From the PEN/Faulkner Award–winning author James Salter and his wife, Kay—amateur chefs and terrific hosts—here is a charming, beautifully illustrated food lover’s companion that, with an entry for each day of the year, takes us from a Twelfth Night cake in January to a champagne dinner on New Year’s Eve. Life Is Meals is rich with culinary wisdom, history, recipes, literary pleasures, and the authors’ own stories of their triumphs—and catastrophes—in the kitchen. For instance: The menu on the Titanic on the fatal night Reflections on dining from Queen Victoria, JFK, Winnie the Pooh, Garrison Keillor, and many others The seductiveness of a velvety Brie or the perfect martini How to decide whom to invite to a dinner party—and whom not to John Irving’s family recipe for meatballs; Balzac’s love of coffee The greatest dinner ever given at the White House Where in Paris Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter had French onion soup at 4:00 a.m.
Sophisticated as well as practical, opinionated, and indispensable, Life Is Meals is a tribute to the glory of food and drink, and the joy of sharing them with others. “The meal is the emblem of civilization,” the Salters observe. “What would one know of life as it should be lived, or nights as they should be spent, apart from meals?”
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