Sunday, September 15, 2013

Robert Farrar. Capon, RIP

Sunday's New York Times carries an obituary of Robert F. Capon, Episcopal priest, theologian, and food writer. He lived to be 87.

His best-known book was The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection. Twenty years ago, a friend gave us a copy, which I looked through. I don't think we've ever cooked from its recipes, but I admired the common sense and clear prose. The counsel I most admired appears toward the end of chapter 12, "The Mysterious East":
Woks and iron skillets should be rinsed and wiped, never washed. If someone comes along and tells you that cleanliness is next to godliness, the proper answer is, "Yes--next." Right now I'm working on godliness."
I've never found occasion to us the retort, not least because it would require a reasonable appearance of working on godliness to keep the audience from laughing.

The book has the marks of its time, 1962. New York wines no longer run only to Concord grapes; more Americans spend more time cooking and thinking about cooking. But at $18, I think it still worth a look.

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