The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

September 11, 2012

Food from books: the promise of pears

{Newport, September 11, 1878.}  'Newport offers its usual Autumn attractions which I think you know how to appreciate of old. The season, indeed, is over ... But we are having splendid weather, and the rocks, the sea, the goldenrod & the stewed pears are here to welcome you as usual.'

{Italy, March 27 1887.} ' On the way back, we passed a little villa, only one story high, & painted yellow. It was marked 'to let or for sale,' & just as were looking at it an old peasant woman came along with a key & opened the door. Of course we pretended  that we wanted to hire it, so she invited us in. A narrow hall gave on a double flight of steps covered with ivy & these led down to a delicious little garden full of mandarin trees. ... It was all so still, delicious, sunshiny & out-of-the-world that I should have liked to take possession of it on the spot. -- We thanked the old lady, & were about to leave, when she stopped us, & kicking off her wooden shoes, climbed with amazing ease to the top of a high mandarin-tree, & came down with two bunches of fruit for us1 -- In what other country can one have such experiences? -- Imagine Doyle 'shimming' up a [Pencraig] pear tree to offer fruit to our visitors!'

-- Edith Wharton to Anna Bahlmann, in My Dear Governess: 
The Letters of Edith Wharton to Anna Bahlmann
edited by Irene Goldman-Price


Vintage Reading said...

Love these extracts. Nothing quite like a literary letter. I've just been reading the letters of Jane Austen - clearly never intended for publication but full of fascinating detail about friends, family, food and clothes.

Nan said...

Letters like this are more interesting than many books! These are really wonderful passages.

Karen K. said...

This sounds lovely. I'm a huge Wharton fan so I'll have to seek this one out. Thanks for sharing it!!

And I love pears -- one of my favorite recipes in the world is Chocolate Pear Pudding from Laurie Colwin's More Home Cooking. It's reprinted from a cookbook by Josceline Dimbleby. It's delicious and incredibly easy.

Thank you for visiting!

Card Catalog

#6barsets #emma200th #maisie #PalliserParty #Woolfalong A.A. Milne Agatha Christie Alexander McCall Smith Allison Pearson Amy Lowell Angela Thirkell Ann Bridge Anne Perry Anthony Trollope Anticipation Armchair Travels Art Audiobooks Barbara Pym Biography Bloomsbury Bookish things Boston British Library Crime Classics Cambridge Cathleen Schine Charles Dickens Coffee-table books Cookbooks D.E. Stevenson Deborah Crombie Donna Leon Dorothy L. Sayers Dorothy Whipple E.H. Young E.M. Delafield E.M. Forster Edith Wharton Elinor Lipman Elizabeth Gaskell Elizabeth Jenkins Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth von Arnim Ellizabeth Taylor Emily Dickinson Ernest Hemingway Eudora Welty Fiction Films Food from Books Food Writing Found on a Blog George Eliot Georgette Heyer Helen Ashton Henry James History Homes and Haunts Ideas Imogen Robertson Isabella Stewart Gardner Jacqueline Winspear Jane Austen Joanna Trollope Julia Child Language Laurie Colwin Letters Library Books Literature Louise Andrews Kent Louise Penny M.F.K. Fisher Madame Bovary Madame de Sévigné Madame de Staël Margaret Kennedy Margery Sharp Martha Grimes Mary Shelley Memoirs Miss Read My Year with Edith Mysteries Nathaniel Hawthorne Nonfiction Nook Only Connect P.D. James Paris in July Persephones Plays Poetry Pride and Prejudice 200 Queen Victoria R.I.P. Reading England 2015 Ruth Rendell Sarah Orne Jewett Short Stories Switzerland Sylvia Beach Team Middlemarch The 1924 Club The Brontës the Carlyles The Classics Club Thomas Hardy Virago Virginia Woolf Washington Irving Willa Cather William Maxwell Winifred Peck Winifred Watson