23 January 2015

Friday's Literary Feast

Quotes from The Virago Book of Food:  The Joy of Eating

1873 - 1954

Whether counting the nuts she would collect and eat before the sunset or recalling the appetites of her animal friends, Colette had a uniquely sensuous voice.

Jeanne Muhlfeld

                                                                                           Monts-Boucons, mid-July 1902

Do you recognize me, Jeanne?  I'm wearing an apron with pockets, a broad-brimmed pink calico hat, little hobnailed boots, no rice powder, buckskin gloves holding large pruning scissors - and the heart of a girl.  You cannot imagine the pure - and purgative - joy of eating black cherries which the sun has ripened on the tree.  It rains, it shines, I get up at six and in bed by nine.  I am turning the color of a pig-skin valise.  My account book is like a well-kept flower bed.  It's my annual virtue debauch, almost clandestine, which debases me to the moral level of a day laborer...And now I must spray two apple trees which are prone to aphids...I can't tell you about the silver dawns and the apricot sunsets today because my mouth is full and I have made a bet with myself to eat four hundred nuts between lunch and dinner.  Oh! that's not a record, of course, but when one must gather as well as shell the nuts...

trans. by Robert Phelps

Colette by Jacques Humbert, ca. 1896


  1. I adore Colette and that quote you featured is perfect. She wrote so beautifully about the earthy pleasures of life. Have you read "Break of Day"? It is probably my favorite of her books. Thanks for bringing attention to her beautiful writing!

    1. I haven't read a single thing by Colette yet but see much of her work at second-hand shops. Glad you shared your favourite title as that will be the book to start with when I do!