1. My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people.
2. Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.
3. Theatres are curious places, magician’s trick-boxes where the golden memories of dramtic triumphs linger like nostalgic ghosts, and where the unexplainable, the fantastic, the tragic, the comic and the absurd are routine occurences on and off the stage. Murders, mayhem, politcal intrigue, lucrative business, secret assignations, and of course, dinner.
4. Except for cases that clearly involve a homicidal maniac, the police like to believe murders are committed by those we know and love, and most of the time they’re right – a chilling thought when you sit down to dinner with a family of five. All those potential killers passing their plates.
5. Badger hates Society, and invitations, and dinner, and all that sort of thing.
6. There are times when wisdom cannot be found in the chambers of parliament or the halls of academia but at the unpretentious setting of the kitchen table.
7. She asked if I loved another woman, so I answered honestly and said, “Dinner was great, but I could go for dessert.
8. Tori joined us for dinner –in body, at least. She spent the meal practicing for a role in the next zombie movie, expressionless, methodically moving fork to mouth, sometimes even with food on it.
9. You can’t possibly ask me to go without having some dinner. It’s absurd. I never go without my dinner. No one ever does, except vegetarians and people like that.
10. If a restaurant offers crayons, I always take them and color throughout the meal. It beats talking to the people I came to dinner with.
11. Well let’s face it, who on earth besides antique dealers and gay couples actually still give dinner parties?
12. He methodically basted the dark skin of the Alsatian, which he had stuffed with garlic and herbs.
“One rule in life”, he murmured to himself. “If you can smell garlic, everything is all right”.
13. This table is a pigeon trap. A dozen different forks and knives and spoons. Four different goblets. All of them just waiting to be knocked over or misapplied and mishandled. It’s a wonder anyone is ever tempted to eat.
14. However, for all his affection and loyalty towards the animal, the dog would soon be leaving him – they would both be present at a celebratory dinner when they reached the roof, he reflected with a touch of gallows-humour, but the poodle would be in the pot.
15. Food is not simply organic fuel to keep body and soul together, it is a perishable art that must be savoured at the peak of perfection.
16. Every year the hunters shot cows and horses and family pets and each other. And unbelievably, they sometimes shot themselves, perhaps in a psychotic episode where they mistook themselves for dinner
17. Democracy was supposed to champion freedom of speech, and yet the simple rules of table decorum could clamp down on the rights their forefathers had fought and died for.
18. One should never do anything that one cannot talk about after dinner.
19. If you want to grow up to be a big, strong pea, you have to eat your candy,” Papa Pea would say.
20. I have never understood why a woman must have a man to take her into dinner.
21. Your favorite occupation? Travel in contested territory. Hard-working writing and reading when safely home, in the knowledge that an amusing friend is later coming to dinner.
22. In your name, the family name is at last because it’s the family name that lasts.
23. Poppy: What makes you think I’m having dinner with you?
Jake: Because you can’t sit in your room and eat ice cream and chips two nights in a row. You’ll get scurvy. You need vitamin C.
24. They served “Good Food” but only a G, an O and a D were lit up. Personally, I doubted God dined there. Unless God was keen on samonella poisoning and rat droppings in the hamburgers. But then again, what did I know?
25. That´s the problem with planning a late night supper after the opera, not only does the hero or the heroine die singing, but you end up famished after the last notes of the finale.
26. Well, I haven’t really anything to eat at home, I began, but then stopped, as I realised that a dreary revelation of the state of one’s larder was hardly the way to respond to an invitation to dinner.
27. The host took care to produce one or another of these whenever the current subjects seemed about used up, so that the conversation gathered new life and at the same time steered clear of political arguments, which are hindersome to both ingestion and digestion.
28. Everyone is in such a good mood when they’ve eaten well.
29. That evening after dinner, I picked lemons from the tree in the backyard, the fruits golden bulbs under the rising moon.
30. The guests would want refreshments of some kind, but there was no time to prepare a full-blown breakfast. The Americans would have to be content with beverages until a midmorning “nuncheon” could be assembled.
Rapidly Aline went through a mental list of the contents of the pantry and larders. She decided they would set out crystal bowls of strawberries and raspberries, pots of butter and jam, along with bread and cake. Some asparagus salad and broiled bacon would also be nice, and Aline would also tell the housekeeper, Mrs. Faircloth, to serve the chilled lobster soufflé that had been intended as a supper course for later in the day. Something else could be substituted at dinner, perhaps some tiny salmon cutlets with egg sauce, or sweetbreads with celery stalks
31. Each course was more delectable than the last. Phoebe would have thought nothing could have surpassed the efforts of the French cook at Heron’s Point, but this was some of the most delicious fare she’d ever had. Her bread plate was frequently replenished with piping-hot milk rolls and doughy slivers of stottie cake, served with thick curls of salted butter. The footmen brought out perfectly broiled game hens, the skin crisp and delicately heat-blistered… fried veal cutlets puddled in cognac sauce… slices of vegetable terrine studded with tiny boiled quail eggs. Brilliantly colorful salads were topped with dried flakes of smoked ham or paper-thin slices of pungent black truffle. Roasted joints of beef and lamb were presented and carved beside the table, the tender meat sliced thinly and served with drippings thickened into gravy.
32. The Challons’ cook and kitchen staff had outdone themselves with a variety of dishes featuring spring vegetables and local fish and game. Although the cook back home at Eversby Priory was excellent, the food at Heron’s Point was a cut above. There were colorful vegetables cut into tiny julienne strips, tender artichoke hearts roasted with butter, steaming crayfish in a sauce of white burgundy and truffles, and delicate filets of sole coated with crisp breadcrumbs. Pheasant covered with strips of boiled potatoes that had been whipped with cream and butter into savory melting fluff. Beef roasts with peppery crackled hides were brought out on massive platters, along with golden-crusted miniature game pies, and macaroni baked with Gruyère cheese in clever little tart dishes.
33. His attempt at polite discussion having been rebuffed, Cam sat back as the soup was removed and the second course was brought out. Sweetbreads in béchamel sauce, partridges nestled in herb beds, pigeon pies, roast snipe, and vegetable soufflé laced the air with a cacophony of rich scents.
34. Before Cam could pursue the matter, however, the soup course was brought out. Footmen and underbutlers worked in harmony to present huge steaming tureens of salmon soup with lime and dill, nettle soup with cheese and caraway floats, watercress soup garnished with slivers of pheasant, and mushroom soup laced with sour cream and brandy.
35. But the sky was a pale lavender, soon to be swallowed by dark. They were expected home before this happened, home for a supper of fall vegetables and Mother’s good yeast bread, and maybe some meat- squirrel most likely. And for dessert they could eat as many crunchy apples, the first of the fall season, as they wanted.
36. Planchet, two hours before, had asked his master for some dinner, and he had answered him with the proverb, “He who sleeps, dines.” And Planchet dined by sleeping.”
37. The tour concluded with our buying the ingredients for shabu-shabu to enjoy that night with Tomiko and her husband. Sitting around the wooden table in Tomiko’s kitchen, we drank frosty Kirin beers and munched on edamame, fresh steamed soybeans, nutty and sweet, that we pulled from their salt-flecked pods with our teeth. Then Tomiko set down a platter resplendent with gossamer slices of raw beef, shiitake mushrooms, cauliflower florets, and loamy-tasting chrysanthemum leaves to dip with long forks into a wide ceramic bowl of bubbling primary dashi. I speared a piece of sirloin. “Wave the beef through the broth,” instructed Tomiko, “then listen.” Everyone fell silent.
As the hot dashi bubbled around the ribbon of meat, it really did sound as though it was whispering “shabu-shabu,” hence the onomatopoeic name of the dish.
I dipped the beef in a sauce of toasted ground sesame and soy and as I chewed, the rich roasted cream mingled with the salty meat juices.
“Try this one,” urged Tomiko, passing another sauce of soy and sesame oil sharpened with lemony yuzu, grated radish, and hot pepper flakes. I tested it on a puffy cube of warm tofu that Tomiko had retrieved from the dashi with a tiny golden wire basket. The pungent sauce invigorated the custardy bean curd.
38. In honor of Hunter’s homecoming, Mrs. Rouillé had prepared his favorite meal: spit-roasted partridge garnished with lemon, accompanied by creamed eggplant, boiled artichokes, and a steamed macaroni pudding covered with butter and shaved cheese.
39. and I pondered this curiously crazy life and the things I failed to grasp as a girl but thought I understood now as a softer, wiser woman I thought about life and death… I thought about tonight’s dinner menu too…
40. Joséphine helped me prepare dinner: a salad of green beans and tomatoes in spiced oil, red and black olives from the Thursday market stall, walnut bread, fresh basil from Narcisse, goat’s cheese, red wine from Bordeaux.
41. At least there’s nothing traditional about an engagement dinner, so we’ll be spared having to prepare a twelve-course wedding banquet loaded with meaning. There will be no roasted pig to symbolize purity. No bright red lobster for luck. No shark fin soup for wealth.
42. A formal ten-course Chinese dinner was a deliberate courtship of the senses. The appetizers of cold plate meats gave way to steaming fish maw soup, cold and hot introductions to titillate and delight before the showcase of entrees: beef, pork, chicken, fish, seafood, vegetables. The ensuing textures, aromas, and flavors seduced, fulfilling the promises of the first courses. The inclusion of noodle and rice dishes provided a sense of comfort. The final dessert course of sesame balls stuffed with red-bean paste sealed the engagement on the sweetest of notes.
43. The room had been decked with late-blooming roses that cast up a sugary glasshouse scent. Yet amongst the profusion of china and silver, the atmosphere was one of flamboyance, rather than celebration. Mrs. Croxon announced that we should eat ‘exactly the Bill of Fare as given by a most genteel Countess at Bath’. I had no appetite for sardines in mustard, creamed oats and kidneys, for I had a stomach full of butterflies, as my mother had called my fits of nerves.
44. To start, there were small salads- the thinnest slivers of red and yellow pepper, slow roasted and glistening with olive oil, and the simplest blend of carrots and golden onions, heady with the smell of cumin.
Then came the fish, its sauce simmered with saffron and tomatoes, thickened with ground almonds. I served myself the merest spoonful or two. “Elle est stratégique.” Affif winked with approval. “She knows what’s coming.” I wanted to savor every bite, even if it was a small one, nothing blurred by the rebellion of a tired palate. I plucked a toothpick out of the end of an oblong white calamari. It was stuffed with rice and peppers, a curly violet-tipped tentacle poking out here and there.
45. They were served asparagus in a mousseline sauce so delicious you could faint, then the Easter pâté à la Paulette Lestafier, then a roasted carré d’agneau accompanied by tians of tomatoes, and zucchini with thyme flowers, then a tart of strawberries and wild strawberries with homemade whipped cream.
46. Sure you don’t want another helping?”
I made a classic French blanquette de veau, an old-school veal stew with a white wine sauce, served over wide pappardelle noodles that I tossed with butter, lemon zest, and chives, and some steamed green beans. I also made a loaf of crusty bread using the no-knead recipe that everyone is doing these days and is so simple and so delicious.
“I think three plates is plenty!” Glenn laughs. “Besides, I’m pretty sure I saw some dessert in there, so I had better leave a sliver of room.”
“You got me there.” I made a fallen chocolate soufflé cake filled with chocolate mousse. Mrs. O’Connor always talked about being married to a chocoholic: apparently Glenn believes that if it isn’t chocolate, it isn’t dessert. While he will happily eat any dessert placed in front of him, from fruit pies to vanilla ice cream, if there is no chocolate, he will literally stop on the way home for a Hershey bar or a drive-through chocolate milk shake.
47. Preparing a dish or a meal is not merely an effort to satisfy physical hunger but often a quest for the good life.
48. d there, as promised, was the grizzly bear habitat, dozens of the brown and black bears ambling along grass and tree below. Yet, from my position above, I did not fear—as I might have a snake—the large animals, or concern myself with the notion of a gondola-gone wrong and accidentally tumbling into their home like dinner falling into place on a well-set table. It was as if we were viewing a dozen worlds in a single instant, partaking in the thrill of it all.
49. Waiters began to appear with tureens of soup, platters of fish and meat, and bowls of vegetables. Another with a huge gold tasting spoon hanging like a necklace at his chest showed the Count a bottle of wine, which he approved, and when opened, sniffed the cork, and then nodded so that a glass could be poured for me. He ordered the waiters to put everything on the table and retreat to the rear of the room. “I will serve her,” he said. “Tell me what you would like, Mina.”
I opened my mouth to speak, but he put a finger to my lips. “Not that way. Tell me with your thoughts.”
Without looking at the food, I directed my attention by scent to the tureen of turtle soup, whose aroma I recognized from my first dinner at the asylum. “Yes, good,” the Count said, ladling out a small bowlful for me. “What else?”
I relished the aromas of the white fish with wine and capers, the lamb with mint sauce, and the carrots, but rejected the turnips, which I had eaten for so many years at Miss Hadley’s that I had come to abhor them. My repulsion made him laugh, and he signaled for a waiter to take the bowl away.
50. Some people when they see cheese, chocolate or cake they don’t think of calories.
51. Some of us can live without a society but not without a family.
52. Hey, my spaghetti’s moving!” cried Mr. Twit, poking around in it with his fork.
“It’s a new kind,” Mrs. Twit said, taking a mouthful from her own plate which of course had no worms. “It’s called Squiggly Spaghetti. It’s delicious. Eat it up while it’s nice and hot.
53. In united families, they might sleep with half filled stomach but no one sleeps with empty stomach.
54. Many a death was precipitated by the food, the job, or the medication whose main function was to postpone it.
55. Face your true self. Your reaction when facing any animal is much more likely to be ‘Ahh, cute!’ than ‘Yum, dinner!
56. The perfect accompaniment to a lovely dinner is not an ageless wine, but a beautiful woman.
57. Best of stories are created at Airports, Dinner Tables and Showers!
58. You can take the Indian out of the family, but you cannot take the family out of the Indian.
59. If the food that one ate the night before were somehow able to be seen and identified through one’s clothes throughout the day, millions of employees would each fast ten or so days before their payday.
60. As for Headmistress Crouch, I pegged her as the type who wouldn’t have a mate, either because of her exacting standards, or because she ate him for dinner.