Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship
Isabel Vincent

edwardIn a former life we’d play the film pitch game.   You know that one. You describe a recent (or yet unmade) film in terms of existing films. Allegedly it’s how business is done in Hollywood where seeing every movie ever made is evidently a requirement for employment.

You can do the same thing with books. Witness: the Continue reading


Come on in my Kitchen

LoomisIn a French Kitchen:
Tales and Traditions of Everyday Cooking in France

Susan Hermann Loomis

A modest proposal : let’s make a simple one-word tweak to the national motto of France. Henceforth let us speak of liberté, égalité, pâtisserie

I suppose, though, that if push came to shove I’d be willing to restrict the use to cookbooks and slice-of-life tales. Or, as is the case with Susan Loomis’ book, titles that are both at the same time.

Publishing, as I’ve said repeatedly, is a for-profit business although publishers might Continue reading

Like Joe, I Love to Eat

Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris
A.J. Liebling

I cook because I love to eat. And I learned to eat the not so hard way–I went to France.

BetweenMealsNot for an extended stay, of course. Who can afford that? No, I went armed with recommendations from friends and acquaintances.

And I read Liebling.

Abbot Joseph ‘Joe’ Liebling is one of those early-on writers from The New Yorker to whom I gravitate. (I am intentionally using ‘whom’ in protest against Megan Garber and the Continue reading

Bordeaux. Napa. Toledo?

Getting beyond our depth is what we do at AHC because  no matter how hard I work my opinions will always outnumber the subjects I’m qualified to speak to. So proceed at your own risk because today we venture into the minefield of viniculture.

I’m the cook here at the Stone Cottage. That means I am also the sommelier. My training amounts to having drunken lots of wine over the past three decades and remembering what I like. In other words, I’m a trained professional.

Wednesday past, a work at home day, Mrs. AHC suggested stir fry for dinner. Foodies and chefs will tell you there are three great cuisines and you should master one. Self-trained fry cook that I  am, most of what I do is based on bistro cooking.

But to say I know anything about cooking Chinese is an insult to the one billion plus Chinese on the planet. What I know how to do is raid the Continue reading

Food Again

My friend Vivian, a very accomplished and talented cook, once agreed with the statement that more than loving to cook she loved to eat. Since I’m the guy who made the observation I obviously concur. But if you read my post about James McWilliams and the, for lack of a better term, politics of food you know I have serious reservations about the whole foodie thing.

Now comes a funny little piece in the May issue of The Atlantic in  which Megan McArdle looks at what’s going on with high-end kitchenware. Let me be fair, this is first person reportage not scholarship. Among the reported facts are Continue reading