I recently finished reading Anne Mendelson’s 1996 book Stand Facing the Stove. It’s a dense and interesting biography of Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer, and the cooking compendium they created, Joy of Cooking.
I picked up the book to learn about the food writing of the last 100 years. Mendelson’s well-researched volume did not disappoint. We meet Julie Child, James Beard, and Cecily Brownstone. We meet two women, mother and daughter, who write and re-write the book that is most likely in your kitchen right now.
Tuesday’s blizzard was more like the joy of snowing and in this regard, I’ve spent a few hours flinging the flakes around. My writing schedule is out of sorts and I’ve run out of time for a thoughtful composition about this amazing story.
Stop back here Monday when I revise this post and tell you more about the big book which begins with “Cocktails” and the big personality of Irma S. Rombauer who opens up an earlier edition with these cheery words.
“The chief virtue of cocktails is their informal quality. They loosen tongues and unbutton the reserves of the socially diffident. Serve them by all means, preferably in the living room, and the sooner the better. They may be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. For the benefit of the minority serve the latter with the former.”