A witty cultural and culinary education, Immoveable Feast is the charming, funny, and improbable tale of how a man who was raised on white bread—and didn't speak a word of French—unexpectedly ended up with the sacred duty of preparing the annual Christmas dinner for a venerable Parisian family.
Ernest Hemingway called Paris "a moveable feast"—a city ready to embrace you at any time in life. For Los Angeles–based film critic John Baxter, that moment came when he fell in love with a French woman and impulsively moved to Paris to marry her. As a test of his love, his skeptical in-laws charged him with cooking the next Christmas banquet—for eighteen people in their ancestral country home. Baxter's memoir of his yearlong quest takes readers along his misadventures and delicious triumphs as he visits the farthest corners of France in search of the country's best recipes and ingredients. Irresistible and fascinating, Immoveable Feast is a warmhearted tale of good food, romance, family, and the Christmas spirit, Parisian style.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is one of my favorite books. I read it every December, wherever I am. John Baxter weaves a tale that speaks to the traveler, the oI ne with wanderlust in his or her heart, even thought he is writing about his how household and extended family.
What I love about this book is his zeal for the food, the wine, the cheese, the places, the people, and most of all, the stories. For John Baxter is a story teller. And a bit of a gossip. But all in fun.
I think that what really speaks to me about this book is his ability to take me along on the journey - to the family dinners after leaving an almost deserted Paris at Christmas; to the remote oyster farm for the succulent oysters; to the marché for the whole piglet with the skin; and to Australia, Los Angeles, and other places as the story weaves in and out. It is as if he is telling this tale of the evolution of a French traditional family dinner and his being welcomed into that family to a group of us around a...
I loved reading every word on every page of this book! I was virtual tasting everything the author was describing, longing to be back in France! I found this book very interesting from a story about how the French dine on the holidays getting out of the cities to meet families in the country. How they take such care in the preparation of every aspect of the meal from start to finish. How everything has to meld but yet have distinct flavors to make the meal a perfect gathering of family. Even though the author is not French, he has now assume the role of planning and preparing holiday meals for his wife's French family. I am so missing France. I am missing all the delicious cheeses that I cannot get here like Epoisses de Bourgogne. The oysters with such a variety, so fresh, hand picked and bought moments later and the meats..... here where I live, the butcher is extinct, we have a mega grocery store with meats already wrapped. There is no one to ask for a special cut or how the lamb...
I was trying to find a book here on Amazon about French Christmas cooking when I stumbled upon this book. In fact, I thought there were some recipes in the book, but there is only a vague explanation of a couple dishes. However, that took nothing away from my enjoyment of this wonderful book!
The author's writing was very approachable, and allows the reader to run through the book. The story, however, was amazing and inspirational. It is filled with personal anecdotes from his life as he tells the journey of putting together a Christmas dinner for a traditional French family who knows their way around the kitchen. These short narratives might seem like filler to some, but I thought they were what gave the novel life, from his friend's experience of a Napoleon era wine, his trip to India for spices, and, in particular, his amazing daughter Louise.
While reading this book, Louise reminded me of the light that Pearl brought to the "Scarlet Letter." I am probably...
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