June 2, 2016
Not that Alice – or that other one either. I’m talking about Alice B. Toklas (on the right, next to her partner, Gertrude Stein), patron saint of the irreverent gourmet woman. Anybody with the faintest interest in food writing should read:
Stein was the famous writer, but although Toklas stood (happily) in her shadow, she was a master in her own right. She takes us along as the two traipse up the coast of France, hold salons in their Paris apartment, travel the U.S. on Stein’s book tours and survive wartime rationing. Stein held court; Toklas cooked.
An accomplished French cook, she was also interested in the ways of others; her cookbook includes a chapter of recipes from various servants, recipes from famous friends (Picasso, Picabia), and an entire section on cold soup.
On this lovely summer day one of the gazpachos collected in the chapter following my favorite, “Murder in the Kitchen,” would make a perfect little meal.
And in case you’re wondering, this is indeed the cookbook that became famous for its hashish fudge. (Listen to Toklas read that recipe here. She thinks it’s the perfect thing for a DAR meeting.) Only the U.K edition of the cookbook can boast that recipe; Toklas’ U.S. editors, lacking courage, pulled the recipe at the last minute.
Categorised in: Vintage Books and Magazines