Saturday, August 1st
Up betimes. Crept downstairs so as not to wake the sleeping prince, put on the kettle and fixed myself a frugal breakfast (bread, cheese, tea, cherries). I was eager to get the mealtime ministrations out of the way so I could concentrate on my newest infatuation.
That would be Sophie Dahl's new cookbook memoir, "Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights."
It arrived on Friday via Amazon.co.uk. (It will be published here in 2010.) Based on stellar reviews and recipes excerpted in the Daily Mail, I was not prepared to wait that long. I will just have to make the gas mark and imperial pint adjustments on my own.
The Divine Italian returned home from his morning bike ride just as my excitement reached a fever pitch. I needed to share with someone how fab this book was. Sly minx that I am, I waited until he was in the midst of his post-ride yoga stretches. He's a captive audience then. I plonked the book down in front of him.
Him: (suspiciously) What's that?
Me: Sophie Dahl's new cookbook.
Him: Who's Sophie Dahl?
Me: Roald's granddaughter. Former zaftig supermodel. Used to date Mick Jagger. (rolling eyes) Sometimes you are so straight.
I opened the book to this particularly luscious-looking spread. His reaction was swift.
Him: What's that?
Me: Omelette with carmelized onion and Red Leicester cheese.
Him: I'm starving.
I turned the page.
Me: Isn't the photography amazing? I love how everything is styled. Look at those rumpled linens tied with twine.
Me: And this tablecloth. It's quasi-Anthropologie.
Me: And that dress. She's like a Persephone Books heroine come to life.
I was losing him.
I quickly turned the page.
Him: Stop. What's that?
Me: It's called "Paris mash."
Him: (mid-contortion) Read me the recipe.
I did. It involved Puy lentils, red onions, spinach, vegetable stock, mache, creme fraiche.
His pupils dilated slightly.
Him: I bet that's delicious.
I honed in for the kill. Very casually, I turned to this gorgeous spread.
Him (eyes bulging): What. Is. That.
Me: Beetroot soup. She says it's Norway in a bowl. You can eat it hot or cold. (beat) Probably perfect for today.
He stands up, does one final stretch.
Him: I'm going to Whole Foods. Can I take that book with me?