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Throwback Thursday: Remembering James Beard

Emily Abrams

August 20, 2015

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August is coming to an end, and the first day of school is right around the corner, but we still have one last outdoor holiday to look forward to. Labor Day usually means one final hurrah with the family: backyard barbecues, picnics, beach trips, and grilling—lots of grilling. This Throwback Thursday we’re sharing some of our favorite James Beard quotes that demonstrate our namesake’s love for summer foods, the great outdoors, and the art of entertaining in any environment. 

“I love a casual picnic just as much as, or even more than, an elaborate gastronomic delight.” (Beard on Food, p.264)

“Arrangement is one of the secrets of a perfect composed salad. There should be a blend of colors, tastes, and textures. The ingredients should be attractively cut and the salad beautifully arranged on a large platter or in a bowl so that it becomes almost a centerpiece for the table.” (Beard on Bread, p.332)

“In recent years all America has become enchanted with outdoor cookery. We love the informality of such a meal, our keen outdoor appetites, and the joy of watching the meat as it cooks to mahogany perfection. But most of all we marvel at the flavor of the food.” (The Complete Book of Outdoor Cookery, p.xiii)

“If you are squeamish about plunging a lobster in boiling water, put it in cold water, cover the pot, and bring the water to a full boil so the lobster just wafts away in a dreamy state.” (Beard on Food, p.48)

“Fresh raspberries—you  know my weakness for them—I only wish they were in season twelve months of the year—I would turn away from every other fruit.” (Love and Kisses and a Halo of Truffles, p.120)

“One of summer’s greatest joys is to pick a sun-warmed, sun-ripened tomato from the vine, dust it off your shoulder, and eat it like an apple.” (Beard on Food, p.115)

As we say goodbye to sandals and shorts, let’s reflect on what we really want on Labor Day: comfort food. Take it from Beard himself, “One of the great American arts…is sandwich-making,” (Beard on Food, p.208), so throw a few in a picnic basket and enjoy the sun while you can!