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complicated recipes


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#1 trillium

trillium
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Posted 06 October 2003 - 11:25 AM

First of all, I'd like to add to the chorus singing your praises. I've found your _Mediterranean Greens and Grains_ book to be very instrumental in adding more vegetables into my diet in a delicious, varied and interesting way, especially in the winter months when all you see at the market is greens, greens and more greens. As I've told you privately, and I'll repeat here, one of the recipes in that book has made it possible for me to eat spinach, which had been on the "I can't do it" list. I'm delighted that you're spending time here at eGullet.

My question is sort of an extension of the one posed by Jonathan Day, but I'm going to go into more dangerous territory. I'm wondering about your response to the professional criticism regarding your writing that has not been positive. I'm thinking in particular about the essay that John Thorne wrote about you, and his contention that the literary food world needs more vigorous debate and very different schools of writing, instead of just being a large club of mutual admirers (I'm paraphrasing him here). I'm in a field where there is a tremendous amount of criticism leveled at what you do, and I feel for the most part it is very constructive and helps me do what I do better. Although I'll admit the occasional comment will have me awake at night, seething. Do you feel like this sort of criticism has its place in the food writing world? Has it changed your writing in a positive or negative sense?


regards,
trillium

#2 Wolfert

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Posted 07 October 2003 - 04:49 PM

Ok you are in dangerous territory and I shall go directly to the John Thorne section of your query. I'm all for serious discussion and give-and-take, but I don't like "snarky" reviews or snarkiness in any form, and I don't participate in it which is why I never answered Thorne. Certainly, our field is large enough to embrace contending views. John Thorne is, of course, entitled to his opinion. But I can promise you that nothing he wrote about me had any effect on my work or my approach. (In the case of some of his criticisms, I still don't know what he was driving at and it has been almost 20 years!) Anyway, it's boring old stuff, water under the bridge. I continue to do what I feel I do best and I stand by all my reporting, including every instance where Thorne claims he has "doubts." And I'm amused that even now he seems to take so much pride in his attack.Such a brilliant hatchet job! Such glory! Such courage too!
And so much fun (I gather!) to nail the old broad to the culinary
barn wall!

On the other hand, trillium, I am not angry that you have asked me about Thorne and please don't take this screed personally. I never dealt in print with Thorne before this forum. And lo and behold you provoked me and I thought "oh, what the hell!"
“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

#3 trillium

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 10:23 AM

Thanks for being such a good sport about my provocation... and keep those complicated recipes coming!

regards,
trillium