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

Salter, James; Salter, Kay

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9780307264961: Life Is Meals: A Food Lover's Book of Days

From the PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author James Salter and his wife, Kay—amateur chefs and perfect hosts—here is a charming, beautifully illustrated tour de table: a 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 memories of successes and catastrophes.For instance: • The menu on the Titanic on the fatal night• Reflections on dining from Queen Victoria, JFK, Winnie-the-Pooh, Garrison Keillor, and many others• The seductiveness of a velvety Brie or the perfect martini• How to decide whom to invite to a dinner party—and whom not to• John Irving's family recipe for meatballs; Balzac's love of coffee• The greatest dinner ever given at the White House• Where in Paris Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter had French onion soup at 4:00 a.m.• How to cope with acts of God and man-made disasters in the kitchenSophisticated as well as practical, opinionated, and indispensable, Life Is Meals is a tribute to the glory of food and drink, and the joy of sharing them with others. "The meal is the emblem of civilization," the Salters observe. "What would one know of life as it should be lived, or nights as they should be spent, apart from meals?"

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About the Author:

James Salter is the author of nine previous books, including the novel A Sport and a Pastime; the collection Dusk and Other Stories, which won the 1989 PEN/Faulkner Award; and Burning the Days: Recollection. Kay Salter, a journalist and playwright, has written for The New York Times and Food & Wine, among other publications. The Salters live in Colorado and on Long Island.Fabrice Moireau is a graphic artist, illustrator, and set and product designer. He lives in Olivet, France, with his wife and children.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Béchamel Sauce

Béchamel, the delicious white sauce for creamed vegetables, soufflés, and croquettes, first appeared in France during the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715), though it may have been created earlier and elsewhere. It was named for Louis de Bechameil, a handsome, corrupt financier who served as the king's majordomo. He had all the luck, complained an old duke who said he had been serving chicken in a cream sauce since before Bechameil was born, and no one had named any kind of sauce for him.

Béchamel is simple to make and takes only about five minutes. There are a number of variations using more or less butter and flour, depending on the desired thickness, but the foundation for all of them is the same.


Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk heated to a boil in a small saucepan


In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour slowly, stirring until they are smoothly blended without browning. Remove from heat. Add the milk and stir vigorously with a wire whisk. Set over medium heat, stirring until the sauce comes to a boil; then cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Makes two cups.

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Salter, James; Salter, Kay Author
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ISBN 10: 0307264963 ISBN 13: 9780307264961
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Salter, James; Salter, Kay Author
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Book Description Knopf, 2006. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "We need extra nourishment in the winter season. To me, that means feeding the bodyandfeeding the mind. I have a recommendation that combines the two:Life is Meals: A Food Lover's Book of Days. A year's worth of deliciously textured day-by-day entries about preparation, tasting, culinary history and personal history." Alan Cheuse,All Things Considered, National Public Radio "Divine . . . [Life is Meals] has now kept me up two nights reading until the wee hours and smacking my lips. It's a beauty, with charming illustrations. . . I appreciate the wit, the occasional recipe and the historical ambiance of this Salter effort toward fine living. What a great Christmas gift!" Liz Smith,New York Post "A remarkable marriage of food book and life-well-lived memoir . . . This most unusual book, with delightful illustrations, is to be savored again and again." Seattle Post-Intelligencer "A quirky cornucopia of recipes, historical notes, household hints, brief surveys of foodstuffs (eggs, salt, avocados, doughnuts, cheeses, olives, martinis, etc.) and utensils (forks, knives, or toothpicks, say), appreciation of friends met both in life (including Alice Waters and Julia Child) and through books (Lord Byron, Anna Karenina), random observations (what makes a good waiter), and advice of all kinds . . . . [When] I began readingLife is Meals, I started dog-earing pages containing information I wanted to remember. After a few weeks' worth of entries, I realized I'd marked every other page . . . . [With] its attractive packaging and charming illustrations, it should make the perfect hostess gift." Jerry Miller,San Diego Reader "A charming collection of brief essays on food and wine, with 37 recipes and beautiful illustrations. The entries range from thumbnail biographies of the great chefs to the sauces of ancient Greece to dinner parties with John Irving . . . The Salters make entertaining seem an essential social act and will inspire anyone to get into the kitchen. The recipes represent home cooking at its best, including classics like Gazpacho, Blinis, and Chicken Marengo . . . This lovely miscellanea is fun." Library Journal "James Salter is one of the great bon vivants of our time; his novels and stories are full of the details of fine living. This book of days pays homage to great writers, great meals, great conversations and essential ingredients. Auguste Escoffier, Brillat-Savarin, Waverly Root, Alice Waters, James Beard and others are notably remembered; dinners in Sag Harbor with Jason Epstein, dinners at the Salters' house in Aspen, Colorado with writers, snippets from the Salters' books of dinner-party details (kept for years) and recipes, of course (Tuscan meatloaf, figs in whiskey, chili con carne and many others), become tableaux in the reader's mind. Picture James and Kay Salter in Paris at the birth of their son, asking the doctor to wet the newborn's lips with Chateau Latour, like the ancient kings of France. The book is a safe haven, a bastion of civilization, protection from all kinds of heavy weather." Susan Salter Reynolds,Los Angeles Times Book Review "As entertaining as it is informative,Life is Mealsis beautifully illustrated and full of much more than recipes or food lore (although it includes both). Written by PEN/Faulkner Award-winner James Salter and his wife Kay, the book is packed with fascinating tidbits. The charm ofLife is Mealsis the quirky selection and arrangement of facts. Although some entries offer a historical food fact (the menu on the Titanic on the night it went d. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0307264963

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