Is There a Nutmeg in the House?
This anthology of Elizabeth David's work, originally published in hardback in 2000, is a direct sequel to An Omelette and a Glass of Wine. It again contains a selection of her journalistic and occasional work from four decades. Much of it she had chosen herself for reprinting in this more accessible form. In addition there is a considerable amount of unpublished material found in her own files, or contributed by friends to whom she had given recipes, or to whom she had sent letters, either with notes in answer to queries or giving details of current research. None of the material here appears in any of her other nine books. The emphasis throughout is on the practical aspects of cooking and eating, and the book contains over 150 recipes. These stem from many different countries, but they all have Elizabeth David's unmistakable personal touch - a Mediterranean tomato consomme or a typically English raspberry ice cream. Little-known articles on her many and varied likes and dislikes complete a unique picture of what for so long made her the most influential cookery writer in the English language.Her work is always immensely readable, elegant and witty, and she has a wonderful ability to share her sense of season and place, her passionate interest in food, its history, its myriad styles and its role in society. There is much here to enjoy both for dedicated Elizabeth David fans and for those who are new to her writing.
This posthumous collection of essays reminds us not only what an intelligent writer she was; one of the finest ever composers of long sentences, but also how sharp in every sense. This book is a taste of lemon after a diet of sugarplums. Bee Wilson, New Statesman