Monday, August 3, 2009

Hungry, Dahling?

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 (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.
Him: Hmmph.

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?


The Glamorous Housewife said...

I am not sure I have ever read a post about a cookbook as delightful as this one. And now I must own that book, though I will wait until 2010 so as to get the Americanized one. I am very lazy ;).

Thanks doll,
The Glamorous Housewife

Unknown said...

Haha that was a success. You need to give lessons on how to keep a man's attention–well played! The omelette with carmelized onion and Red Leicester cheese looks absolutely amazing!

P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

Lisa, This is a wonderful book, honestly-I was reading through mine last night! I have a cookbook fetish-I don't actually do a great deal of cooking. I just parted with the banding around the book last night-should have kept it as a marker, I may have to retrieve it.Yes the photography is delicious looking ,as are the dishes.

Paperback Reader said...

Amazing review!
I have been coveting this book since it was published. Must have it.

pve design said...

What a perfect book and a lovely bit of inspiration... I love borscht...and my man does too! I shall add this book to my list.

Gigi Thibodeau said...

I am head over heels for this book just from reading your post. I'm going to be in London later this week, and you know that is one of the first things on my list to buy. Thank you!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

You already have it?! I have been reading about this book and salivating with desire.

Love Sophie. I can see Patrica Neal in her face so clearly.

Pigtown*Design said...

Do you have the Petersham Nurseries Cookbook? They're a garden shop with an award-winning restaurant on site. It's just a stunning cookbook and the images are ravishing.

Prairie Girl Studio said...

tee hee ... well played lisa! i know i have said this before, but i love your writing style ... if i was miss dahl, i would be so delighted with this most delectable posting that has all of us drooling to have our own copies ...
thanks so much ~ bon appetit!

Pimm's and Lemonade said...

Thank you dear Lisa. Just got back from London and was so loaded down with books (from Daunts and Persephone) and couldn't squeeze this one in unfortunately. Thanks to your link to "Stuck in a Book" I visited the Fabiola exhibition at Nat'l Portrait Gallery. Also saw the Waterhouse and Summer Exhibition at Royal Academy. Do you know Ben Pentreath ( near Persephone? Also finally visited Chelsea Arts Club....yay! A nice contrast to the Reform Club, our usual haunt. Was also able to get into the Wolesely for dinner. Double yay! More later...

Kalee said...

Great post! I am going to need this book :).

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Thats what the blog is for, darling -to share with all of us! That really looks delicious, especially that beet soup! I just may have to check out that book!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

ps - aren't the cherries this year great? My weekend breakfast was toast with marmalade, a pile of cherries and a pot of tea -start the day off right!

mary said...

I've made her banana bread recipe which is delicious, especially for breakfast - dark and quite heavy - though it defeats me why I can't eat things like that and look like Sophie Dahl! I love your pretty breakfast setting. Makes me ashamed to think of all my pretty china sitting unused in cupboards.

Laura said...

Oh I read about this book somewhere...and then promptly forgot about it! Thanks so much for the lovely reminder, the borscht is calling to me.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Glamorous: Smooches to you. And you're not lazy to wait, you'll have an easier time not translating all the cooking instructions(!)

KT: I have three fail-safe ways of getting the D.I.'s attention: mid-stretch, mid-hot tub and mid-martini.

Little Augury: Ugh, my pink banding came all crumpled up so I tossed it. I would have kept it otherwise. Love that you have a cookbook fetish too!

Paperback Reader, PVE, Pamela Terry and Consummate Hostess: Check out the Daily Mail recipes excerpted from her book. Maybe they'll hold you over until the US version is published. xx

Gig: You're welcome! Have a wonderful time in London!

Pigtown: NO, I don't have the Petersham book, but I know all about it and am totally intrigued by Skye Gingell. Have read many an article on her in Tatler, British Vogue, etc. I have a feeling that thanks to you, I'll be ordering that book later today. :)

Prairie Girl: Smooches to you as well...your comments always make my day.

Pimms and Lemonade: It sounds like you did it ALL. How lovely that you went to the Chelsea Arts Club. Haven't been to the Wolseley yet, but want to, was it great? And oh, Stuck in a Book is the best, isn't he?

And is SICK. INSANE. AMAZING. (How did I not know about this?) I will be spending the rest of the day on their website placing an imaginary order.

Architect Design: Yes, cherries this year ARE spectacular. I love that we are eating the same breakfast thousands of miles apart...although soon, you'll be feasting on pain au chocolate et une "noisette" (espresso with a dash of cream, mmmm)!

M: 1. I will have to make that banana bread now that you've told me it's delicious.
2. I know, it's so unfair she looks like that (but she sounds absolutely lovely, so we can't begrudge her!)
3. USE the good china. What are you waiting for?

Laura: The borscht is calling to me too. The Daily Mail has the recipe if you want to make it. Check the link I provided.

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Hi Lisa-

Welcome back, in fine form!

Cookbooks: I don't cook but I do 'read' cookbook pictures. Stylist here and photographer created evocative and lush images.
Book looks delicous.
In UK Sophie is a best-selling author of some years and very beloved as she is unpretentious and Rubenesque...

Simply Mel {Reverie} said...

I love the playful tale between your husband and you! The books sounds delightful...I need it now!

Laura McLaws Helms said...

Wow, everything looks delicious especially the recipe with the lentils. I wasn't so sure about it when I heard she was writing a cookbook, but from what I can see here it looks a success.

abby jenkins said...

I have always thought Sophie was so chic and her cookbook looks like it will not disappoint! Thanks for sharing.

skirmishofwit said...

I had a lovely giggle over this post! I shall definitely be looking out for the cookbook now. I have been reading your blog for a few months now and am always so impressed by your lovely pictures and great sense of style.

Kim said...

Oh Joy! The one time I am glad to have - must order that book! You may like Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook which is a veritable feast for the eyes (as is her Great Vegetable Plot.) Also what to eat now by Valentine Warner- for a lanky posh bloke he becomes incredibly sexy in the kitchen!

Rocio said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. everything: the good news about you, your morning tea party and your "tale of enchantment" of the Divine Italian - I think the smile on my face will last me all day!!!And that book.....I am salivating, as I approach lunch time here !!!

Debra said...

Thank you for the tip on what sounds like a true winner. I shall add this to my very long wish list of more cookbooks. I think you can never have too many. Love your blog Lisa.

Unknown said...

Hmmm, Ohh, Yes - yes - yees, I am having what she's having.....
I could not help myself, but that comes to mind.....
I am going to find this book!
Makes me want to cook and travel!

Angie Muresan said...

Umm, out of curiosity, did the Divine Italian deliver?
The book is gorgeous, of course, but what I love is your little breakfast spread. Beautiful right down to that little linen napkin. I bet it is old and embroidered. Absolutely enchanting!

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Kim: I loved watching Sarah Raven and her husband Adam Nicolson's attempts to restore his family home on BBC's recent documentary series, "Sissinghurst." Sarah struck me as immensely practical -- will check out her cookbook as well as Valentine Warner's. Thank you!

Angie: The Divine Italian made the Paris mache and it was seriously delicious. And that napkin (1 or 8) was bought my my mother in Majorca in the '60's and never used until I got ahold of them...:) One MUST use things, I believe. Otherwise they are handed down to the next generation devoid of memories.

Miss Cavendish said...

Norway in a bowl. I spent a lovely week in Trondheim, followed by Oslo. I'd be thrilled to have that in a bowl.

Lily said...

Another 2 fabulous reads where the art of cooking and writing are perfectly married: Honey from a Weed by Patience Gray (wild rosemary and stone mortars and centuries old recipes from Catalan women dressed in black...) and Writing at the Kitchen table by Artemis Cooper, a biography of Elizabeth David... It makes me want to start kneading bread dough on a rustic wooden table in an old farmhouse!

JamaGenie said...

I *must* find this book! But I, too, will wait for the American version....unless of course one of my Brit friends forces the UK version on me at Christmas. ;)

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

Ok, insanely jealous you beat me to the book, and I am willing to plead, beg, borrow, and steal a much more in depth glance over your shoulder than a mere blog can divulge!

I'm ringing Tessa first thing in the morning to allert them about your delightful blog, and ask for my very own signed copy.

This made my night!

StuckInABook said...

What a wonderful post! And my mouth is watering at that lentils/spinach etc. recipe. Mmmm...


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