It's rare for me to find a book that actually inspires me to cook from the recipes given. What is more amazing about Elizabeth Bard's book Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes is that there are no pictures - her descriptions of the food create an ambient environment that make you want to head to your kitchen immediately. I had originally started reading this book just before I went on a summer mini-break holiday in Southern Crete with my family. I had packed the book in my suitcase, and took it out on the first day I spent under a beach umbrella. What a mistake; as I finished a chapter, I wanted to head to my kitchen immediately and see if I could make what I had just read about there and then. But I wasn't even close to my kitchen, so I just put the book way and read another (equally good) one.
Pots de chocolats
I've already reviewed Elizabeth Bard's Lunch in Paris before, so my readers will already know how much I enjoyed reading and cooking from this book, which you can read all about elsewhere on my blog. At a recent book festival, Elizabeth Bard was billed as the potential daughter of Julia Child, had Julia had one. Elizabeth makes the idea of cooking French sound so easy. There are no pretensions about her recipes: they are clear and simple, they use fresh seasonal ingredients where appropriate, and more importantly for me, they create the kind of meals that the whole family can enjoy, from home-made mayonnaise to home-made profiteroles. The recipes are not geared around adults-only dinner parties and fancy impressive-looking plating, either; not only will children enjoy the nourishing food, but they will also be able to (help) cook some of the simpler meals, like the pots de chocolat and the student charlotte.
It takes a certain amount of skill by a writer to convey the idea of a recipe in words alone, without using picutres. Elizabeth has managed to do this successfully, as she describes her early life in Paris, and the food she cooked as she tried to make sense of her new surroundings. Although she was well travelled by the time she arrived in Paris, it was the first time she had found unemployed; food was probably where she directed most of her energy, and the results seem to have pleased many of her readers.
Profiteroles; poached cod with roasted leeks and home-made mayonnaise
Since I have already re-created so many of Elizabeth's recipes already, I will present a showcase of Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes using my photos. I can only hope to inspire you all to read the book and make some of them yourself.
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