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Life Is Meals: A Food Lover's Book of Days (Anglais) Broché – 2 novembre 2010


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Béchamel Sauce

Béchamel, the delicious white sauce for creamed vegetables, soufflés, and croquettes, first appeared in France during the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715), though it may have been created earlier and elsewhere. It was named for Louis de Bechameil, a handsome, corrupt financier who served as the king's majordomo. He had all the luck, complained an old duke who said he had been serving chicken in a cream sauce since before Bechameil was born, and no one had named any kind of sauce for him.

Béchamel is simple to make and takes only about five minutes. There are a number of variations using more or less butter and flour, depending on the desired thickness, but the foundation for all of them is the same.


Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk heated to a boil in a small saucepan


In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour slowly, stirring until they are smoothly blended without browning. Remove from heat. Add the milk and stir vigorously with a wire whisk. Set over medium heat, stirring until the sauce comes to a boil; then cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Makes two cups.


From the Hardcover edition.

Revue de presse

“Wholly compelling . . . The fruit of a lifetime of informed and opinionated eating.” —Alice Waters, Chez Panisse

“Thumbs-up . . . I recommend reading it in one fell swoop.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Pays homage to great writers, great meals, great conversations and essential ingredients . . . A bastion of civilization, protection from all kinds of heavy weather.” —Los Angeles Times

“A remarkable marriage of food book and life-well-lived memoir . . . This most unusual book is to be savored again and again.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer


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Amazon.com: 23 commentaires
40 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A book that makes you hungry --- for more 23 octobre 2006
Par Jesse Kornbluth - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
"The meal is the essential act of life. It is the habitual ceremony, the long record of marriage, the school for behavior, the prelude to love."

If you have ever read James Salter, you will have no trouble recognizing that prose. Every word is carefully chosen, measured, considered, sifted, chosen again. The superfluous disappears; the eternal endures. To read Salter is to catch a master in the act.

James and Kay Salter have been together for three decades. He writes, she writes. But reading "Life Is Meals," you get the sense that the art of cooking and eating well is at least as potent for them as any esthetic connection. At their homes in Aspen and the Hamptons and on their travels across Europe, they have the knack of making each meal count --- not just the food, but the company, the ambience and the conversation.

This book is a record of their lifelong interest in food. When they name-drop, it's more often the name of a long-dead French chef than a celebrated friend. But they're not snobs. When they share a recipe, it's usually for a dish that's already an old friend of yours: Gratin dauphinoise. Risotto. French chicken. Chili. Cucumber soup. Their personal cookbook is handwritten. Their book of days is casual: a personal anecdote here, a recipe there, a memory following.

Read with pen in hand, for the Salters are the king and queen of tips. They offer a modest list of the cookbooks they use. (I was delighted to see that one is Bistro Cooking.) They note the importance of the egg cup to the soft-boiled egg. They tell you when to use salt (after browning meat; on pineapple and grapefruit), what to drink when (white wine at lunch, red at dinner), and what to serve with green salad (chilled sparkling Vichy water). And they guide you through the creation of a Dinner Party --- like: don't ask who wants coffee, just make it and offer it.

The Salters serve up tons of foodie trivia. The origin of the "Baby Ruth." The health benefit of dark chocolate (15 times more antioxidants than broccoli). Unsurprisingly, they have collected tasty anecdotes I've seen nowhere else. Some are wonderfully eccentric: a dying man's farewell gift to his wife (600 jars of her favorite jams). Others are literary, and feature Turgenev, Balzac, Dumas, Beckett.

The Salters love France. When Kay was giving birth to their son Theo in Paris, James had a bottle of Chateau Latour ready, so the great wine might moisten the lips of their son --- a custom of French kings. Decades later, they mention that they spend a week in Paris, "largely at the Louvre," and top it off with lunch at Le Grand Vefour. This is not snobbery. It is taste in action.

Armchair readers will delight in the Salters' peppering of the book with great French historical anecdotes. Like: Talleyrand. 1803. No fish to be had in Paris. At a state dinner, the servant carrying an enormous salmon trips and falls. All are horrified. Talleyrand calmly says, "Bring in another salmon." And, in a flash, another salmon appears. The punch line: "The whole incident had been planned.

But let's not make this too special. The Salters tell you about a cheap but noble Italian red wine (Salice Salentino). They explain why you can't get decent Brie in America. They warn you against the Zagat guides. And they make you feel, in every sentence, that if you aim high, read widely and throw yourself into new experiences, you can create your own, equally tasty book of meals.
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The perfect dinner party gift 27 octobre 2006
Par chardday - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
As a life long fan of James Salter, I ordered this book, not knowing what to expect. Written with his wife, Kay Salter, it's a history of their dinner parties and full of facts about food. The book includes recipes, illustrations and etiquette tips. I'm having a hard time describing everything this book contains. All I can say is it's utterly charming. And the writing is what Salter's fans have come to expect: spare, poetic, sophisticated. As literature, it's hard to put down once you pick it up. I'm going to start bringing this to dinner parties as a gift, instead of my usual bottle of wine. (I wonder what the Salters would have to say about that!)
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An inspiration 26 octobre 2006
Par Gentle Reader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book is a treasure. Life is Meals is charming, beautifully written and loaded with cool facts. (Since reading it, several times a day I find myself saying, "Did you know...") James and Kay Salter have written about great meals, history, literature and friendship. I keep my copy on my desk not just because I know any page I open to will delight, or I love its illustrations and how it feels in my hand, but also because it reminds me there's an alternative to experiencing life via computer screen. Like good food, Life is Meals is something you will want to share.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Delicious Reading 18 avril 2007
Par C. J. Friedlob - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This uniquely unclassifiable book is an utter delight. More than a cookbook, more than advice on how to entertain, more than a history of food and its preparation, it is both a memoir and veritable instruction manual about how to dine and live with style and gusto. Simultaneously worldly and sophisticated, casual and candid, every page offers a new treat. The illustrations are charming and perfectly complement the tone of the book. You'll want an extra copy to give to special friends.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
One Stop Shopping 31 octobre 2006
Par Grandma - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
In addition to owning your own copy, Life is Meals is an obvious gift idea. Give it to inspire those just starting their lives of meals together. Give it to add to the pleasure and wisdom of those who have any appreciation for the artistry of meal preparation and consumption.

I already have a stack of copies waiting for giving at Christmas, weddings, birthdays, or as a special thank you.

Although the format is one entry per day, be warned that it is extremely difficult to stop reading after just one!
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