wealth or even an enviably higher standard of living.... ...I also have always had a hard time grasping why people want to make lots of money and, once they have it (or even before), why they buy many of the things they do. This isn't a moral position. I don't care that people do these things; I just don't get it. And this, by itself, has left me woefully unprepared to grasp the changes that have swept through the food world in recent decades. These, I don't think anyone would deny, have been determined largely by money--and I mean the desire both to make it and to impetuously spend it. ... In other words, we (middle-class Americans) inhabit a world where culinary pleasure knows no boundaries. Choosing has becom a lost art; you can heap your plate with anything you fancy. This, of course, isn't the absolute truth, but it's true enough--certainly to the extent that the culinary aesthetic that shaped me as a cook is of little use at all to anyone launching their little barque today.
p.xxvi More than anyone else, chefs know that there's so much good food around these days that only a fool takes any of it seriously for longer than a moment. One's eyes must always be fixed on the horizon for the appearance of the next best thing. Their recipes are a restless amalgam of many ingredients, looking for a combination potent enough to seize the eater's fickle attention. In such a milieu, simplicity only commands respect when it exudes its own particular extravagance--impressively costly ingredients, infinite preparation time.
p.xxxiv: Resolutions 3. Keep narrowing my focus. Three decades ago, I yearned to learn everything I could about a range of foreign cuisines. But now, despite [more cookbooks, cooking schools, imported ingredients], authentic connection seems even further away. Times of scarcity produce generalists; times of abundance, specialists--and that means persistently seeking out ingredients and techniques that resonate with one's cooking and relentlessly weeding out what doesn't. 4. ...Eaters are browsers of definition, but cooks who browse will always be slaves to their cookbooks. By keeping an eye open for connections, by adapting one dish according to what I learn from another, I may grow old but my kitchen will stay young.
p.132 [He refers to his book about homes: "Home Body"] My grandparents' home...was an extremely complex organism--wheezing, stubborn, and surprisingly delicate. The wiring dated back half a century... The steam heat rumbled up from a massive furnace in the basement... It was a house that today would be considered a homeowner's nightmare, but my grandfather took it all in stride. ...In my grandfather's time, a house required continuous care, and owning one meant mastering all sorts of knowledge and performing a never-ending round of upkeep... The houses of the fifties and afterward demanded no such commitment. Curiously, the result was something you might call responsibility deprivation. Here were houses that asked for little care in a culture still primed with an ethos of devoting time and money to keeping them up. Homeowners felt vaguely immoral doing nothing--and, with nothing much to do, threw themselves into home improvement to fill the void. (less)
p.183 THE ROYAL TOAST: It is usual to serve small glasses of whisky with haggis. It is sipped neat in between mouthfuls. Some there are who pour it ove...morep.183 THE ROYAL TOAST: It is usual to serve small glasses of whisky with haggis. It is sipped neat in between mouthfuls. Some there are who pour it over the haggis. In times gone by we used to leap on our chairs as the haggis was piped in, put our right foot on the table, toss off the fiery whisky and throw our glasses over our shoulders onto the floor. Such was the royal toast with which haggis was welcomed. Nowadays we sip delicately.(less)