Monday, October 1, 2007

Talk about eating to live or living to eat!

I'm reading this fabulous book called "Paris in the Fifties" by Stanley Kurnow who has a chapter on Curnonsky, The Prince of Gastronomes, who literally wrote the book on French cooking, "France Gastronomique, which ultimately appeared in twenty-eight volumes late in the 1920's."

"He ate only one full meal a day, always in a restaurant except when he was required to attend a function. Following dinner, he would work at his littered desk until dawn, then bathe, go to sleep, awake at three or four in the afternoon, breakfast on a boiled egg and a glass of warm milk, receive visitors and wait for his acolytes to appear for the nightly ritual."

Alas, eventually by the mid-50's, "His health, once so robust, was failing, and he had been forbidden everything but toast and milk. In 1956, depressed by the gloomy diet, he jumped to his death from his apartment window. Addressing a suicide note to a friend, he cautioned, 'Avoid the left leg of the partridge, since it perches on that limb, which makes the blood circulation sluggish.'"

Now, that is FRENCH!

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