Quotes from The Virago Book of Food: The Joy of Eating
1913 - 92
The time she spent working and researching local eating habits in France, Italy, Greece and Egypt during World War II profoundly influenced Elizabeth David's views on cooking. When she published A Book of Mediterranean Food in 1949, David changed British cuisine for ever.
If I had my way - and I shan't - my Christmas Day eating and drinking would consist of an omelette and cold ham and a nice bottle of wine at lunch time, and a smoked salmon sandwich with a glass of champagne on a tray in bed in the evening. This lovely selfish anti-gorging, un-Christmas dream of hospitality, either given or taken, must be shared by thousands of women who know it's all Lombard Street to a China orange that they'll spend both Christmas Eve and Christmas morning peeling, chopping, mixing, boiling, roasting, steaming. That they will eat and drink too much, that someone will say the turkey isn't quite as good as last year, or discover that the rum for the pudding has been forgotten, that by the time lunch has been washed up and put away it'll be tea-time, not to say drink or dinner time, and tomorrow it's the weekend and it's going to start all over again.
Is There a Nutmeg in the House
Elizabeth David in her kitchen in Halsey St., Chelsea
Photograph: Elizabeth David Estate