Bananas à la Monet

December 29, 2015

From The Luncheon, 1873Artists are often excellent cooks. It’s in their daring. We all have a friend who indiscriminately throws spices into the pot at the last minute, who mixes and matches the contents of the fridge, who takes risks we sometimes wouldn’t. When it works – which isn’t always –  it can really work. 

I’ve been flipping through Monet’s Table, a cookbook compiled from fragments of the painter’s cooking journals, and reveling in the artist’s playful quality. Though Monet ran his household very traditionally (think many housekeepers), he was after something different when he made art.  And when he cooked: along with the usual constellation of rich and laborious sauces – the classic French repertoire –  he played with peasant bread soup and roasted bananas. (Remember that in 1914, bananas were a novelty.) The whole thing’s a delight.

Without further ado, two very different Monet recipes: 

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  • Patti Lynch says:

    Ruth, thank you so much for sharing this with us! I love cooking and the Impressionists, and I never knew there were books out there detailing their culinary history. I look forward to purchasing this book, and the one documenting Renoir, who is my favorite Impressionist painter. Many blessings for the New year! Peace, Patti

  • Kate Donegan says:

    As always, something new and fascinating! Now I’ll be hunting down tomes re: artists cooking lives.

  • Barbara says:

    I was gifted Monet’s cookbook for my birthday on the year after I visited Giverny for the second time. I have made the banana recipe several times. It’s delicious served with Vanilla ice cream sprinkled with a bit of ground cardamon.

  • Ruth,
    We have also just brought Claude Monet’s kitchen garden back to life.

    Monet’s Palate Cookbook – The Artist & His Kitchen Garden at Giverny. By Aileen Bordman and Derek Fell. Foreword by Meryl Streep.

    A toast to Monet!