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The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection (Modern Library Paperbacks) Paperback – July 2, 2002
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“One of the funniest, wisest, and most unorthodox cookbooks ever written.”
—Craig Claiborne, The New York Times
“The Supper of the Lamb is a rare, distilling nectar, albeit fizzy with bubbles of humor and wit...it is fully capable of rescuing us from the dangers of mediocrity daily foisted upon us by the too-fast pace of our lives.”
—From the Introduction by Deborah Madison
“The Supper of the Lamb is as awesomely funny, wise, beautiful, moving, preposterous a book as this reviewer has come across for years....It is a love letter to a world that ‘will always be more delicious
than it is useful.’”
—The New York Times Book Review
From the Inside Flap
onate and talented chef who also happens to be an Episcopalian priest comes this surprising and thought-provoking treatise on everything from prayer to poetry to puff pastry. In The Supper of the Lamb, Capon talks about festal and ferial cooking, emerging as an inspirational voice extolling the benefits and wonders of old-fashioned home cooking in a world of fast food and prepackaged cuisine. This edition includes the original recipes and a new Introduction by Deborah Madison, the founder of Greens Restaurant in San Francisco and author of several cookbooks.
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Throughout Capon introduces his philosophies of food...e.g., Never serve anybody a whole anything (p. 23). I found myself often laughing, thinking, good point. I like this read alongside some of Michael Pollan's works. Why? Capon connects eating with creation and our humanity. Gone is the fast food, eat whatever's available approach. Instead, care for how we cook, the ingredients we use, those we dine with - a real sense of intentionality and hospitality is infused within this book. Slow down, use fine ingredients, the way we cook and the foods we eat reflect our inner being, our care of self and others.
Who would like this book? Those interested in food memoirs, those who care about food practices, community and hospitality, those who like to cook (some wonderful recipes and tips!), those who are interested in a theology of creation and how that translates into behaviors.
Two of my greatest loves in this world are theology and food & drink (both the preparation and the consumption!) This book brings together these two very real, very human subjects like no other.
"The Supper of the Lamb" is not just a book about cooking. It is the exploration of a way of life -- one that we've lost in far too many ways.
Some chapters of special interest:
"Wave Breast and Heave Shoulder" -- even if I was so inclined, I could never be a vegetarian after reading this work of poetry.
"The Tin Fiddle" -- a commentary on far too much of modern life.
"Water in Excelsis" -- WINE! Need I say more?
"And She Took Flour" -- a warning against the evils of desubstantialization!
"The Long Session" -- and you thought formal dinner parties were passe!
"The Burning Heart" -- Capon's discussion of "The Greater Heartburn" alone is worth the price of the book.
I teach theology on the University level and have for years. I have used "The Supper of the Lamb" in a number of classes to great effect.
I also use it in my kitchen! My personal copy is marked up, battered, and stained with gravy and wine! I somehow doubt that Fr. Capon would mind!
I learned a lot about cooking, but I was captivated by the earthiness of the world and the communicative goodness of creation. Even where you might disagree with Capon, he writes with such wide-eyed wonder and winking charm that you cannot help but wish him to be right.
There is hardly a page that won't make you smile, laugh, or wish everyone wrote like Capon. I will read this book again. And again.