I Jonathan Franzens The Corrections er en av hovedpersonene, Denise Lambert, kokk. Eller som de sier i boka: hun er ikke en cook, men en chef. Med det følger beskrivelser av vin, mat og reiser til Italia og Frankrike i kokkekunstens tjeneste.
"There's a poached salmon in the fridge. A crème fraîche with sorrel. A salad with green beans and hazelnuts. You'll se the wine and baguette and the butter. It's good fresh butter from Vermont."
She'd quit school and worked to save money for a year, had taken six months in France and Italy, and had returned to Philly to cook at a thronged fish-and-pasta place off Catharine Street.
She taught them how to make spinach pasta and how to tango.
Hyllebærsorbé og hyllebærsuppe!
In Denise's kitchen, after shopping, she peeled potatoes immaculately or rolled out simple doughs while the cook contrived lagniappes for a child's palate: wedges of pear, strips of homemade mortadella, elderberry sorbet in a doll-size bowl of elderberry soup, lambsmeat ravioli Xed with mint-charged olive oil, cubes of fried polenta.
Denises bror, Chip, derimot, får ikke spist noe særlig bra mat, fattig som han er; arbeidsløs og med en ubrukelig litteraturvitenskapsutdannelse, som han ikke en gang kan bruke som lærer, siden han nettopp har fått sparken fra unversitetsjobben etter å ha involvert seg med en student.
[...] he suspected that the minimum price of further conversation with her would be an overpriced lunch of mesquite-grilled autumn vegetables and a bottle of Sancerre for which he had no conceivable way of paying.
Bortsett fra muffinsene da, som han får i en kurv utenfor døra si.
He lowered the blinds and drank the wine, and brought himself off again and again, and ate two more cupcakes, detecting peppermint in them, a faint buttery peppermint, before he slept.
Anyways. Story of my life:
Finally he abandoned the Italian idea altogether and fixed on the only other lunch he could think of - a salad of wild rice, avocado, and smoked turkey breast. The problem then was to find ripe avocados. In store after store he found either no avocados or walnut-hard avocados. He found ripe avocados that were the size of limes and cost $3.89 apiece. He stood holding five of them and considered what to do. He put them down and picked them up and put them down and couldn't pull the trigger. He weathered a spasm of hatred of Denise for having guilted him into inviting his parents to lunch. He had the feeling that he'd never eaten anything in his life but wild-rice salad and tortellini, so blank was his culinary imagination.
Skjønner ikke helt at det går ann å befinne seg i New York City uten å få tak i avokadoer. Kanskje byen ikke er så fet likevel.
Og til sist, det er ikke bare jeg som gleder meg til frokost når jeg legger meg:
"Sometimes I get so excited thinking about my morning coffee," Mr. Söderblad said, "I can't fall asleep at night."