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The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection (Modern Library Paperbacks) [Paperback]

By Robert Farrar Capon & Deborah Madison (Introduction by)
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Item Number 158444  
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Item Description...
Combining the glorification of life with a celebration of food, the author presents his favorite recipes, information on cooking and feasting, and comments on beauty, love, and grace.

Publishers Description
From a passionate and talented chef who also happens to be an Episcopalian priest comes this surprising and thought-provoking treatise on everything from prayer to poetry to puff pastry. In The Supper of the Lamb, Capon talks about festal and ferial cooking, emerging as an inspirational voice extolling the benefits and wonders of old-fashioned home cooking in a world of fast food and prepackaged cuisine. This edition includes the original recipes and a new Introduction by Deborah Madison, the founder of Greens Restaurant in San Francisco and author of several cookbooks.
“One of the funniest, wisest, and most unorthodox cookbooks ever written.”
—Craig Claiborne, The New York Times

“The Supper of the Lamb is a rare, distilling nectar, albeit fizzy with bubbles of humor and is fully capable of rescuing us from the dangers of mediocrity daily foisted upon us by the too-fast pace of our lives.”
—From the Introduction by Deborah Madison

“The Supper of the Lamb is as awesomely funny, wise, beautiful, moving, preposterous a book as this reviewer has come across for years....It is a love letter to a world that ‘will always be more delicious
than it is useful.'”
—The New York Times Book Review
Robert Farrar Capon is the author of numerous books on theology, cooking, and family life. His works include Between Noon and Three; Kingdom, Grace, Judgment; and Genesis, the Movie. Capon lives on Shelter Island, New York.
I read the first recipe, an appetizer made of lemon gelatin poured into a banana skin filled with little banana balls. “When opened, the banana looks like a mammoth yellow pea pod,” I concluded triumphantly. “Can you imagine a world in which that sounds like a good idea?” I could. I could put myself in the dining room with its fussy papered walls and hot air. I could see the maid carrying in this masterpiece, hear the exclamations of pleasure from the tightly corseted woman of the house.

But the magic didn't work for Mom; to her this particular doorway to history was closed. So I tried again, choosing something more exotic. “Listen to this,” I said, and began reading.

“Wild strawberries were at their peak in the adjacent forests at this particular moment, and we bought baskets of them promiscuously from the picturesque old denizens of the woods who picked them in the early dawn and hawked them from door to door. The pastry was hot and crisp and the whole thing was permeated with a mysterious perfume. Accompanied by a cool Vouvray, these wild strawberry tarts brought an indescribable sense of well-being."

Anything?” I asked. She shook her head.

Item Specifications...

Pages   284
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.06" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.68"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 2, 2002
Publisher   Modern Library
ISBN  0375760563  
EAN  9780375760563  

Availability  0 units.

About this Author/Artist
Robert Farrar Capon is the author of numerous books on theology, cooking, and family life. His works include Between Noon and Three; Kingdom, Grace, Judgment; and Genesis, the Movie. Capon lives on Shelter Island, New York.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Poor writing masked in philosophical hocus pocus  Dec 30, 2007
I am surprised this book made it into the Modern Library series. George Orwell said that "The inflated style itself is a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details." This sentence could sum up this book.

The book is filled with post-mod nonsense words: an onion is "linear" and have "vectors". What? Vector is not a visual word. And an onion is not linear, not even the cross-section of the onion is linear. I read chapter 2 at least twice and have no idea what its intended meaning should be. Something about sitting down with an onion and describing it in a way that makes other people laugh. Its philosophy in chapter one socks chapter ten in the eye. The book opines that heaven does exist even if it does not occupy physical space, a location. Later on it opines that the calorie does not exist, because it's only a measurement. There are also quasi-stream-of-consciousness writing, post-Emerson-Bly style that is hamfisted, pretentious and dull. The recipes presented are not enough for anyone to dig into this tripe. This book was a complete waste of time, especially if one took it seriously enough the first time round to read a chapter again to glean any meaning it may have. I would give this zero star if I could.
a true bedside cookbook  Dec 12, 2007
Meditations on food are a dime-a-dozen these days. So are books that are extended cultural examinations of a single food or recipe. Some of them are wonderfulAnimal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life,but very few are provocations to cook.
The Supper of the Lamb is, among other things, a reminder of the ordinary pleasures that come from cooking. The author's meditation on peeling an onion is such a marvel that, 2,786,342 onions later (some professionally done, others peeled from love) I still think of it whenever I peel and chop one at home.
I also think often of his concept of a tin fiddle-some simple device or brilliant idea that can be made shinier or more expensive and then sold to a gadget-hungry world. The electric knife is one example, I'm sure you can think of dozens more.
I read this book at the start of my professional culinary life and re-read it again some thirty-five years later. Amen.

Lynn Hoffman, author of New Short Course in Wine,The and another great book for the bedside,bang BANG: A Novel
Full-throttle joy of living  Sep 6, 2006
This is one of the most exceptional books I've read. Bold, funny, grumpy, and wise, it is a beautifully-written cookbook and dazzling radiance of commentary.

To read this fine book is like sitting on a stool in Capon's kitchen, listening to this old-school master talk (as he slow-cooks) on subjects as diverse as onions, knives, wine, love, dinner parties, and baking soda ("the Most Extraordinary Ordinary Thing in the World").

The thing I most appreciate about this book is its unapologetic, hurricane-force, declaration of JOY with life and life's Creator. "Supper of the Lamb" is almost operatic in its celebration of God, real foods, the earth, and wine. The book is a zero-tolerance zone for synthetic foods, ideas or people.

BE WARNED: "Supper of the Lamb" was first published 37 years ago. The language flow is so beautifully full that it's a little like eating lamb after decades of consuming malted milk balls and pork rinds.

Meditations on Food  Dec 31, 2003
Food writing is a difficult task. It's much easier to jot down a few (or many) recipes that describe the feelings, emotion and psychology of the food experience. One advantage that food writing has over, say car writing or sports writing, is the multitude of functionality. One can raise, prepare, buy, eat and savor food. It is used for romance, for celebration, for friendship, bereavement or religious fulfillment. In fact, to some it is almost a religious experience.

This is especially true of the author, Robert Capon, a priest in the Episcopal church. He can be deep, funny, poignant or edifying. These various essays touch on many subjects, all of them related one way or another to food. His comments like, "God may be simple but simplicity makes a bad god." are par for the course.

His strong likes (natural food, discipline, earnest preparation and freinds) and dislikes (fancy stoves, kitchen gadgets, easy recipes, strong cologne, arriving late) are fully detailed. A compendium of recipes follow the essays.

Joy to the World!  Sep 22, 2003
I came across The Supper of the Lamb at a particularly deep and prolonged nadir in my life, and not being particularly religious, I was sceptical. O what joy! What love! What exuberance, richness, fertility and fancy! What unbounded wonder! Father Capon shows us the wonder in ordinary things, and shows us how to look, really look, at humble, quotidian things to see the glory in them -- the chapter on a simple brown onion is worth the entire book. So is the chapter on wine. Again and again, I've stretched out my hand and the right book was there. Thank you Father Capon for showing me the way back to laughter, love and celebration! L'chaim!

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