Sunday, 14 February 2010

Where shall we go for dinner?

It's a coincidence, albeit a happy one, that this is what I'm reading on Saint Valentine's day:

It charts the meeting (in Ireland) of Tamasin Day-Lewis with the man in her life, who just happens to live and work in New York and their subsequent travels and adventures involving food. It's not just a travelogue with recipes ...& it's much more than a memoir....She is a serious food writer and has a catalogue of titles to her name including 'Art of the Tart', 'Tamasin's Kitchen Bible', 'All You Can Eat', 'Supper for a Song' & many more...She has appeared in several T.V. series and I have to admit, when I first watched her on T.V I wasn't too keen....but like a lot of other things, she has grown on me!

The one thing she has in common with some of my other favourite food writers (more about them later!) is her illustrious background - her brother is the actor Daniel and her father was the Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis (who famously had an affair with Tamasin's godmother the acclaimed author Elizabeth Jane Howard, amongst others). The aforesaid E.J.H (who was married to Kingsley Amis - are you keeping up?) shown below with Tamasin as a baby and the rest of the family, is credited with contributing to Tamasin's culinary education when the whole family decamped to 'Lemmons' the Howard/Amis home in Hertfordshire when it became clear that Tamasin's father was dying. Tamasin describes how the atmosphere in the family home at Greenwich was changed and gloomy and she thought that E.J.H, although loving Cecil in a different way by this time, was keen for him to die in a graceful and convivial atmosphere. Tamasin became her 'jobber and chopper' as she calls it.

It seems that Amis was not as appreciative of E.J.H's culinary skills, preferring to exist on a diet of banana & potato fritters washed down with ginger beer.... The whole book is full of such stories and anecdotes, humorous, detailed and delicious......

I'm really enjoying learning a bit more about her & am quite taken with her shoe collection too!......s


  1. What a fascinating family they are! I agree with you about the shoe collection - gorgeous. Hope you had a lovely weekend. Leigh

  2. What an interesting read, I love books like this. She does have some lovely shoes.

  3. Hi Susie
    It is interesting to get background on the family and their lives... skeletons and all.. and yes.. that is some great shoe collection!! have a great week,. xx Julie

  4. This looks totally fascinating... love the scandals and affairs of English literary families! Seems a great read. Hope you had a lovely weekend... xXx

  5. Hi Susie,
    This looks like a really good book and I think that I will have to buy it !!
    What a talented family, in so many different ways .....and lovely to see that she can find time to do some serious shoe shopping !!
    Have a lovely week, Susie. XXXX

  6. Hi Susie,
    A friend in Sydney who loves to cook has lots of books by Elizabeth David. She told me to be sure and look for her books. Seeing that you like food....what do you think of her? This book looks great. I can see I am going to have to add another shelf to my cookbook collection!
    Jeanne :)