Read Clementine in the Kitchen by Samuel V. Chamberlain Ruth Reichl Narcisse Chamberlain Online


Collects French recipes for everyday dishes and gourmet meals prepared by Clementine, a Burgundian cook for the Chamberlain family living first in post-World War II France, then in Massachusetts....

Title : Clementine in the Kitchen
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780375756641
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 268 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Clementine in the Kitchen Reviews

  • Joyce
    2019-01-11 13:51

    Pulled this off the shelf for Clark and decided to reread it myself. An American family living in Senlis, France, quickly repatriates in 1939, bringing their Burgundien cook Clementine with them to Marblehead, Mass.It's a charming story of cultural adaptation: the family to French cuisine (even the 15-year-old daughter enjoys tete de veau) and later, Clementine to the American way of life. In describing Clementine's reaction to supermarkets (brand new in 1940), we get a fascinating glimpse of the beginnings of the American food system. The family is shocked at the amount of packaging that surrounds American food compared to France. They are not uniformly disapproving about our produce (can't get parsnips in France) and even our cheese - they approve of 'store' cheese, also called 'coon cheese'. It's a bit of a period piece but quite enjoyable. It includes some classic recipes and pencil drawings of their neighborhoods.

  • Pippin
    2019-01-03 17:41

    A fascinating view into American and French cuisine circa 1940. Clementine is a delight and she is at the center of this story - rightly so. I was amazed that so many of the current attitudes to food were already in place before the second world war: supermarkets, pre-packaged food, color advertising, in store music, and on and on. Contrast that with the markets in france at the same time and two cultures approaches to food stand in stark relief.

  • Katie P
    2019-01-06 19:53

    Make sure you have a snack on hand when reading this book! Oh, to know a Clementine would be a dream! This was a wonderful book. The first half features the story of the Beck family and Clementine followed by a catalog of recipes from Clementine's collection. Wonderful illustrations are peppered through the story.

  • S Cearley
    2018-12-25 17:51

    Surprisingly short and disappointingly little to do with life in France.I expected to have the book detail the life in France as it was in France. However, the American family moves to America after a few pages, and the remainder is a combination of the family becoming re-accustomed to life in the States as well as the fish-out-of-water of Clementine in New England.While the book lists at nearly 300 pages the writing itself only takes up half of the book. The remainder is a "recipes" section copied from Clementine's personal notebooks. While the recipes are written in the early 20th-century style (a la James Beard) where the entire recipe and directions with some descriptive word play appears here and there, recipes aren't really a read like they are the tales of the family.There are some complaints that the author presumes the reader knows French. All use of French in the book is untranslated, and while this can usually be ignored ("beau" or "fromage" shouldn't be foreign to the audience of this book), in a few cases the author will go two or three entire sentences in French, leaving you bewildered if you don't speak the language.I think if I had expected a book about a French family chef's life in the US rather than an American family's life in France I might have felt the book more deeply, but it didn't give me what I expected, either in terms of theme or length.

  • Cindy
    2019-01-15 13:35

    A cooking book.A cultural book.A mental delight.I think I shared the story of the "Escargots de Bourgogne" pg 30 with everyone I met...It starts like this, " You ambush them in the morning, while they are parading nonchalantly on the humid leaf, when their slow, fleshy promenade makes one think of the throat of a voluptuous woman shuddering under a gross and clumsy caress...." and continues to delight all the senses for two more pages, filled with words like: lasciviously elastic and gluttonous beast, along with seething mass and drain the corpses! (murder in the kitchen for sure!)Yay for Clementine who travels from France with the Beck family right before WWII to continue her service as their cook. She comes to L'Amerique and tries to create a French country kitchen in New England in the 1940's. Her recipes are full of butter and more butter, followed by cream and all sorts of wine, sherry, brandy and a variety of cheese. These probably won't be made in my kitchen for many reasons, but they were great gluttony for the eyes!

  • *Kate
    2018-12-31 11:38

    Clementine in the Kitchen is a fun little autobiography of an upper-class American family who lived in France before WWII and moved, along with their personal French cook back to the states as the war was heating up. I felt the book got a little pretentious at times ... with significant sentences in French, I felt the author would definitely look down his nose at me for not being able to translate. I definitely look at it as an autobiography and not as a cookbook. Despite the many recipes, there were only a couple that I'm considering. Most of the foods seem incredibly rich and if you are not a fan of mushrooms (which I am not), there is little left for you. Regardless, it was enjoyable to read about Clementine's adventures along the eastern coast.

  • Rogue Reader
    2019-01-10 17:33

    Clementine is a French cook transplanted to Marblehead, Massachusetts on the eve of WWII. She leaves her native land in the company of the family that has employed her in France - the narrator being the family's young son who discovered the mysteries and confusions of the new world along with Clementine. Nice complement to Julia Child's works, finding ways to make classic French cuisine in a place bereft of most needed ingredients, and finding ways to make American ingredients part of a new classic culinary tradition. Series editor Ruth Reichle is right on, choosing this 1943 work to include in the Modern Library Food. Can't wait to discover more works in this series!--Ashland Mystery

  • Pinki
    2019-01-22 16:58

    This book is amazing and not so amazing. It is a cookbook and an autobiography of a family who lived in pre WW II France with their beloved cook Clementine. The author of the book sounded a little snobby in regards to the types of wines, techniques, and 3 or 4 sentences at a time in French with no explanation preceding it. All in all, this book will make your mouth water, want to experiment with French cooking, and actually visit the remote French country side. The best part is there are over 160 recipes which are included at the end and some throughout the autobiographical portion of the book linking experience and memories to the food.

  • Sally Anne
    2018-12-27 11:58

    Three stars does not really convey the delights of this well-written book that originated as Gourmet Magazine articles around the time of the Second World War. Yes, the tone is somewhat patronistic male, but it is also loving and appreciative. And who'd a thunk that people were complaining about supermarket food in the 1940s? The book includes a bunch of recipes, none of which I have tried, but if you like rich food, I'll bet they are good.And to think I stumbled upon this gem on a stoop in Brooklyn!

  • Rebecca
    2019-01-06 11:50

    Interesting read about an American family living in France before WWII and their cordon bleu trained French cook. As war is declared they move back to the US and their cook comes with them. I imagine when these columns were published in Gourmet magazine as the war was raising they seemed exotic as well as of a time past. Now many of the recipes and techniques just seem normal. These chapters are written in a very stylized writing form and will not appeal to everyone. The drawings are by the author and are quite lovely.

  • Dan Ryan
    2019-01-07 17:45

    An enormously pleasurable read. This book chronicles a family's relationship with their French cook they hired while in France for business, and brought back with them in the months before Hitler invaded. Despite the serious background, this book is light-hearted and full of recipes. With less than 200 pages of real text before the appendix of recipes, it's a quick view into a time and place forever vanished.

  • Sara
    2019-01-13 12:45

    Completely nostalgic, still the writing and recipes are simple and approachable. The idea of French food being comfortable, natural and basic pervades. I also love to read about details comparing French markets and shops to the budding supermarkets of 1950's America. This book is a great companion to Julia Child's reminiscing of 1930's Paris. I've made several things from this book and they are classic.

  • Alys
    2019-01-13 12:38

    A sweet story of inter cultural adaptation. Parts were a bit too cute for me, but it's interesting to see the "French" way of doing all things cuisine described in such detail. If anything, it inspired me to check out some Julia Child. As a pseudo-vegetarian, only about half the recipes were of interest; however, they do indeed seem worth seeking the ingredients for. Also the chapter on escargot (a bit my mom read to me years ago that got us both in stitches) is priceless.

  • Taylor Schena
    2018-12-27 11:36

    This book was charming, cheerful and mouth-watering. The last chunk of the book consists of French recipes which are also sprinkled throughout every chapter. Don't read if you're hungry! The stories of Clementine adapting to American culture, coming from a small French village, are cute and hilarious. It's a lovely book. The picturesque descriptions of France, food, and Coastal New England, pre-WWII are thoroughly enjoyable. Truly recommend it.

  • Peggy
    2019-01-10 18:51

    Dated style of writingDated recipes: really, who is going to serve tete au veau (head of calf) these days?Good story lurking behind the somewhat stilted writing: An American family uprooted from their happy life in France (with a resident French cook who works miracles) by the onset of WW II and the imminent invasion of France by the Germans.But the writing style - just too 'precious' - sort of turned me off.

  • Arwen
    2019-01-15 13:49

    The first of the narrative cookbooks I ever read. I didn't know such bliss existed! The story of an American family in France before the second world war and their Burgundian cook, and the things she made for them, and then how she adapts once they move to America during the war. Such delicious food! Reading it is like eating a meal. The section on making escargot is the best.

  • Emily
    2019-01-07 15:44

    I loved this book!!! It's totally sweet and silly - with lovely illustrations. I haven't tried any of the recipes but they seem good - unlike many old cookbooks they don't ask you to do impossible things like get a teacup full of leaf lard or hang a duck in a cool part of your cellar for 2 weeks…

  • Patricia
    2019-01-20 11:48

    The decision to reissue this pre-war memoir was a good one because the stories, though maybe not the recipes, are fresh and light. I never get tired of reading about Americans in France and this is an especially funny entry in that genre.

  • Dianne
    2019-01-12 15:40

    Silly, but pleasant. More interesting as a history of how a certain echelon of people once lived--with private cooks who were treated almost as family members. A little off-putting for those of you who are proles.

  • Tim
    2019-01-12 13:44

    A charm of a book, written by a husband and wife team mainly known for this book.However they also wrote some three weighty tomes, part travel guide, part food guide, titled Bouquet of France, Bouquet of Italy and Bouquet of Britain. I have the last two.

  • Sheila
    2018-12-27 14:33

    A light, happy read!

  • Teri L.
    2018-12-31 17:54

    Only about 1/3 of the book takes place in France. Afterwards, the family moves to the US. Great recipes!

  • Rita
    2019-01-21 11:32

    Nice little book

  • Kat
    2019-01-08 16:41

    lovely story with lots of great recipes

  • Ron
    2019-01-10 19:30

    Really a classic. Helps you to experience a past time. Filled with recipes at the end.

  • Jono
    2019-01-21 15:57

    nothing at all earth-shattering, but sort of cute. if you've got a foodie/francophile friend, they'll enjoy this slice of "everday life." We are what we eat, indeed.

  • Karen
    2019-01-11 13:52

    History AND food. Could it get any better?

  • Melissa
    2019-01-20 18:57

    This was an enjoyable tale! I especially liked Chamberlain's drawings throughout. I'm now trying to hunt down a copy of one of the prints, "Manhattan Twilight."

  • Km
    2019-01-12 11:34

    A delight of a read

  • Ann
    2019-01-06 18:57

    save to try out pureed soup recipes