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Paperback Life Is Meals : A Food Lover's Book of Days Book

ISBN: 0375711392

ISBN13: 9780375711398

Life Is Meals : A Food Lover's Book of Days

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good*

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Book Overview

From the PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author James Salter and his wife, Kay--amateur chefs and terrific hosts--here is a charming, beautifully illustrated food lover's companion that, with an entry for each day of the year, takes us from a Twelfth Night cake in January to a champagne dinner on New Year's Eve. Life Is Meals is rich with culinary wisdom, history, recipes, literary pleasures, and the authors' own stories of their triumphs--and catastrophes--in...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Delicious Reading

This uniquely unclassifiable book is an utter delight. More than a cookbook, more than advice on how to entertain, more than a history of food and its preparation, it is both a memoir and veritable instruction manual about how to dine and live with style and gusto. Simultaneously worldly and sophisticated, casual and candid, every page offers a new treat. The illustrations are charming and perfectly complement the tone of the book. You'll want an extra copy to give to special friends.

Wonderful book!

What a delight this book is - fun and interesting of course, but also so poignant. Lovely pieces on the birth of their son and their first meal together...both brought tears to my eyes. All my friends are getting a copy this holiday season!

One Stop Shopping

In addition to owning your own copy, Life is Meals is an obvious gift idea. Give it to inspire those just starting their lives of meals together. Give it to add to the pleasure and wisdom of those who have any appreciation for the artistry of meal preparation and consumption. I already have a stack of copies waiting for giving at Christmas, weddings, birthdays, or as a special thank you. Although the format is one entry per day, be warned that it is extremely difficult to stop reading after just one!

The perfect dinner party gift

As a life long fan of James Salter, I ordered this book, not knowing what to expect. Written with his wife, Kay Salter, it's a history of their dinner parties and full of facts about food. The book includes recipes, illustrations and etiquette tips. I'm having a hard time describing everything this book contains. All I can say is it's utterly charming. And the writing is what Salter's fans have come to expect: spare, poetic, sophisticated. As literature, it's hard to put down once you pick it up. I'm going to start bringing this to dinner parties as a gift, instead of my usual bottle of wine. (I wonder what the Salters would have to say about that!)

A book that makes you hungry --- for more

"The meal is the essential act of life. It is the habitual ceremony, the long record of marriage, the school for behavior, the prelude to love." If you have ever read James Salter, you will have no trouble recognizing that prose. Every word is carefully chosen, measured, considered, sifted, chosen again. The superfluous disappears; the eternal endures. To read Salter is to catch a master in the act. James and Kay Salter have been together for three decades. He writes, she writes. But reading "Life Is Meals," you get the sense that the art of cooking and eating well is at least as potent for them as any esthetic connection. At their homes in Aspen and the Hamptons and on their travels across Europe, they have the knack of making each meal count --- not just the food, but the company, the ambience and the conversation. This book is a record of their lifelong interest in food. When they name-drop, it's more often the name of a long-dead French chef than a celebrated friend. But they're not snobs. When they share a recipe, it's usually for a dish that's already an old friend of yours: Gratin dauphinoise. Risotto. French chicken. Chili. Cucumber soup. Their personal cookbook is handwritten. Their book of days is casual: a personal anecdote here, a recipe there, a memory following. Read with pen in hand, for the Salters are the king and queen of tips. They offer a modest list of the cookbooks they use. (I was delighted to see that one is Bistro Cooking.) They note the importance of the egg cup to the soft-boiled egg. They tell you when to use salt (after browning meat; on pineapple and grapefruit), what to drink when (white wine at lunch, red at dinner), and what to serve with green salad (chilled sparkling Vichy water). And they guide you through the creation of a Dinner Party --- like: don't ask who wants coffee, just make it and offer it. The Salters serve up tons of foodie trivia. The origin of the "Baby Ruth." The health benefit of dark chocolate (15 times more antioxidants than broccoli). Unsurprisingly, they have collected tasty anecdotes I've seen nowhere else. Some are wonderfully eccentric: a dying man's farewell gift to his wife (600 jars of her favorite jams). Others are literary, and feature Turgenev, Balzac, Dumas, Beckett. The Salters love France. When Kay was giving birth to their son Theo in Paris, James had a bottle of Chateau Latour ready, so the great wine might moisten the lips of their son --- a custom of French kings. Decades later, they mention that they spend a week in Paris, "largely at the Louvre," and top it off with lunch at Le Grand Vefour. This is not snobbery. It is taste in action. Armchair readers will delight in the Salters' peppering of the book with great French historical anecdotes. Like: Talleyrand. 1803. No fish to be had in Paris. At a state dinner, the servant carrying an enormous salmon trips and falls. All are horrified. Talleyrand calmly says, "Bring in another salmon." And, in a flash, another salm
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