Life Is Meals

Life Is Meals

 

Screenwriter, novelist, award winner, journalist, playwright… just a few of the words that describe the literary careers of James and Kay Salter.  They are also responsible for one of the most delightful musings on food in print, Life Is Meals: A Food Lover's Day Book published by Knopf.

Whether writing about Peanut Butter, The Sandwich, Samuel Johnson's appetite for good eating or The Siege Of Paris this quirky collection is unequalled in its information, erudition and utter originality.

Extracts from the book are read by their son, the actor Theo Salter.  Enjoy!

From the back of the shelf: Cookbook Quote No. 2

Delightful food

Here's one I found lurking at  the back of the shelf in its ragged and foxed dust jacket - Delightful food by Marjorie Salter and Adrianne Allen Whitney, published by Sidgwick and Jackson in 1957 and costing 25s.  English titles stand out amongst the French;  Dry Curry Cavalry Club, Coldstream Eggs and Sauce Tintagel, for example, and some wonderfully evocative footnotes - more of those later.

But the real gem for our Cookbook Quote is the foreword by Noël Coward in which he reveals that he took up cooking in 1956.  And what fun he had with his new hobby - the evening the Oven Blew Up and more. Oliver Messel did some extraordinary illustrations in modern day Arcimboldo mode, one of which is posted under the Coward extract here.

Please send in any suggestions, using the comments or emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to add to this embryonic collection.  Come on, you must have something from the back of the shelf!

 

zee, 4th June, 2013

Orchards in the Oasis

 

Josceline Dimbleby

At the age of seven, tired and bewildered after a long journey from England to Syria via Lebanon, Josceline Dimbleby caught her first sight of Damascus from the mountain road.   In the extract she has chosen to read from her book of recipes, travels and memories, Orchards in the Oasis,  the magic of her first impressions of her new home are vividly recalled;  the deep red mulberry-stained water in the pool, the sun-warmed apricots, the scented pastries that awoke a lifelong passion for food and flavour.

Listen here

   

From the back of the shelf: Cookbook Quote No. 3

Kinloch

Stretching a point, whilst this isn't a cookbook quote, it is an ode to wine and so falls into our wider sphere of interest…

For 50p I picked up this slim volume, The Taste of Kinloch,  commemorating a century of trading in wines and spirits of Messrs Charles Kinloch (1861-1961).  A little googling reveals that Charles Kinloch merged with Courage in 1957:

"One of the largest wines and spirits businesses in Britain, Charles Kinloch & Company Limited, joined the Courage Group in 1957 bringing with it a history of wine trading going back 100 years. This firm was stocking some 4,000 lines of wines and spirits, and, apart from its wholesale and retail trade, supplied outlets throughout Britain"

Now, here's the funny thing:  nowhere have I found a mention of the delightful rhyming Foreword by Sir Alan Herbert (aka A.P. Herbert, 1890-1971, humorist, author, MP and law reform activist).   Here it is.

 

Please send in any suggestions for a quote to add to this embryonic collection, using the comments or emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Come on, you must have something from the back of the shelf!

 

Elisabeth Luard

 

Elisabeth Luard

Elisabeth Luard is a much acclaimed food writer with a long list of books, memoirs and journal articles, and a former Trustee Director of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. In 2016 she was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Guild of Food Writers.

Elisabeth visited Talking Of Food recently to record extracts from her latest book Squirrel Pie and Other Stories.  She also talked to Anne Dolamore, and their conversation ranged from her childhood abroad and her years spent in Andalusia with a young family, to her perception of the current state of cookery in the UK.

Watch the interview here

 

 

 

From the back of the shelf: Cookbook Quote No. 4

Occupation Recipes 1

"We're all quite well, but getting thinner
Not much for tea, still less for dinner
Though not exactly on our uppers
We've said 'Adieu' to cold ham suppers"

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War 2 seems a fitting time for the latest cookbook quote, an extract from the booklet  A Collection of Occupation Recipes by Lillie Aubin Morris published by Jersey Museums Service in 1994.  

The recipes themselves are indicative of the hardship suffered during the German occupation of the Channel Islands: limpet stew, pastry without butter, salad dressing without oil, plain flour blancmange, potato jelly. But it is the Introduction by Beth Lloyd that sets out some stark facts.

 

Please send in any suggestions for a quote to add to this collection, using the comments or emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Squirrel Pie (and other stories), Adventures in Food Across the Globe

 

Squirrel Pie and Other Stories 2

 

Squirrel Pie (and other stories) is the latest in a long list of highly acclaimed publications by artist, journalist and food writer, Elisabeth Luard. Subtitled Adventures in Food Across the Globe, this is indeed an exciting and entertaining journey through forests, over islands and rivers and into deserts, revealing how terrain influences the food we eat as she shares tales and dishes gathered on her travels.

The author has recorded an introduction to the four passages she has chosen to read from the book.  

Listen here

 

 

 

 

 

From the back of the shelf: Cookbook Quote No. 5

Louis Diat


Louis Diat is probably best known for inventing Vichyssoise, or Crème Vichyssoise Glacée as it was first titled, in 1917 when he was chef at the Ritz-Carlton in New York. This extract, however, concerns sauces rather than soups and is taken from Sauces, French and Famous, by Louis Diat, first published in Great Britain in 1955 by Hammond and Hammond.  M. Diat paints a vivid picture of a nervous young trainee in the kitchen of a great chef awaiting the verdict on his sauces. Read it here.

 

 

Please send in any suggestions for a quote to add to this collection, using the comments or emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

European Peasant Cookery

 

European Peasant Cookery

 

Elizabeth Luard reads an extract from the Introduction to her first book, European Peasant Cookery. First published in 1984, it was republished in the UK in 2007 by Grub Street.

This passage is an evocative description of her first encounters with food in remote Andalusia, Spain, having moved there with her husband and three young children in the 1960s.

 

Listen here