Tag Archives: Stories from the Kitchen

Stories from the Kitchen: Lillian by Erica Bauermeister

In this excerpt taken from the novel The School of Essential Ingredients, we see how food can help people to find themselves again. Ever since Lillian’s father abandoned them when Lillian was four, Lillian’s mother has not been the same. To escape from her pain, Lillian’s mother “had slid into books like a seal into […]

Stories from the Kitchen: Sorry Fugu by T. C. Boyle

In Sorry Fugu, we have Albert, the restaurateur and chef at D’Angelo’s trying to get a glowing review from Willa Frank, a harsh food critic. Willa, a young woman writing for the morning newspaper’s Dining Out column, is known for single-handedly bringing down many restaurant businesses “by the sting of her adjectives, the derisive thrust of her metaphors, […]

Stories from the Kitchen: Like Mother Used to Make by Shirley Jackson

This story is quite unsettling, and in many ways reminded me of stories from Margaret Atwood’s collection Stone Mattress. David Turner’s apartment, which is central to the story, is located on the third floor in a dilapidated building. For the same rent, David could have afforded to set roots in a more pristine space, yet […]

Stories from the Kitchen: The Manager of ‘The Kremlin’ by Evelyn Waugh

Montmartre is a Parisian neighborhood I’ve visited often in my imagination thanks to the Inspector Maigret novels I’ve read. I feel familiar with its charm – like I have strolled through its cobbled streets, and dinned in the little restaurants serving gourmet food many times. And today I’m back in this picturesque quarter again, this […]

Stories from the Kitchen: On Mortality by Anton Chekhov

In what must be the shortest story in this collection, Anton Chekhov considers the deadly sin of gluttony. Its protagonist, Court Counselor Semyon Petrovitch Podtikin, is impatiently waiting for his cook to bring out the blini (a Russian pancake traditionally made from wheat). He has lined up a number of liquors to pair with his […]

Stories from the Kitchen: On the Pleasures of the Table by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

According to Wikipedia, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin is one of the authors credited for founding the food writing genre along with Alexandre Laurent Grimod de La Reynière. Both of them were lawyers in the nineteenth century in France, who became famous for their writings about gastronomical delights. At the time, food literature existed only in the […]

Stories from the Kitchen: The Joy of Cooking by Elissa Schappell

After reading A Bunch of Broccoli on the Third Shelf last week, I immediately put a request for Lara Vapnyar’s Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love at the library. And now I’m going to do the same for Elissa Schappell’s Blueprints for Building Better Girls from which The Joy of Cooking is taken! […]

Stories from the Kitchen: A Bunch of Broccoli on the Third Shelf by Lara Vapnyar

In A Bunch of Broccoli on the Third Shelf, Nina is a Russian immigrant living in Brooklyn, New York. Nina had developed a fascination for vegetables soon after she arrived in America – she still remembers being delighted by the sight of “colorful piles of oranges, tomatoes, cucumbers” outside a small Chinese grocery store in […]

Stories from the Kitchen: Short Friday by Isaac Bashevis Singer

Before Short Friday I had never read anything by Isaac Bashevis Singer or even heard of him. Isaac is a Nobel Laureate and a notable author in Yiddish literature, who incorporated his orthodox Jewish roots into his writings despite identifying himself as a sceptic. Like many of his stories, Short Friday revolves around a struggling […]

Stories from the Kitchen: A Kitchen Allegory by M. F. K. Fisher

As she chopped herbs and sliced asparagus and poured boiling water and added the magic dash of brandy to the mixed soft meat, she kept thinking, but not in a frantic way at all, about never seeing two more people again… All she wanted to do was make them full of her love, her food, […]

Stories from the Kitchen: Tea by Saki

Next up in Stories from the Kitchen is an excerpt from Guy de Maupassant’s novel Bel Ami. There are a few excerpts included in this collection, and I’m not sure of the rationale behind it – although they might entice readers to pick up the novels, these are not short stories. So I will be skipping them. In […]

Stories from the Kitchen: Love and Oysters by Charles Dickens

It’s time to crack open a new short story collection, and this time I’m going with Stories from the Kitchen edited by Diana Secker Tesdell. Having read Cat Stories and Love Stories before, this will be my third collection put together by Diana and compared to those two, I think, I like the way this book is […]