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The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life (英語) ハードカバー – 2004/11/9


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The Pat Conroy Cookbook is more than just that. It’s a virtual “Ode to Joy.” Read it; cook from it. You will eat better than you ever have in your life, and will know more about Pat Conroy, perhaps, than he would ever tell you.” 
— Anne Rivers Siddons  

抜粋

chapter one


Nathalie Dupree


The first actual cooking teacher who took both my money and my grief for imparting culinary secrets to me was the inimitable, unclassifiable queen of the Southern kitchen, Nathalie Dupree. Though Nathalie does not know this, she is one of the few people in my life who seems more like a fictional character than a flesh-and-blood person.

When my novel Beach Music came out in 1995, I had included a couple of recipes in the book, and had tried to impart some of my love of Roman cuisine and the restaurants of Rome. Several journalists who write about food for newspapers interviewed me about the food angle in the novel, curious about the fact that the book's protagonist, Jack McCall, wrote cookbooks and restaurant reviews. A woman from the Washington Post conducted a delightful interview over the phone, and during our conversation, I mentioned that I had taken Nathalie's course in the cooking school she ran in the old Rich's department store in downtown Atlanta. The woman called Nathalie after our interview, and Nathalie tracked me down to report on the nature of their conversation.

Nathalie's voice is deep and musical and seductive. She possesses the rare ability to be both maddening and hilarious in the course of a single sentence. Her character is a shifting, ever-changing thing, and she reinvents herself all over again every couple of years. In one way, she seems the same, yet you are aware she is in the process of a complete transformation. When she tells about her life, you could swear she was speaking of a hundred women, not just one.

"Pat, darling," Nathalie said on the phone, "all my working life I've been scheming and plotting and dreaming of ways to get an interview with the food editor of the Washington Post. You can imagine my joy when I heard that the food editor of the Post had left a message on my answering machine. And I thought, Yes, it's finally happening; your prayers have been answered, Nathalie."

"That's great, Nathalie," I said, not quite knowing where she was going with this. You never know where Nathalie is going with a train of thought; you simply know that the train will not be on time, will carry many passengers, and will eventually collide with a food truck stalled somewhere down the line on damaged tracks.

"Can you imagine my disappointment when I found out that they wanted to interview me about you, instead of about me. I admit, Pat, that after I got over the initial shock, it turned suddenly to bitterness. After all, what do I possibly get out of talking about you when I could be talking about my own cookbooks? Naturally, I did not let on a word about what I was really thinking, but I did suggest, very subtly I might add, that she might want to do a feature on me and my work sometime in the future. When were you in my class, Pat?"

"In 1980," I said.

"I don't remember that. Did you really take my class? Who else was in it?"

"My wife Lenore. Jim Landon. George Lanier. A nice woman who lived on the same floor as my dad in the Darlington Apartments."

"It doesn't ring a bell for me," she said. "Was I good?"

"You were wonderful," I said.

"All my ex-students say that. It must be a gift."

"You were a great teacher."

"And sexy. I won't be happy until you tell me I was also extraordinarily sexy."
"I could barely cook I was so aroused. All the other men in the class felt the same way. It's hard to make a perfect souffle when you're rutting."

"Pat, you know the way to a young girl's heart," Nathalie said. "But I want you to know that I'll always be perfectly furious at you for getting into the Washington Post food world before I did. That's my bailiwick, not yours."

"It will never happen again, Nathalie," I promised. "All your bailiwicks will be safe from poor Conroy."

When Nathalie taught her cooking class at Rich's, I learned new lessons about insouciance, style, and lack of preparation. Always, at the last minute, Nathalie's worthy assistant, Kate Almand, would move in to provide a missing utensil or bag of flour or loin of veal that Nathalie had misplaced or left in her car. The joy of watching Nathalie's cooking shows on television has always come from her artless displays of confusion and disorganization, and her sheer bravado when she actually makes a mistake. Unlike Martha Stewart, Nathalie often looks beaten up when she completes a segment of her show. She can be covered with flour up to her elbows after baking a loaf of bread, can drop her perfectly roasted capon on the kitchen floor, or can garnish her pumpkin pie with cooked rice that she meant to put in her delicious cream of carrot soup. On her television show, Nathalie has turned the culinary mistake or misstep into her signature moment.

Nathalie is always worth the price of admission and I love cooking with her. Disorder follows her around like a spaniel. There is no hum of quiet efficiency in her kitchen to intimidate me as I caramelize the onions or beat the egg whites to a stiff peak. She prides herself on being a hands-on cook, and I have seen her hands dripping with batter, red with blood, and crimson from handling baby beets. Like most good cooks, she is absolutely fearless, taking on each task with gusto. And her conversation mixes well with the mouthwatering aromas rising out of her kitchen as the meal takes shape around us. I personally do not believe Nathalie has ever enjoyed a quiet meal at home with her equally hospitable husband, the writer Jack Bass. When I knew her in Atlanta, the whole city in all its shapes, races, and classes seemed to pass by her dining room table. She attracts friends like a magnet does iron filings. Her desire to entertain and feed people seems insatiable to me, a mark of her character as striking as her beautiful almond-shaped eyes.

On the night our class made a crown roast of pork, orange and fennel salad, turnip greens and grits, and crème brûlée for dessert, she told a story in fits and starts that ended only after she poured the dessert wine. I soon found myself looking forward to Nathalie's stories as much as I did her recipes. They ranged the world and involved famous chefs, cookbook writers of note, lovers and husbands and boyfriends of both the charming and monstrous varieties. I preferred the stories of her lovers because her voice could turn smoky and catlike as we, her students, chopped and shredded and prepared our meals according to her instructions. The story and the food comingled and exchanged properties.

I can taste neither fennel nor crème brûlée without thinking of the story she told that night. I tell it from memory, but I will try to use Nathalie's ineffable voice. She could say the word "lover" and infuse it with all the savor and forbiddenness of a Frenchwoman recalling an affair with an Italian count. "I was living in Greenwich Village in New York," she told us. "I had taken up with a dashing, utterly charming man. He turned out to be a perfect cad, but didn't they all in those days, darling? Jim, I'd slice that fennel a little thinner. It looks too much like celery when you slice it that way. Yes, perfect. He was, by far, the most sophisticated, demanding lover I had ever been involved with up to that time. He was the consummate gourmet who had eaten in the finest restaurants in the world since he was a child. Well. I decided I was going to cook him a meal that he would never forget, one that would prove my love for him, yet honor his amazing sophistication.

"I went next door to get advice from the two gay men who lived in the most spectacular apartment. They knew everybody and everything, but they were of no help that day. Greenwich Village was astir, at least the gay portion of the Village--no small share, I assure you--with the news of a gay serial killer who would not only murder his poor victims, but would then mutilate them in ghastly ways. My neighbors' hysteria rendered them useless and I heard them turn all six locks in their door as soon as I left their apartment and began the search for the most unusual meal for my lover.

"There was a little butcher shop in the East Village that sold specialty meats and could usually come up with a surprise. Pat, use a whisk to beat your eggs for the crème brûlée. You're not scrambling eggs for a country brunch. This is a French dish, dearie. Oh, where was I? Yes. The butcher had a surprise for me. He had two things in his shop he had never carried before: live escargots and testicles freshly cut from yearling calves in upper New York State. 'Mountain oysters!' I shouted in triumph, and I was sure that every snail my lover had eaten had come from a can. I paid cash for everything. I spent a fortune. But that's what you do when you're in love. You're never yourself. You are possessed. You'll do anything. George, you need to get your pork into the oven. Less fanaticism with the presentation. It's lovely, but it's still pork. And trichinosis is a fact of life. I took the mountain oysters and snails back to my apartment, then left them in the sink and ran down to buy the wine for the meal. I threw some ice on the calves' testicles because organ meat is very perishable. But I got delayed when I asked the French chef who ran a restaurant on my street about the preparation of the escargots. He had a certain dark frisson and I soon realized he was flirting with me. This made me late in my return. My lover would be arriving with roses in a few hours. I opened the door of my apartment and I'll never forget what I saw there! I've had nightmares about it more than once. The snails had conspired to effect a vast breakout. They were everywhere. On the walls, on the ceiling, trailing their slimy bodies across my copper pans, and my cookbooks. My screams of repulsion and terror res...

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114 人中、111人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Conroy as artist, writer, mad chemist & cook... 2004/12/30
投稿者 Cynthia K. Robertson - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー Amazonで購入
Pat Conroy is my favorite author, and it is fitting that he dedicates the same passion for cooking as he does for his writing in his new book, The Pat Conroy Cookbook. The fact that Conroy is so fascinated with food is in itself ironic. Conroy grew up in a house where food was important, but good food was not. In fact, he regrets that his mother "looked upon food as a necessity, not a realm of art." Her idea of seafood every Friday night was fish sticks. This all changed when his wife announced that she was going to law school, and he would have to start preparing the meals for his family (consisting of three young daughters). Conroy is an avid reader and a keen observer, so he began his education in earnest. First, he went to the local bookstore. Instead of recommending something basic and easy (like Betty Crocker), the owner talked Conroy into purchasing a book by the French chef, Escoffier. Soon, he was immersed in the world of making stock, roux and exotic foods. He discovered that cooking could be great fun, and combined the skills of being an artist with those needed to become a mad chemist.

As part of his culinary education, Conroy also became an avid collector. He collected cookbooks, and especially enjoyed those homey books published by churches and civic groups. They not only offered great recipes, but also precious nuggets of knowledge such as "store mushrooms and string beans in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator, not in plastic." Next, he started a collection of culinary friends. Some were cooks, some were chefs, and others just enjoyed good food. Then he started collecting recipes. Many came from friends and family, others he created or recreated. He added foods to his repertoire (things such as white asparagus and escargot). He took a number of cooking classes, and finally, he started traveling. Living in Rome and France for extended periods introduced him to whole new cuisines. While I'm not sure that Conroy has become a master chef, he certainly must be an accomplished one.

But you can bet that Conroy would not be content to just compile recipes for a book. The Pat Conroy Cookbook reads more like a memoir with a generous helping of recipes sprinkled here and there. Each chapter describes a story, saga or anecdote about his life, and is then followed with related recipes. He tells of preparing a bridesmaid's luncheon for his daughter, cooking for his dying father, and foods to make for funerals. He talks about foods from Italy and France, and honeymooning in Umbria. He provides chapters on oyster roasts, pig roasts, Vidalia onions, and grilling. He regales us with the best meals that his has eaten-both in restaurants and out. And he tells us of the relationship between food and his writing.

The recipes themselves are interesting, intriguing and not too intimidating. For those that are more complicated, Conroy takes us through them step by step. He also provides the reader with some of those nuggets of wisdom he so admires in church cookbooks, such as drain fried foods on paper bags and not paper towels. I will definitely try a number of them-especially the low country specialties like shrimp and grits, crab cakes, and pickled shrimp.

So whether you like Pat Conroy or cooking, you will love this cookbook. Not only will it tempt your palate, but it will also provide the reader with a generous dose of "The World According to Pat Conroy." What a tasty treat, indeed.
79 人中、77人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Reasons to read this book 2004/12/6
投稿者 A. Batten - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
If you are not sure about buying "Recipes of My Life" here are a few guidelines I would use in recommending the book to anyone:

If you like any of Pat Conroy's writing, buy this book.

If you enjoy food, buy this book.

If you enjoy cooking, buy this book.

If you have no clue who Pat Conroy is, if you have no particular interest in good food, or fine cooking, but you love to hear a good story, buy this book.

If you are in search of outstanding recipes - from down-home Southern cooking to fine Italian cuisine...BUY it.

And for God's sake if you are like me and can't make a good stock, BUY the book!

Above all I find Pat Conroy to be a master story-teller, and for that reason alone I recommend this book to anyone. A delight to read, from front to back. And now I can make a stock to be proud of!
28 人中、27人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
a sweet & savory read of biographical short stories 2005/1/16
投稿者 Denise - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
Tres Magnifique, Pat. The introduction to each chapter reads as easily and with as much anticipation as his novels. Once the recipes were introduced, I had to spend the rest of the day in my kitchen preparing stock and sauces for a post script meal. I have just finished this book and as usual I want for more.
23 人中、21人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Filled with life, love, food and wonder 2005/12/3
投稿者 Len - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
This little gem is wonderful in a literal sense - it inspires wonder. First, how terrific to see a great photo of Pat standing tall on the cover with a bucket of low country oysters. It's hard not to look at him and see all the leading characters from his books - the young teacher from Water is Wide, the scared and brave cadet from Lords of Discipline, the brave lost survivor from Prince of Tides, etc.

This book is for anyone who loves Pat's books. It's truly a story of his life, but amazingly, threaded together by the food and meals he's experienced, and friends who've shared those meals with him. Many of the real-life characters from Pat's fiction weave in and out of these meals - his beloved fish-hating mother, his feared but irreplaceable fighter-pilot father, his 'paisan' roommates from The Citadel, his Roman neighbors from Beach Music, etc.

The most pleasant surprise for me from this book, is Pat's stories breathe rich life into his recipes, making them more full and sensual than recipes on the flat page of most other cookbooks. For example, his recipe for pickled shrimp is fairly straightforward in ingredient and preparation, but for Pat, this is a signature dish he brings to memorials when a friend dies. His story lets us see and feel the food hungrily devoured by the friends and loved ones of the deceased, as Pat feels the pride of feeding them in their time of grief. I began the book thinking the recipes would be throwaways, and ended with a dozen or so recipes I plan to try.

Bravo Pat! Someday I hope to read The Boo - your one story I have yet to track down. As long as you write and I read, I will be reading the terrific stories you tell.
19 人中、17人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
A Great Deal of Fun 2005/6/3
投稿者 Constant Librarian - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
One of my friends once aptly described Pat Conroy as a cross between Thomas Wolfe and Alan Alda. She was absolutely right--no noun is ever left unmodified and most of the time there's a darn good punchline.

This cookbook is a random selection of stories--many funny, some sad, interspersed with recipies. As a Conroy fan and as someone who reads cookbooks for fun, I loved it.

Warning. If you make the recipie for the incredibly rich pound cake in the book, double the amount of vanilla the recipie calls for. When I make it again, I'll add lemon zest and soak it in lemon-sugar syrup.
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