Kitchens and their cooks; Elizabeth David's "dream" kitchen; how publishers like to have their cake and eat it; Scoff Gaffe. Socks and soups - the Oxo story, taking stock, the making of broths and stocks, recipes; yoghurt; salads and first courses - summer greenery, leaf salads, crudit?s, recipes; vegetables - garlic presses are utterly useless, tians, le rouge et le noir, Erbaggi Mantovani - vegetables of Mantua, home cooking, the great English aphrodisiac, recipes; herbs and spices - the besprinkling of a rosemary branch, herbs, fresh and dried? green pepper berries, is there a nutmeg in the house? recipes, relishes of the Renaissance, Italian fruit mustards, a true gentlewoman's delight; eggs - quiche Lorraine, hand-made mayonnaise, poached eggs, recipes; one William Verral; pasta and rice - edible maccheroni, do not despair over rice, how versatile is risotto? recipes; letter to George Elliot; Mistress Margaret Dods; fish -kedgeree, recipes; tow cooks, letter to Jack Andre and John Flint; meat - Christmas in France, untraditional Christmas food, recipes; John Nott; poultry and game -what to do with a bird? recipes; Alexis Soyer.
Elizabeth David discovered her taste for good food and wine when, as a student at the Sorbonne, she lived with a French family for two years. After returning to England she made up her mind to learn to cook, so that she could reproduce for herself and her friends some of the food that she had come to appreciate in France. Subsequently Mrs David lived and kept house in France, Italy, Greece, Egypt and India, learning the local dishes and cooking them in her own kitchen.
Her first book, Mediterranean Food, appeared in 1950, when rationing was still in force and most of the ingredients she so lovingly described were not available. At the time her book was read rather than used, and created in its readers a yearning both for good ingredients and for a way of life that saw more in food and cooking than mere sustenance. French Country Cooking followed in 1951, Italian Food in 1954 and Summer Cooking in 1955, all of which were received with equal critical acclaim. The publication of French Provincial Cooking in 1960 confirmed Mrs David's position as the most inspirational and influential cookery writer in the English language.
By 1964 all five books were in Penguin paperback and were accessible to a new generation, who no longer had much difficulty buying garlic, saffron, basil, olives, aubergines, fresh figs or apricots, and who found Elizabeth David's philosophy of sim
'The Blessed Elizabeth David holds a unique position in the recent history of British gastronomy. Her real skill is in her narrative and this compilation provides many examples of what she is best recognized for.' Alastair Little in the Evening Standard