Dinner with Tennessee Williams

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9781423621737: Dinner with Tennessee Williams

Like Hemingway to Cuba or Mark Twain to the Mississippi, certain writers are inextricably tied to their environments-the culture, the history, the people, the cuisine. The plays of Tennessee Williams evoke the ambiance and flavor of the South. Part food memoir and part cookbook, this fresh look at the world of this great American playwright-both in real life and in his plays-is the perfect book for literary lovers and food lovers alike.

Each chapter is based on one of Williams' plays and includes a short essay on food references within that play; highlighted food related quotes from the dialogue; a menu divined from the play; and archived photographs from Williams' life. With more than 80 recipes, fans will love the 50 full-color and black and white photos that showcase the recipes, locale, and history of this beloved American writer.

Enjoy recipes such as:

  • Chop Suey Soup
  • Pecan-crusted Sweet Potato Pone
  • Baton Aubergines
  • Pork Loin Franchese
  • Smoked Corn and Grilled Pepper Bisque
  • Grilled Ahi Tuna, Pinapple Relish
  • Maw Maw Lola's Fig Preserves

Inspired by Tennessee William's Plays like:

  • A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  • The Glass Menagerie
  • The Rose Tattoo
  • Camino Real
  • Night of the Iguana
  • Battle of Angels

Troy Gilbert is a native of New Orleans and the author of New Orleans Kitchens.

Greg Picolo is a native of New Orleans and the chef of Bistro Maison de Ville, which offers sophisticated cuisine in the Louisiana Creole style.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

A native and resident of New Orleans, Troy Gilbert is an author and journalist. His first two books include New Orleans Kitchens and the Café Degas Cookbook. He has contributed articles to many national and regional publications including the Food Network, New Orleans CityBusiness, Gambit Weekly, neworleans.com, Sailing World and Cruising World. His writings and on the scene descriptions during Hurricane Katrina were published on his blog gulfsails.blogspot.com and in the anthology, A Howling in the Wires. Aside from his writing, Gilbert is on the board of directors of the Friends of West End and has served in this capacity for the New Orleans Yacht Club. He is currently working on a novel as well as several other culinary projects.

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

Big Daddy's Braised Double-Cut Pork Chops with Coca Cola,
Bourbon, Molasses, and Granny Smith Apples

6 double-cut pork chops Salt and pepper 2 cups flour, seasoned 1/2 cup olive oil 1 large onion, sliced 2 cups bourbon 4 cups Coca-Cola 2 cups apple juice 1 tablespoon minced garlic 3 tablespoons lite soy sauce 2 tablespoons Steen's Molasses 2 teaspoons Tabasco or Crystal Hot Sauce 2 cups demi-glace 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary 1 cup beef stock, if necessary 5 Granny Smith apples, cored and quartered

serves 6

Season chops with salt and pepper and then dust in seasoned flour. Sear chops in hot oil in an ovenproof pan until they turn a light brown, about 2 minutes on each side, and remove to a plate. Carefully pour off excess oil from the pan and then add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Return the chops to pan and deglaze with the bourbon, allowing the pot liquor to reduce by two-thirds.

Add Coca-Cola, apple juice, garlic, soy sauce, molasses, Tabasco, demi-glace, thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper. While cooking, take a brush and baste the chops every 5 minutes or so. Braise in an oven, uncovered, at 450 degrees F for 8 minutes. If needed, add stock or water if the "pot liquor" reduces too quickly. Reduce heat and cook at 350-400 degrees F for 20 minutes; turn the chops. Cook for an additional 20 minutes and then turn again. Add apples and cook an additional 20-40 minutes, until the meat is almost falling off the bone. Serve.

In A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, set in St. Louis at a later time, Tennessee seems almost to be satirizing the eating habits of the "large midwestern city," as he terms it. Much of the play concerns the clash between the descendants of German settlers of the city and people who consider themselves superior to the immigrant population.

In the opening scene Bodey is preparing fried chicken and deviled eggs for a picnic at Creve Coeur park. When her apartment mate Dorothea, who aspires to move up in the world, sardonically inquires, "Which came first, fried chicken or deviled eggs?" Bodey, who is hard of hearing, replies, "This is the best Sunday yet for a picnic at Creve Coeur." Later, Dorothea protests that if Bodey had her way, "my life would be just one long Creve Coeur interspersed with knockwurst, sauerkraut-hot potato salad dinners . . . ."

Further humor at the expense of the St. Louis Germans occurs in the phone call from Buddy to his sister Bodey to complain that she has kept him waiting so long he has drunk "two beers and made a liverwurst sandwich . . . ." In an exchange that underscores the differences in ethnic groups in the city, Bodey greets Sophie Gluck, an upstairs neighbor, who "comes down for a coffee and cruller at ten," Helena, who teaches with Dorothea and wants her to move from Bodey's and share an apartment with her, inquires, "What is a cruller?" Bodey: "Aw. You call it a doughnut, but me, bein' German, was raised to call it a cruller." Helena: "Oh. A cruller is a doughnut but you call it a cruller . . . I don't care for the cruller, as you call it. Pastries are not included in my diet."

The fact that Tennessee Williams was so turned off by St. Louis-and particularly its cuisine-may account for A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur's being one of his lesser known plays.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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