Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Tabby Lloyd's (I'll explain again -' tabloid'...feline journalist), slow start to the new year

The Pedant in the Kitchen. Julian BarnesIt's difficult to rush anything through the holidays, shopping, parking, driving, visiting etc, but now things are slightly easier.  At least blood pressures are lower in Woolies.  I gather it was quite unpleasant at times with queues around the store and people being rather impatient.  So glad I was home reading and waiting for my food to be delivered  and my water to be topped up.

I was perusing "Pedant in the Kitchen" by Julian Barnes, who was the winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize for "Sense of an Ending".  His new book is about his search for gastronomic precision.  He is not a Nigel Slater fan, but loves Jane Grigson (mother of Sophie Grigson who knew her marriage was doomed when her future husband, William, asked before their wedding: "Do we have to live together?").  Many other chefs are critiqued as he writes.

His style is delightfully dry and his observations may be obvious, but which of you could have written 2 pages on owning cookery books?

1. "Never buy a book because of its pictures.  Never, ever, point at a photo in a cookbook and say 'I'm going to make that.'  You can't."

2. "Never buy the chef's recipe book on pointed display as you leave the restaurant.  Remember : that's why you went there in the first place - to eat their cooking, not your own feebler version of it."

3. "Remember that cookery writers are no different from other writers : many have only one book in them (and some shouldn't have let it out in the first place)."

There is great pleasure  to be had from reading about the pedant, and a dictionary will prove an invaluable accompaniment for many....'raillery', 'obeisance', 'relict', 'uxorious', 'cavils' and 'voluptuaries' might be understood better!

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