Companion to Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas was an intellectual and epicure, who passionately cooked and collected recipes in Paris. When I read The Alice B Toklas Cook Book for the first time, More than a cookbook and memoir, it could almost be called a work of literary. The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook has ratings and 80 reviews. Paul said: starsYes this really is primarily a cookbook with some reminiscences thrown.

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Recipes from the Famous Cookbook by Alice B. Toklas

Return to Book Page. Preview — The Alice B. Toklas’s rich mixture of menus and memories of meals shared with such famous friends as Wilder, Picasso, and Hemingway, originally published in Paperbackpages.

Published June 1st by Lyons Press first published Gertrude SteinErnest Hemingway. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Alice B. Toklas Cookbookplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Alice B. Lists with Toklaas Book. Sep 06, Paul rated it liked it Shelves: Food was clearly very important in their lives and it is written with great passion.

Contributory to that may be that Toklas had jaundice when she wrote it and was on a strict diet. Most of the recipes are French because that is where Toklas and Stein spent most of their time.

But there are some thrown in from the US and a sprinkling from most other Europ 3. But there are some thrown in from the US and a sprinkling from most other European countries and a few from further afield. Toklas collected recipes all her life and this was her passion.

The arrangement of the recipes is idiosyncratic to say the least, with cokbook order being more of when they were tried and cooked as Toklas takes the reader through the years.

There are lots of asides about the various people they cookboko and places they visited; bit of a restaurant tour of France in the first forty years of the twentieth century. There is a recipe for a leg of lamb which requires the cook to inject the meat with orange juice twice a day for a week whilst it is being marinaded. It seems that most things that moved were eaten. Of course, the most famous recipe in the book is in the chapter which is recipes contributed by friends; Hashish Fudge, with the recommendation that two pieces are enough and a batch will cause great hilarity at any party.

Incidentally, the fudge more accurately a browniehas its own facebook page! There are interesting recollections throughout the book of their friends famous and less famous.

The chapter on the Nazi fookbook is interesting.

The Alice B Toklas Cook Book by Gertrude Stein | Books | The Guardian

Being both Jewish and lesbian, Stein and Toklas cannot have been very comfortable in Nazi occupied France. It is an interesting read; the range of recipes is broad. View all 5 comments. Toklas began to develop a knowledgeable passion for the fine cooking of France. This scintillating literary memoir of a recipe book is one result of that. That, in a nutshell, is to me the prime delight of this book. Alice writes in a very matter of fact style. She remembers buying two hams and hundreds of cigarettes immediately after the San Francisco earthquake, whilst that city was still burning.


Ernest Hemingway and Thornton Wilder number amongst the multitude of characters who pass affectionately through her pages. And the recipes read well.

To my shame I have never cooked any; principally because so very many require copious quantities of butter, cream, and egg yolk. Zero calories, and very, very, satisfying too. Perhaps I ought to design and market a meal-less training course as the new post-Christmas diet? Would I get anyone to part with their money? However, there is ONE infamous recipe that I leave well alone.

The odd couple

The unfortunate editor of this book at Michael Joseph was entirely and blissfully unaware that the principle ingredient, canibis sativa [sic], is otherwise known as marijuana. Unaware, of course, until after this book had been published.

That recipe has now gone down in the annals of folklore. I last heard Press mention of it some six or seven years ago when UK sufferers of multiple sclerosis were lobbying for cannabis to be legalised for medical usage. Read this book for that frisson if you wish; but your prime reason for reading this book should be to experience, learn from, and replicate the warmth, love, and good fellowship of the circle of friends who are inevitably drawn to surround a good and sociable cook.

Jul 14, Rhian rated it it was amazing. The recipes are basically impossible, but that’s immaterial. May 10, Helynne rated it really liked it. Toklas was quite the unusual character in American history and literature, and as she was always the secretary-companion to Gertrude Stein,and never an author herself, it is nice to hear her voice in this volume as well as to receive the numerous recipes from both American and French cuisine that she collected during their life together in France.

But this is far more than just a cookbook. She protested, insisting that her story had already been told in the wonderful Autobiography of Alice B. At its publication inthe book became infamous for its one controversial recipe—Haschich Fudge, which later were known as Alice B. Because the instructions called for ground marijuana along with the sugar, butter, spices and other good things, the recipe was banned from the earlier editions.

More on this recipe later. Housing soldiers and officers had its up side, however.

Some of the men shared recipes from their countries, cooked for the ladies, and procured contraband cheese and other treats that they shared.

Poultry, beef, and fish recipes abound as do soups, salads and countless desserts. These two ladies apparently never worried about calories or cholesterol because these recipes are typically filled with lots of butter, cream, and eggs.


She even gives instructions on how to plant, cultivate, and harvest the guilty herb. In her forward to the book, M. Fisher notes that she has heard the brownies 1 have absolutely no effect, and 2 are potentially lethal. Actually, the recipe sounds totally yummy—chocolatey and dense with nuts, spices, and dried fruits—and I would like to try it someday minus the weed. Lovely recipes for their home-grown vegetables, fruits, and berries follow.

La Toklas nasconde una piccola biografia di quei giorni in questo interessante libro di cucina.

Le ricette citate sono quasi esclusivamente francesi. Si tratta di piatti assaggiati nelle case in cui sono state ospiti, negli alberghi in cui h Alice Toklas incontra Gertrude Stein in Francia, verso la fine della II guerra mondiale.

Si tratta di piatti assaggiati nelle case in cui sono state ospiti, negli alberghi in cui hanno alloggiato, recuperate dai cuochi che hanno lavorato per loro. Molte per me suonano strane, con accostamenti che mai avrei pensato di fare. Ovviamente non manca la citazione dal teatro di Alexandre Dumas padre, che infila ricette anche nelle opere teatrali. Ribadisco che la lettura rimane in primis quella di un ricettario: MFK Fisher really is insufferable. Reading her introduction, followed by Toklas’s friendly, unpretentious book, really just points out what an asshat and classist Fisher was.

That said, Toklas is not much of a writer, and she knows it. She does have great stories, and lived a fascinating life. Ironically, I like it for much the same reason that I liked Fisher’s books from the interwar period: Having it witnessed and recorded by American ex-pats with unpolitical lives is an interesting way to learn how people were living.

As to the recipes: There are a few things here I would make, and it was nice to see my idea of bechamel validated. Largely, though, it’s of interest as a historical document.

It was interesting and a little surprising to read stories in which Stein is famous, as she’s so largely forgotten today. Worth a read, but unlikely to go back, unless it’s for a recipe that’s since gone out of fashion. Sep 08, Kevin rated it it was amazing.

It was the literary bargain of the year for me. This is not the hard-cover, ergo no introduction by MFK Fisher. But, the recipes are presented in a similar fashion to Fisher’s, i. Her flirtation with pot brownies is a fable, inspired by the inclusion of a recipe for “hashish brownies”.

That lone recipe appears in the appendix of recipes from her friends. Some of the recipes are hard to create, because I don’t have access to many of the ingredients. The ingredients and amounts seem inexact for some dishes. My favorite recipe is “Godmother’s Chicken”, which also is inexact. For one, the recipe calls cpokbook “one fine chicken” and I’ve made this dish a dozen times, never knowing whether my chickens met the author’s standards.