Julian Barnes

The Pedant In The Kitchen

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The Pedant's ambition is simple. He wants to cook tasty, nutritious food; he wants not to poison his friends; and he wants to expand, slowly and with pleasure, his culinary repertoire. A stern critic of himself and others, he knows he is never going to invent his own recipes (although he might, in a burst of enthusiasm, increase the quantity of a favourite ingredient). Rather, he is a recipe-bound follower of the instructions of others.
It is in his interrogations of these recipes, and of those who create them, that the Pedant's true pedantry emerges. How big, exactly, is a 'lump'? Is a 'slug' larger than a 'gout'? When does a 'drizzle' become a downpour? And what is the difference between slicing and chopping?This book is a witty and practical account of Julian Barnes' search for gastronomic precision. It is a quest that leaves him seduced by Jane Grigson, infuriated by Nigel Slater, and reassured by Mrs Beeton's Victorian virtues. The Pedant in the Kitchen is perfect comfort for anyone who has ever been defeated by a cookbook and is something that none of Julian Barnes' legion of admirers will want to miss.
This book is currently unavailable
111 printed pages
Original publication
2012

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Quotes

    Marina Ilyinykhhas quoted5 years ago
    In my early thirties, when the kitchen was slowly mutating from a place of resented necessity to one of tense pleasure, I had my first attempt at Vichy carrots.
    Marina Ilyinykhhas quoted6 years ago
    Why should a word in a recipe be less important than a word in a novel? One can lead to physical indigestion, the other to mental.
    cansadadeserfelizhas quotedlast year
    When it is done, you are told to: ‘Lift the beef from the saucepan and remove the string. The meat is grey outside and not very appetizing. At this moment you may feel a little depressed.’ Isn’t that one of the most cheering and pedant-friendly lines a cook ever wrote? ‘You may feel a little depressed.’

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