Showing posts with label #AmuseBouche. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #AmuseBouche. Show all posts

Friday, February 16, 2018

Amuse Bouche

The Kuwaiti contractor....extracted a meaty profit margin off each worker.. also dinned into them American lingo. When I asked one of the Indians for French fries, he snapped: “We have no French fries here, sir. Only freedom fries.”

The seating was as tribal as that in a high school cafeteria. The Iraqi support staffers kept to themselves. They loaded their lunch trays with enough calories for three meals. Between mouthfuls, they mocked their American bosses with impunity. So few Americans in the place spoke Arabic fluently that those that did could fit around one table, with room to spare.


From Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajir Chandrasekaran. (filmed as the Green Zone)

Friday, February 9, 2018

Amuse Bouche

I went over to the freezer and did something I almost never do - I poured myself a drink: cold viscous vodka. I filled a glass and drank it quickly; it burned all the way down my throat and into my belly. Then I poured myself another.
My head swam and I leaned against the kitchen table for support. I was keeping an eye out, I suppose, for Lena. She’d disappeared again…


from Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (2017). Highly Recommended.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Amuse Bouche

The discussions were soon focussed on launching Macron’s own movement….
In November, the team brainstormed possible names for their organisation attended by communications and marketing expert Adrien Taquet, who had also come on board. As the hours ticked by, they drank whiskey and tossed around ideas in an another intense but good-humoured session. Later on, Taquet…. had a flash of inspiration: En Marche.


from The French Exception Emmanuel Macron by Adam Plowright (2017). Highly Recommended.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Amuse Bouche


The tablecloth shows alternating concave and convex folds..… Two little serving platters have eels garnished with fruit slices. They have no obvious religious or iconographic meaning; however, river eels were popular in Italy at the time, and we know that Leonardo, although usually a vegetarian, put “eels and apricots” on at least one of his shopping lists.

All told, The Last Supper is a mix of scientific perspective and theatrical license, of intellect and fantasy, worthy of Leonardo.


from Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson (2017). Recommended.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Amuse Bouche

Caciocavallo
He went to the kitchen, opened the fridge, and his heart sank. A little piece of caciocavallo cheese, four passu luna olives, five sardines in oil, and a sprig of celery. Well, at least Adelina had bought some fresh bread. He opened the oven. And howled like a wolf with joy. Aubergine parmigiana, done just right, enough for four!


from The Treasure Hunt (Inspector Montalbano) by Andrea Camilleri.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Amuse Bouche



They hadn’t finished the champagne, yet Nat had ordered another bottle to go with the starters, brandade of smoked trout for her, fruits de mer in aspic for him. He’d also asked for a jar of caviar on the side……..
The waiter had poured, and departed.
‘Puligny,” Nat supplied, unable to stop himself giving the glass a pompous swirl and sniff. ‘When you dream of France, you’re really dreaming of Burgundy.’


from Eureka by Anthony Quinn (2017). Recommended

Friday, January 5, 2018

Amuse Bouche

All in all, football is a perishable product, its use-by date is immediate. It must be consumed straight away, like oysters, whelks, langoustines, prawns (I will spare you the exhaustive composition of the plateau). It must be enjoyed fresh, in the intensity of the moment, in the heat of immediacy. Football does not age well, it is a diamond that only shines brightly today… Even legendary finals are faded. Their perfume has vanished into the dust of time..


from Football by Jean-Philippe Toussaint (2015). Recommended.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Amuse Bouche

Chaplin (right!)
Raymond Griffith can’t get a job in talking pictures because Raymond Griffith has no voice. Raymond Griffith is incapable of speaking above a whisper, and is therefore the perfect silent comedian. Eventually, Raymond Griffith chokes to death over dinner at the Masquers Club because he fails to chew his food properly.
But these ones do not concern him, or not as much as Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd.
Not as much as Chaplin.


from he by John Connolly (2017). Very Highly Recommended.

Amuse Bouche extra. Recommended Reading!

Recommended Reading!
An Amuse Bouche Extra.


Regulars know that I serve up an Amuse Bouche every Saturday, a paragraph or two (with a mention of food or drink) from a book that I've been reading. Some of the books are very good and I've compiled a shortlist of the best of those that I've read in 2017. It doesn't mean they've all been published in 2017! It is quite a mix of fiction and non-fiction. Hope you enjoy one or two. Happy Reading.

By the way, I get most of my books from the local library, many of them now ordered online via the fantastic Encore system. If the book is not available locally, I can still order it and soon it will be on its way to Cork from Dublin or Donegal or from wherever it is in the stock.

The list below is compiled from the books that were Very Highly Recommended on Amuse Bouche and is not in any particular order.


he by John Connolly

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

The Trout by Peter Cunningham

Signatories by Emma Donoghue and others

And The Sun Shines Now by Adrian Tempany

Grandpa The Sniper by Frank Shouldice

A Doctor's Sword by Bob Jackson

Soul Serenade by Rashal Ollison

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton

The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova

Smile by Roddy Doyle

If I Die Tonight by A.L. Gaylin

Walking Tall by Rob Heffernan

Friday, December 22, 2017

Amuse Bouche

A Christmas Amuse Bouche

"one can get tired of too much rabbit for dinner"
His (Fr Travers) acquisition of six hens in May 1941 had not been a success, with five of the six dying without having laid a single egg. More promising was his cook-cum-concierge’s rabbit breeding initiative. The concierge managed to breed thirty or forty rabbits at a time, thus ensuring a constant supply of meat, “although one can get tired of too much rabbit for dinner’. Fortunately for Fr Travers, Mary Maher, an Irishwoman in Laval…. sent two geese for Christmas in 1942 and continued to send parcels of eggs, meat, cheese, and butter right up to the end of the war.


from No Way Out, The Irish in Wartime France 1939-45, by Isadore Ryan (2017). Recommended.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Amuse Bouche

The ovens were turned on each Christmas Day and people brought their turkeys. I loved the smell of the turkeys roasting with their delicious stuffing. We had to call to the houses, about twelve of them, to tell them they were ready. Daddy often got up on St Stephen’s Day to bake if people ran out of bread.


from Our Daily Bread, A History of Barron’s Bakery, by Roz Crowley (2011). Recommended.
Still going strong. One of the ovens - like a small room inside.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Amuse Bouche

I was eating a thing called couscous and there were no peas or spuds on the plate, or meat. I was doing this as I sat beside a naked woman. There was a mug of wine on the floor beside me. I felt French. I felt American. I felt like a writer, living the writer’s life. I felt handsome. I felt cruel and good, adult and giddy. I felt sophisticated, and I didn’t. I felt that this was mine. My life had started. My real life had started.


from Smile by Roddy Doyle (2017). Very Highly Recommended.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Amuse Bouche


His feet started moving and he was there, in front of Mrs Powell…. He watched her slice an orange into half-circles, and she looked up and told him she hadn’t had a chance to eat breakfast that morning. I like oranges, he’d said. I like how they smell.
Instead of sending him back to his desk, she sort of laughed and held out an orange slice, and he ate it in one bite, ripped it off the rind. No one else got an orange piece, only him.
He couldn’t kill her, and maybe that was all right, but he couldn’t kill the others in front of her either.


from Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips (2017). Highly Recommended.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Amuse Bouche

The Russians had dinner with Shadrin at Piscatory, a family-run Italian fish restaurant in Dover Street. Lugovoi enjoyed the finer things in life. The bill shows the party ordered oysters, a grilled lobster, two tuna steaks (very rare), with grappa and espresso to finish. According to Shadrin, Lugovoi …insisted on picking up the £214.20 bill. He told Shadrin that since he was ‘pitching for business’, he would get the tab. Radiation was found here too: at their table, on cushions, in the gents’.


from A Very Expensive Poison by Luke Harding (2016). Highly Recommended.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Amuse Bouche

They were married on September 17, 1946…. the ceremony was held very early in the morning in Clogheen Church. “Then the reception was in the Victoria Hotel. It was a wedding breakfast with rashers and sausages. There was a wedding cake and they went on the mid-day train to Dublin. …..  I threw confetti on them at the station. It was unusual to have a breakfast reception - maybe it was because they wanted to get the twelve o’clock train.”


from The Life and Times of Noel Murphy by Con Hurley (2012). Recommended.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Amuse Bouche

Bobby and Alexandra found them in the kitchen, Irina drinking tea with her thumbs wrapped around the cup…. 
Stoycho lay on the floor beside the table, clearly in Lenka’s good graces. He got to his feet and sniffed their shoes, licked Alexandra’s hand, and lay down again… Lenka bought them cups of tea, which smelled of the hay and grasses outside. There were questions in her eyes, too.
“How was your lunch?” Irina said. Reluctantly, they told her everything, and the alarm in her face grew.


from The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova (2017). Very Highly Recommended.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Amuse Bouche

The skylark was traditionally seen as a delicacy in Britain and Ireland and was a very popular dish until modern times. For example, in Britain in 1854, approximately 400,000 larks were sent up to the London market alone, mainly from Dunstable… which was famous for its larks ‘for the table’. In 1890, the dinner for the opening of the Forth Bridge included an immense pie of 400 birds.




from Ireland’s Birds by Niall Mac Coitir (2105). Recommended.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Amuse Bouche

Speaking in the Dail in 1968, the Labour TD Michael O’Leary complained that the supermarkets were using imported sweets and biscuits to draw in customers, while the money spent was now leaving the country……they were pushing British biscuits, British cheese, British confectionery….
..earlier, the Dail had debated another worrying trend… - chocolate bars were getting smaller..
The Minister agreed… but there was nothing he could do about it.


from Hopscotch and Queenie-I-O, A 1960s Irish Childhood, by Damien Corless (2016). No recommendation.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Amuse Bouche

[António] Simōes recalls that Guttmann drummed home his message about excessive drinking to his players every single day:

When you went to a bar, it is in your head. Somebody would go to get another drink and a teammate would say, ‘Hey, don’t you remember what Guttman said? We should stop at one.’ He taught us that football is not just a matter of running hard and crossing the ball. You need to have discipline. I am seventy-two years old. More than fifty years later, I am still telling you what he said. It has stayed in my head for ever.


from The Greatest Comeback (The Story of Béla Guttmann, from genocide to football glory) by David Bolchover (2017). Highly Recommended.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Amuse Bouche


View from Trocadero

The following morning, while President Sarkozy was taking Carlo Bruni for his third wife and EU operation commander General Pat Nash was taking his third cup of coffee at a Trocadero café, President Idriss Déby was taking stock of preparations for his third action against the rebels. 

He had not come too well from the previous two and now was fighting for his life. While wedding bells were ringing in the Élysée Palace, tank shells were ringing in N’Djamena.

from Into Action: Irish Peacekeepers Under Fire, 1960-2014, by Dan Harvey (2017). Recommended.