am 19. Juli 2000
Elizabeth David went to France in the still dark days following WWII -- an English friend told me that meat was rationed in Britain until 1953 -- to earn a master's degree in romance languages and discovered that there was a way to prepare food undreamed of in still wartorn England. I bought the book nearly a quarter of a century ago in a tiny, independent bookstore, a white-painted, uninsulated building with flowers growing all around it, in a resort town in NH. I took it back to where I was staying and read it avidly: if you don't cook, it is a wonderful evocation of French life in a simpler time, before Robert Mondavi tried to buy vinyards in Langue d'Oc. I am still reading it, although the original book, stained and darkened with age, has been replaced. It may sound dramatic to say that it changed my life but I think it did. Elizabeth made me think of food and France in a different way. The next time I returned to that bookstore, I bought a novella by Colette. Later, I had a daughter who I swear was born speaking French. Oh, but that doesn't address the really important issue: YES, THE RECIPES ARE WONDERFUL. Get used to pouring a teacupful of wine into sauces. You'll love this book.
am 14. Oktober 1999
Then you will look up the chocolate souffle recipe and make it. It is wonderful, and you can make it while your guests are digesting dinner, sitting around the table and being terribly impressed by your culinary skill. My only change is I omit the water or liquer while melting the chocolate (because every time I added it, the chocolate seized). Also, right before I serve the souffle, which I usually bake in individual dishes, I make a whole in the center and pour in chocolate sauce (melted chocolate, butter and heavy cream heated in the microwave to a sauce) and whipped cream. Oh, everyone died and went to chocolate heaven. Once you fall in love with Elizabeth David, order South Wind Through the Kitchen.
am 24. Oktober 1999
This book is straightforward, written with a definite point of view, and upon occasion absolutely hilarious. If you enjoy reading MFK Fisher and Angelo Pellegrino and respect the body of work of Julia Child, Simca, Richard Olney and James Beard, you will probably enjoy this book.
As the title indicates and Ms David notes, this is bourgeoise food; it is not haute cuisine. It is not fussy or esoteric and Ms David has approached it accordingly.
The value of this book as a traditional cookbook will depend on the skills, experience and the mood of the cook. However, the book does provide an overview of regional bourgeois cuisine which, when combined with the small paperback format, makes it an excellent travel book. There is also an exceptional bibliography.
am 8. Dezember 1999
I bought this book while living in England over 20 years ago. Needless to say, my book is falling apart and when I wanted to buy a new copy a few years ago, I was very disappointed that it was out of print. I am just thrilled to be able to get a new copy. I love the prose-y format and content of the recipes. The soups are particularly wonderful. In general, this is a great read.