Reading the Classics: 5 Favourite Foodie Quotes from Laurie Colwins Home Cooking


I’ve been reading Home Cooking as my bedtime book and I LOVE it, it’s so easy to dip in and out of and is mostly about finding the meaningfulness in everyday things. Here are 5 of my favourite foodie quotes from the novel.

Home Cooking: An Introduction

In foreign countries I am drawn into grocery shops, supermarkets and kitchen supply houses. I explain this by reminding my friends that, as I was taught in my Introduction to Anthropology, it is not just the Great Works of mankind that make a culture. It is the daily things, like what people eat and how they serve it.

Starting Out in the Kitchen

The loveliest scrambled eggs I have ever had were given to me by a not crazy young man, an Englishman who insisted that scrambled eggs should be made in a double boiler. The result is a cross between a scrambled egg and a savoury custard, and if you happen to have forty minutes of free time some day it is certainly worth the effort. You scramble the eggs and add a tablespoon of cream. You then put a lump of butter into the top of a double boiler and when it melts, add the eggs. Stir constantly, remembering to have your blood cholesterol checked at the soonest possible moment. Stir as in boiled custard until you feel either that your arm is going to fall off or that you are going to start to scream uncontrollably. It is wise you have someone you adore talking to in the kitchen while you make these eggs, or be listening to something very compelling on the radio. If you have truly mastered the art of keeping a telephone under your chin without its falling to the floor, a telephone visit always makes the time go faster.

These scrambled eggs did NOT take 40 minutes to make but were lovely nontheless

English Food

Photo Credit – GQ Article on the 11 best Pie and Mash shops in London

I was recently on the phone to someone in Argentina, he’s been living in Buenos Aires for the past fews years and has taken to speaking English with a thick Spanish accent (despite being from Hornchurch) he remarked that the food in Argentina is far superior to anything one can find in England. ‘WHAT, even Pie and Mash?’ I responded incredulously, well…” he said sheepishly, ‘perhaps not Pie and Mash.’

“If you work up the courage to confess that you like English food people are apt to sneer and tell you that it is impossible to get a decent meal in the British Isles and that the English know nothing about cooking. Even the English, some of whom have been brought up on a dread substance known as School Food, often feel this way. England, of course has a long and grand tradition of cooking – it is a much plainer and more forthright variety than that of France and, since is is of a cold climate, it does not have the sun-drenched style of, say Italian food, but it has pleasures all its own. It is possible to get nasty food everywhere, but with the exception of a few eccentric meals fed to me by my peers, the only awful thing I ever ate in England was a packaged pork pie; but then a person who eats a packaged pork pie gets what she deserves.”

Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant

“Dinner alone is one of life’s pleasures. Certainly cooking for oneself reveals man at his weirdest. People lie when you ask them what they eat when they are alone. A salad, they tell you. But when you persist they confess to peanut butter and bacon sandwiches deep fried and eaten with hot sauce, or spaghetti with butter and grape jam.”

My “Man at his Weirdest” sandwich

My favourite sandwich reveals me at my “weirdest” brown seeded bread filled with latkas, fish fingers and fried aubergines! Don’t forget to add a generous dollop of mayo and enjoy the ultimate in “brown” food.

and finally …

I am never on a diet regime I can’t be talked out of”

You and me both Laurie, you and me both!

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