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Posts Tagged ‘Adam Gopnik’

Food for Thought

September 5, 2014 | by

INF3-179_Fuel_Economy_Keep_on_saving_coal..._(housewife_at_kitchen_sink)_Artist_Marc_Stone

From the UK National Archives, 1939

When you’re traveling, you understand what you really need, or want, or find comforting—what you can do without and what’s essential. In my case, traveling illuminates an addiction to cookbooks.

People have written beautifully about their love of recipe reading. Laurie Colwin’s “Why I Love Cookbooks” is a classic explanation of the genre’s comforting appeal. Writing in The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik explains it differently:

A kind of primal scene of eating hovers over every cookbook, just as a primal scene of sex lurks behind every love story. In cooking, the primal scene, or substance, is salt, sugar, and fat held in maximum solution with starch; add protein as necessary, and finish with caffeine (coffee or chocolate) as desired. That’s what, suitably disguised in some decent dimension of dressup, we always end up making. We make béarnaise sauce by whisking a stick of melted butter into a couple of eggs, and, now that we no longer make béarnaise sauce, we make salsa verde by beating a cup of olive oil into a fistful of anchovies. The herbs change; the hope does not.

Whether the goal is comfort, aspiration, association, curiosity, research, it’s clear; people love to read cookbooks. Even Gwyneth Paltrow has claimed to be a bedtime cookbook-reader; of this, make what you will. Read More »

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I Sent My Book to David Foster Wallace and All I Got Was This Lousy Postcard

November 2, 2012 | by

  • “Why did he choose to send me a postcard? Simply because it’s a few cents cheaper than mailing a letter in an envelope? Was it just sitting around when he was looking for something to write on? Does he buy stacks of these postcards for the express purpose of responding to random fans? And worse, does he write this same prepared response to every letter?” Frank Cassese on hearing from DFW.
  • An unpublished Truman Capote story has come to light and will be published later this month.
  • “Within the world of the Thurber dog there are many different specimens and varieties.”
  • “I don’t know why Hollywood is fascinated by my book when they never care to film it as I wrote it.” Authors respond to adaptations of their work.
  • “For Halloween, a pointy hat, fake hair and a broom [make] a witch’s outfit.” And other wisdom from Pippa Middleton’s literary debut
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    Buy Elvis’s Library Card

    August 9, 2012 | by

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