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Anne Gracie
http://www.annegracie.com
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Sounds wonderful Deniz
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Thanks, Karin. With two recommendations for Fisher, I'm definitely on the trail for her books now. The whole rationing and war time experience fascinates me — such difficult times, and needing so much ingenuity to cope, I'm sure. I've never heard of Laurie Colwin., but that NYT article sure has me interested now. Thank you so much for the reference. I'll chase up those other recommendations, too — I do enjoy a good chuckle. BTW, another funny book about coping with wartime shortages is a riff off the E. F. Benson "Lucia" books by Tom Holt -- LUCIA IN WARTIME. This is one case where the imitation is, IMO, as good as the originals. Thanks for joining in the conversation.
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Jane that sounds like a lovely escape read — might be just the ticket for a chilly night. Thanks. I'll see if I can get hold of it. That's the trouble with talking about books — it only feeds the addiction. :)
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Oh, thanks for that reference, Louise — I'll be sure to chase down MFK Fisher's 'Gastronomical Me' now, after that endorsement. I really enjoy reading those "slice of life" period pieces — not they were written as period pieces, but still, they evoke a time and place and transport me there.
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I saw it, Sarah -- most interesting. She sounded so interesting — not necessarily easy to live with though. :)
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Thanks, Cara. I hope you enjoy her books. You can find some good references on the web, too.
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Congratulations, Lil — lovely to be able to celebrate your first book.
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Sure thing -- it'd be a blast.
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Cathryn, one day I plan to take a slow and leisurely drive through the Mediterranean and visit some of the places mentioned by Mary Stewart and Elizabeth David, and see if I can have some of the food they wrote about. Wouldn't that be a fabulous trip to make? :)
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So glad you enjoyed it, Jenny. My mother was the same about keeping us out of the way of her cooking, and student houses were a lovely mix of tastes, expectations and experiment. I remember one housemate used to make a chicken tarragon, and to that end would grow tarragon so we could have it fresh in season. It was his favorite "for visitors" dish, and we never got sick of it, either. The chocolate mousse and the beef daube were very well used recipes in our house as well. And I, having a taste for strong and salty things, make the anchoaide regularly.
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Thanks, Cathryn — yes, I think if you're any kind of foodie (as you are—love your blog, BTW), you need to have at least one Elizabeth David in the house. I also think that even if you didn't want to cook much, they'd still be a very informative and entertaining read.
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Mary Jo, my most often used one is French Provincial Cookery, but they all have their charms. There was a penguin collection many years ago — a very small and slender book called "I'll be with you in the squeezing of a lemon" which contains a collection of her writings— that's a nice little taster if you can find it. I have a copy — I bought a dozen copies one year and gave all but one away as little Xmas gifts (with a pot of home made something) — but it's long out of print.
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I just did what Miranda suggested and compared the two recipes. Wow — yes indeed, Julia makes you work. Lots of little fiddly steps. It's here: http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/julia-childs-beef-bourguignon/f7e0a6c5-710d-4c83-89a6-2a4936fec81a I've made Elizabeth David's so often. Some of her classic recipes are here, chosen by some of Britain's top celebrity chefs: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/dec/08/classic-elizabeth-david-recipes
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Thanks, Miranda — yes, I always think Elizabeth David is so much more "real" than a lot of other cookery writers, and that she's teaching you principles of good cookery rather than an exact formula to produce the same dish every time. I also love her insistence that food should taste of what it is, not be swamped in various rich sauces, and that the key to good food is fresh, good ingredients. And simplicity. BTW, I also have to mention here that your story in "Christmas in the Duke's Arms" was my favorite in the collection. :)
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Lil, yes, I often give them as gifts, too. A friend of mine lives in a house with two sets — one is the battered slightly food-stained set she uses on a day-to-day basis; the other set is pristine, and belongs to her husband, whose precious Elizabeth Davids nobody but he is allowed to touch. I don't remember the particular passage you referred to, but yes, her humor and the occasional sardonic comments and pithy observations are delightful. French Provincial Cookery is probably my most often used copy — and the one that most often sidetracks me from whatever I was doing before I picked it up.
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HJ it was when I was blogging about the food scenes in Mary Stewart's books a fortnight ago that I decided to write about Elizabeth David's writing this time. I would love to know whether they read each other or whether they were independently influenced by their travels and food. I'm sure they were both affected by the rationing, and that made them (and other English writers of that era) write gloriously about food.
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Lori, what a lovely comment — yes it's such a joy when food writing is inspired. I'm sure you'll enjoy Elizabeth David. Do you know, I've never read Under a Tuscan Sun — I didn't even realize it was a book. I'm off to buy it right now. Thank you.
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Thanks, Keziah — I also love a grilled lamb chop and a squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over it. I grew up with Elizabeth David, but I must admit I'd never heard of Julia Child until the movie came out. I loved it.
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I were to be read to from a recipe book, my absolute first choice would be the books of Elizabeth David — not just for the recipes, but for the beautiful prose, the evocative images, the absorbing discussions of various methods of cooking, and the delightful food-related anecdotes she includes in her books. “To eat figs off the tree in the very early morning, when they have been barely touched by the sun, is one of the exquisite pleasures of the Mediterranean.” ― from An Omelette and a Glass of Wine Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2014 at Word Wenches
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Hey, Lil and/or Sonya -- tell us the title. Wenchly readers and wenches are always up for good book recommendations.
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Thanks, Abigail, I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I also understand that publishers have to operate as a business. It costs money to produce a book, and they have to weigh up the risk. Or what they perceive to be the risk. :)
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I haven't read that one, Leslie, but it sounds interesting. Thanks -- I'll look it out.
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Thanks, Alison, but publishers generally make their decisions based on numbers of other similar books. I know of several people — wonderful writers— who'd proposed stories set in France during the revolution. "French Revolution doesn't sell" they were told. Then along came Joanna Bourne. . . and proved them wrong. :) The MIss Fisher series is fun, isn't it? And the costumes are so fabulous. I love watching it and playing "spot the locality" too, as it;'s set in my home town. But the TV series was made by the ABC (Australia's version of the BBC) and they specialize in quality local product. It;s the quality product that makes the difference of course, but *somebody* has to make the leap of faith.
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Sonya, I think if we go back long enough in any history, we'll find the roots of ugliness and intolerance and hate. Unfortunately we are a tribal people and rifts exist in any culture. For instance I find it deeply tragic and ironic that the Scots who were driven off their lands during the Highland Clearances did much the same to the native people of the countries they colonized - with no sense of repeating history in the worst way.
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Shannon, I've been to Aden, and parts of the middle East, but unfortunately I was a child at the time. I absorbed a lot of sensory impressions and found it quite fascinating—and I have a number of friends who come from various parts of the Middle East as well, but most of my research for the book I set in Egypt came from journals of English people visiting it in my time period. I think that's the prime difficulty with the more exotic locations for historicals — we not only have to know and understand the physical/cultural setting, we then have to place it in time. I haven't read Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria quartet since I first read the books as a teen — his brother's books were more to my taste at the time. :)
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