It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it… and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied… and it is all one.
There are very few men and women, I suspect, who cooked and marketed their way through the past war without losing forever some of the nonchalant extravagance of the Twenties. They will feel, until their final days on earth, a kind of culinary caution: butter, no matter how unlimited, is a precious substance not lightly to be wasted; meats, too, and eggs, and all the far-brought spices of the world, take on a new significance, having once been so rare. And that is good, for there can be no more shameful carelessness than with the food we eat for life itself When we exist without thought or thanksgiving we are not men, but beasts.
Perhaps they should feel this safe sand blow away so that their heads are uncovered for a time, so that they will have to taste not only the solid honesty of my red borscht, but the new flavor of the changing world.
Painting, it is true, was undergoing a series of -isms reminiscent of the whims of a pregnant woman.
put Rachel facing the door, in a faint subtle effort to make her know that if he had only had enough money and had managed to finish the thesis, he might well have asked her to be his hostess and share her life with him.
Inwardly, though, she was blown empty by a giant breath, and while they stood waiting for Mr. Henshaw to tie up the Clara she knew that she would never be the same poor, ignorant woman of an hour ago. She would be poor, all right, and she would be ignorant and she would be a woman, but never in the same ways.
I let myself exist mainly through my children... [but] I could not even guess at the lives my children led.
I believe that one of the most dignified ways we are capable of, to assert the reassert our dignity in the face of poverty and war's fears and pains, is to nourish ourselves with all possible skill, delicacy, and ever increasing enjoyment. And with our gastronomical growth will come, inevitably, knowledge and perception of a hundred other things, but mainly of ourselves. Then Fate, even tangled as it is with cold wars as well as hot, cannot harm us.
I sat in the gradually chilling room, thinking of my whole past the way a drowning man is supposed to, and it seemed part of the present, part of the gray cold and the beggar woman without a face and the moulting birds frozen to their own filth in the Orangerie. I know now I was in the throes of some small glandular crisis, a sublimated bilious attack, a flick from the whip of melancholia, but then it was terrifying...nameless....
The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight...[Breadmaking is] one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world's sweetest smells... there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour ofmeditation in a music-throbbing chapel. that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.
I am more modest now, but I still think that one of the pleasantest of all emotions is to know that I, I with my brain and my hands, have nourished my beloved few, that I have concocted a stew or a story, a rarity or a plain dish, to sustain them truly against the hungers of the world.
I cannot count the good people I know who, to my mind, would be even better if they bent their spirits to the study of their own hungers.
Dining partners, regardless of gender, social standing, or the years they've lived, should be chosen for their ability to eat - and drink! - with the right mixture of abandon and restraint. They should enjoy food, and look upon its preparation and its degustation as one of the human arts.
You may feel that you have eaten too much...But this pastry is likefeathers - it is like snow. It is in fact good for you, a digestive!
All men are hungry. They always have been. They must eat, and when they deny themselves the pleasures of carrying out that need, they are cutting off part of their possible fullness, their natural realization of life, whether they are poor or rich.
Like most humans, I am hungry...our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it...
Perhaps this war will make it simpler for us to go back to some of the old ways we knew before we came over to this land and made the Big Money. Perhaps, even, we will remember how to make good bread again.It does not cost much. It is pleasant: one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with peace, and the house filled with one of the world's sweetest smells. But it takes a lot of time. If you can find that, the rest is easy. And if you cannot rightly find it, make it, for probably there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel, that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.
(We loved Mother too, completely, but we were finding out, as Father was too, that it is good for parents and for children to be alone now and then with one another...the man alone or the woman, to sound new notes in the mysterious music of parenthood and childhood.)That night I not only saw my Father for the first time as a person. I saw the golden hills and the live oaks as clearly as I have ever seen them since; and I saw the dimples in my little sister's fat hands in a way that still moves me because of that first time; and I saw food as something beautiful to be shared with people instead of as a thrice-daily necessity.
Or you can broil the meat, fry the onions, stew the garlic in the red wine...and ask me to supper. I'll not care, really, even if your nose is a little shiny, so long as you are self-possessed and sure that wolf or no wolf, your mind is your own and your heart is another's and therefore in the right place.
...it was one of the best meals we ever ate.Perhaps that is because it was the first conscious one, for me at least; but the fact that we remember it with such queer clarity must mean that it had other reasons for being important. I suppose that happens at least once to every human. I hope so.Now the hills are cut through with superhighways, and I can't say whether we sat that night in Mint Canyon or Bouquet, and the three of us are in some ways even more than twenty-five years older than we were then. And still the warm round peach pie and the cool yellow cream we ate together that August night live in our hearts' palates, succulent, secret, delicious.
You can still live with grace and wisdom thanks partly to the many people who write about how to do it and perhaps talk overmuch about riboflavin and economy, and partly to your own innate sense of what you must do with the resources you have, to keep the wolf from snuffing to hungrily through the keyhole.
Vegetables cooked for salads should always be on the crisp side, like those trays of zucchini and slender green beans and cauliflowerets in every trattoria in Venice, in the days when the Italians could eat correctly. You used to choose the things you wanted: there were tiny potatoes in their skins, remember, and artichokes boiled in olive oil, as big as your thumb, and much tenderer...and then the waiter would throw them all into an ugly white bowl and splash a little oil and vinegar over them, and you would have a salad as fresh and tonic to your several senses as La Primavera. It can still be done, although never in the same typhoidic and enraptured air. You can still find little fresh vegetables, and still know how to cook them until they are not quite done, and chill them, and eat them in a bowl.
When you think you can stand no more of the wolf's snuffing under the door and keening softly on cold nights, throw discretion into the laundry bag, put candles on the table, and for your own good if not the pleasure of an admiring audience make one or another of the recipes in this chapter. And buy yourself a bottle of wine, or make a few cocktails, or have a long open-hearted discussion of cheeses with the man on the corner who is an alien but still loyal if bewildered.
It is easy to think of potatoes, and fortunately for men who have not much money it is easy to think of them with a certain safety. Potatoes are one of the last things to disappear, in times of war, which is probably why they should not be forgotten in times of peace.
...having bowed to the inevitability of the dictum that we must eat to live, we should ignore it and live to eat...
I was horribly self-conscious; I wanted everybody to look at me and think me the most fascinating creature in the world, and yet I died a small hideous death if I saw even one person throw a casual glance at me.
She resolved, at forty-some, that since she herself must die, she would do it as gracefully as possible, as free as possible from vomitings, moans, the ignominy of basins, bedsores, and enemas, not to mention the intenser ignominious dependence of weak knees and various torments of the troubled mind.
our dispassionate acceptance of attrition...[can] be matched by a full use of everything that has ever happened in all the long wonderful-ghastly years to free a person's mind from his body.