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It was fine, though it reminded me of why it is that, at a moment when Spanish cooking is everywhere sanctified and even English cooking, for the first time, canonized, not many people are making a case that German cooking is much more than fish and potatoes and sauerbraten. Great masters are not meant to offer small plates. Where John D. A devotion to shell beans, I have noticed, divides even amateur cooks from non-cooks more absolutely than any other food, and they are, into the bargain, a perfect model of writing.

You have to shell the beans, slipping open the pods with your thumbnail and then tugging the beautiful little prismatic buttons from their moorings—a process that, like writing, always takes much longer than you think it will.

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And then even the best shell beans, cleaned and simmered, are like sentences in that nobody actually appreciates them as much as they deserve to be appreciated. Shell beans are several steps more delicious, lighter and finer, than dried beans, much less canned beans; but the sad truth is that nobody really cares beans about beans, and not many eaters can tell the fresh kind from the dried, or even the canned.

As for the corn, well, even off-season corn is pretty tasty mixed with oil and vinegar, and makes a good combo with the shell beans. Still, you have to wonder how well the food fits in the book.


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The purpose of the scene, after all, is not to teach a recipe but to paint a mood—to show the lonely Spenser as somehow more modern, broader in interests and resources, than lonely city detectives in fiction often are. What the reader recalls, though, is not the setting but the dish. Should the food come off the page onto the plate quite so readily, overwhelming the atmosphere, and does this indicate that there is something subtly off, non-functional, about the presence of elaborate food-making in fiction? Meanwhile, he readies monkfish, slicing tails into chunks, a few more mussels, and, finally, some clams and prawns.

All the while, he is watching on a mostly muted television the run-up to the Iraq war—marchers in London, Colin Powell at the U. McEwan really is serving this dish to his readers; a revised version of the recipe is right there on his Web site.

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The mussels, which Henry drops into his stock straight from a string bag, need at a minimum to be spray-washed, and probably cleaned and checked for those obscene little beards they have. The fish needs to be taken from its wrappings and washed; and then how fine do you chop the garlic, and are you sure the alcohol has boiled off from the wine? While you are doing all this, I was reminded as I did it, you are thinking about the bouillabaisse, not about life in our time.


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Or, rather, you are not thinking about the bouillabaisse, or about anything: you are making the bouillabaisse. And here, I suspect, lies the difficulty with using cooking as the stock for the stream-of-consciousness stew.

In Defense of Food Reader’s Guide

It is that the act of cooking is an escape from consciousness—the nearest thing that the non-spiritual modern man and woman have to Zen meditation; its effect is to reduce us to a state of absolute awareness, where we are here now of necessity. You can cook with music, or talk radio, on, and drift in and out.

The recipes in these books are not, of course, meant to be cooked; they have literary purposes, and one of them is to represent the background of thought. Every age finds an activity that can take place while a character is meditating; the activity surrounds and halos the meditation. In Victorian fiction, it is walking; the character takes a long walk from Little Tipping to Old Stornsbury and, on the way, decides to propose, convert, escape, or run for office.

But the walk as meditational setting and backdrop came to an end with Joyce and Woolf, who made whole walking books. In recent American fiction, driving was recessive enough to do the job; in Updike and Ann Beattie, characters in cars are always doing the kind of thinking that Pip and Phineas Finn used to do on walks. But you cannot have characters thinking while cooking; the activity is not a place for thought but in place of thought. We need these devices in books, because we do not, in life, think our thoughts over time.


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  8. Since our real mental life is made in tiny flashes in the midst of our routines, we have to stretch it out, taffy-like, in literature to cover a span of time worthy of it. If we accurately represented our mental life as it takes place—sudden impulses on the way to the washroom, a spasm of neurons unleashed over coffee—no one would believe it. He talks about the different dishes the cooks make, the types of foods that can be found and some of the dishes the patrons made before making the dishes or desserts they make now.

    I would like to go at The chocolate box because I love dessert. I'll choose the Chocolate Box beacause I like sweet, especially chocolate. It's very great. Definitely, Musical chairs. Food and music seems to be a really good combination, and I would love to try it out. Usually when we eat out, it's good food if we are lucky and the noise of the restaurant. While the sounds of other diners talking and waiters shouting has its own charms, I would really love to have that experience of having food with music, like a communal feast with liive entertainment..

    I think I would choose 'The Lemon Tree', because the restaurant serves healthy food. It'll be delicious if i eat lamb cooked with hot spices in Last Days of The Raj. I would choose the chocolate box. I enjoy sweet,chocolate and dessert. I love the sweet dish. Anyway I don't like meat too much I prefer fish. I think I will be able to stay for days in this restaurant.

    READING - Books are food for the brain!

    Oh, well Let's see. What's a weekend without music and party?

    Read Aloud - Eat Your Peas - Children's Book - by Kes Gray

    So Musical Chairs, I choose you!! As for me, Musical Chairs is the best restaurant of all. I wish I were there to visit this place. I'm not vegetarian but I would like to go to The Lemon Tree. I think they have special recipes. Log in Sign up Newsletter. Instructions Do the preparation exercise first.

    Project MUSE - Reading Food in Modern Japanese Literature

    Then do the other exercises. Reading Food and restaurants Are you looking for somewhere special to go this weekend? Cheesy Bites A restaurant that only serves cheese, but hundreds of cheeses from many countries and in lots of different forms. Musical Chairs Have you noticed how music improves the taste of your food? Check your understanding: matching. Check your understanding: multiple selection. Worksheets and downloads Food and restaurants - exercises. Food and restaurants - answers. Food and restaurants - article. Language level:.

    Discussion Which of these restaurants would you choose to go to? Last Days of the Raj, because they have spicy food. I love lots and lots of chocolates, so sweet. I want to go to the Lemom Tree because I play football. I like to eat healty food. I would like to go to Fast Best because I like eating hamburgers a lot.