Thursday, November 24, 2022

Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste by Luke Barr -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you celebrating our American tradition this week. It seemed to me like a perfect week to read about American food history.

One of the things I give thanks for are all you book blogging buddies who join me every week on Book Beginnings on Fridays! Thanks for gathering here each week to share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week (or just a book you feel like highlighting). 

MY BOOK BEGINNING

On a cool August morning in August 2009, I drove up a sloping, narrow driveway in Glen Ellen, California, on my way to visit the past. 

-- from Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste by Luke Barr.

In this opening scene, Barr describes visiting Last House, the home of his Great Aunt, legendary American food writer M.F.K. Fisher. Fisher lived in Last House for over 20 years before her death in 1992. 

This is one of my picks for Nonfiction November. If you like food writing or are interested in the history of American food, you can see from the publisher's description of this book why it is so appealing:

Provence, 1970 is about a singular historic moment. In the winter of that year, more or less coincidentally, the iconic culinary figures James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones found themselves together in the South of France. They cooked and ate, talked and argued, about the future of food in America, the meaning of taste, and the limits of snobbery. Without quite realizing it, they were shaping today’s tastes and culture, the way we eat now. The conversations among this group were chronicled by M.F.K. Fisher in journals and letters—some of which were later discovered by Luke Barr, her great-nephew. In Provence, 1970, he captures this seminal season, set against a stunning backdrop in cinematic scope—complete with gossip, drama, and contemporary relevance.


YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

Please add the link to your Book Beginning post in the linky box below. Use the hashtag #bookbeginnings if you share on social media, so we can find each other. 

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.



THE FRIDAY 56

Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading -- or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda's Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.

MY FRIDAY 56

From Provence 1970:
All this was percolating just as M.F., Child, Beck, Beard, and Jones gathered in Provence in December 1970. They would be joined by Richard Olney, a self-trained American cook who had long lived in France and had just published The French Menu Cookbook, outlining a bohemian version of the French ideal.


Thursday, November 17, 2022

Midcentury Cocktails: History, Lore, and Recipes from America's Atomic Age by Cecelia Tichy -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Do you collect books on any particular subject -- gardening, outer space, sports, whatever?

I have a middling-sized collection of books about cocktails. They aren't all recipe books, although some are. They are books about cocktails culture and history, bartending guides, recipe books, books about entertaining with cocktails, and a couple of books about writers who enjoyed their cocktails, sometimes too much. I have a new one to share today on Book Beginnings on Fridays. 

Please share the opening sentence (or so) from the book you are reading this week. Or share froM a book that caught your eye.

MY BOOK BEGINNING

America at midcentury was a nation on the move, taking to wings and wheels along the new interstate highways and in passenger jets that soared to thirty thousand feet above the earth.

-- from Midcentury Cocktails: History, Lore, and Recipes from America's Atomic Age by Cecelia Tichy. 

This new book explores icons of midcentury American life -- such as commuter trains, tiki bars, suburban weekends, Playboy bunnies, bachelor pads, and Breakfast at Tiffany's -- and examines how they influenced and were influenced by cocktail drinking. After each chapter, there are recipes for related cocktails. 

The recipes are pretty simple because midcentury was the heyday of straightforward cocktails. Goofy early experiments had died off (for good reason) and today's crazy, anything goes cocktails had yet to be imagined. So there are several recipes in here that are not much more than put "very clear" ice cubes in an Old Fashioned glass, add 1 - 2 ounces of whatever liquor, and maybe stir in 4 ounces of soda water (the "recipe" for Scotch & Soda, for example). That's fine by me, since I live in a house where we consider ice a mixer. 

There are other recipes more elaborate, even frou-frou, especially in the tiki bar chapter. Those can be fun too, just not really my thing. 


YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

Please leave the link to your Book Beginnings on Fridays post in the box below. If you share on social media, please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings. 

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.


THE FRIDAY 56

Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading -- or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda's Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.

MY FRIDAY 56

From Midcentury Cocktails:

Page 56 has recipes, so here's one from the chapter on weekends in the suburbs: 

NEW YORK SOUR

    Ingredients:
  1. 2 oz blended whiskey
  2. Chilled dry red wine
  3. 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  4. 1 teaspoon sugar
  5. 1/2 slice lemon
    Directions:
  1. Put ample ice in shaker.
  2. Vigorously shake whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar.
  3. Strain into 6-ounce sour glass.
  4. Fill glass with red wine.
  5. Stir, garnish with lemon slice, and serve.
What do you think? Would you try it?





Thursday, November 10, 2022

Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien -- Veterans' Day BOOK BEGINNINGS


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Welcome to Book Beginnings on Fridays, where we share the opening sentence (or so) of the books we are reading this week. You can also share from a book that caught your fancy or you want to highlight, even if you are not reading it right now. 

Since it is Veterans' Day weekend (or Armistice Day for many of you), I thought I'd feature a war book this week, one I just finished reading. And say thank you to all our veterans on this Veterans' Day!  

MY BOOK BEGINNING

It was a bad time. Billie Boy Watkins was dead, and so was Frenchie Tucker. 

-- from Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien. Well, that is a grim opening, but one to be expected for a book about the Vietnam War. 

O'Brien won the 1979 National Book Award for Going After Cacciato. I'm working my way through the National winners, which is why I finally read this. War books are not my usual cup of tea. This one was not quite what I expected. It is about the war, all about the war. But the premise is different, even whimsical. Private Cacciato goes AWOL and tells his buddies he's heading to Paris. On foot. The Lieutenant sends Cacciato's squad on a mission to find him. So they go after Cacciato, following him to Paris. The story about the war hangs on the story of their journey. No war book will be a favorite for me, but I liked this one much more than I thought I would. 

YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

Please leave a link to your Book Beginning post in the box below. Please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings if you post on social media. 

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.


THE FRIDAY 56

The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

MY FRIDAY 56

From Going After Cacciato:
Or was there a chance, even one in a million, that it might truly be done? He walked on and considered this, figuring the odds, speculating on how Cacciato might lead them through the steep country, beyond the mountains, deeper, and how in the end they might reach Paris.


Friday, November 4, 2022

The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier -- BOOK BEGINNINGS

 


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Wow! I'm late posting this week. A while back, knowing I was heading into a super busy patch at work, I spent a Saturday afternoon scheduling a bunch of Book Beginning posts in advance. But I forgot those scheduled posts ended last week! 

I just minutes ago finished writing an appeals brief in the Boy Scout bankruptcy case. Now the last bits to do are for my very competent law partner to add the index and table of authorities and my paralegal to finalize the exhibits. Then we will zip the whole thing off to our local counsel in Delaware and, finally, this project that has made me crazy for the last month will be in God's hands. 

I plan to spend this whole weekend in a stupor of good books and baked treats! Starting with my book for this week's Book Beginnings.

What are you reading this week? Please share the opening sentence (or so) here on Book Beginnings on Fridays. 

MY BOOK BEGINNING

The first thing I noticed was the clarity of the air, and then the sharp green color of the land.

-- The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier. 

I'm reading this one as my first Bookstagram buddy read. I've had a hardback copy on my TBR shelf since 1983, when I was still in high school! It's about time I finally got to it. 

We started it this week. My hardback copy is missing its dustjacket, so I had no idea what to expect. Never in a million years would I have guessed hallucinogenic drugs and time travel! 


YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

Please add the link to your Book Beginnings post in the box below. If you share on social media, please use the #bookbeginnings hashtag.

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.


THE FRIDAY 56

Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading -- or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda's Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.

MY FRIDAY 56

From The House on the Strand:
When I lie I like to base the lie on a foundation of fact, for it appeases not only conscience but a sense of justice.  I stamped the envelope and put it in my pocket, and then I remembered that Magnus wanted bottle B from the laboratory sent up to him in London. 
Du Maurier is always a great one for melodrama!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...