The Pedant In The Kitchen, Julian Barnes
Julian Barnes

The Pedant In The Kitchen

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Marina Ilyinykh
Marina Ilyinykhhas quoted4 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 Ilyinykh
Marina Ilyinykhhas quoted5 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.
Vera Cansadadeserfeliz
Vera Cansadadeserfelizhas quoted5 months ago
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.’
Zhenya Chaika
Zhenya Chaikahas quoted10 months ago
It was a real porker of a book, four inches thick and 1,997 pages long.
Zhenya Chaika
Zhenya Chaikahas quotedlast year
think schools are largely to blame for a national lack of confidence in the kitchen. Doing away with the widespread availability of domestic science, or ‘food technology’ as it’s now sometimes laughably called, has created a nation of gastronomically illiterate adults.
Zhenya Chaika
Zhenya Chaikahas quotedlast year
This is where gastronomic conservatism loosens its grip and ‘carefree
Zhenya Chaika
Zhenya Chaikahas quotedlast year
mar­keting’, as Julian puts it, kicks in.
selid00188
selid00188has quoted2 years ago
players. My sandwiches were sodden, falling to bits, and bright red from the paternally cut beetroot; they blushed for me as I blushed for their contriver.
Yohana
Yohanahas quoted2 years ago
the rich are different because they have more money, so cooks whose recipes we follow are different because they no longer need the advice we so anx­iously require.
Yohana
Yohanahas quoted2 years ago
My wrath is also frequently turned against the cookbooks on which I rely so heavily. Still, this is one area where pedantry is both understandable and important: and the self-taught, anxious, page-scowling domestic cook is about as pedantic as you can get.
Yohana
Yohanahas quoted2 years ago
In the kitchen I am an anxious pedant. I adhere to gas marks and cooking times. I trust instruments rather than myself.
Yohana
Yohanahas quoted2 years ago
And as with sex, politics, and religion, so with cooking; by the time I began finding out about it for myself, it was too late to ask my parents.
Maria
Mariahas quoted3 years ago
cooking a steak is to flip it every fifteen seconds, making thirty-two flips in all for its eight-minute cooking period,
Sofya Averchenkova
Sofya Averchenkovahas quoted3 years ago
Cooking is the transformation of uncertainty (the recipe) into certainty (the dish) via fuss.
Sofya Averchenkova
Sofya Averchenkovahas quoted3 years ago
We implicitly assume that those whose instructions we follow have perfected the recipe before printing it
Sofya Averchenkova
Sofya Averchenkovahas quoted3 years ago
The unlovely success of supermarkets is due to many factors, but eliminating a potentially awkward social exchange is by no means a minimal one.
Sofya Averchenkova
Sofya Averchenkovahas quoted3 years ago
someone airy-fairily ‘creative’ in the worst, self-applauding way
Marina Ilyinykh
Marina Ilyinykhhas quoted5 years ago
The neighbour of the mother of a friend of mine (yes I know, but it happens to be true) decided to make some jam.
Marina Ilyinykh
Marina Ilyinykhhas quoted5 years ago
The truth is, pedantry and non-pedantry can cut both ways. A pedant may vary from a dogged, uninquisitive, cloth-palated follower of orders to a devotee bent on doing everything absolutely right; while a non-pedant might be a simple lazy­bones or someone airy-fairily ‘creative’ in the worst, self-applauding way, or someone of justified confidence who has mastered technique and heard all the secret harmonies of the kitchen.
Marina Ilyinykh
Marina Ilyinykhhas quoted5 years ago
I sometimes wish it were all different; most late-onset cooks do. If only my mother had taught me to boil and bake all those years ago . . .Apart from anything else, I wouldn’t be so pathetically needy of praise nowadays. As the front door closes on the last departing guest, I feel a habitual whine rising to my lips: ‘I overdid the lamb/beef/whatever.’ By which I mean: ‘I didn’t, did I, and if I did it doesn’t matter, does it?’ Mostly I get the contradiction I crave; occasionally a reminder of the house rule that after the age of twenty-five you aren’t allowed to blame your parents for anything. Indeed, you’re even allowed to forgive them. So, OK, Dad, those beetroot sandwiches: you know, they were fine, quite tasty, and – well – really original. I couldn’t have made them better myself.
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