Alice B. Toklas Celebration

This year, my final year at Bard College, I worked on and completed a senior project in literature about The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book. I wrote about autobiography, recipe, and memory in the cook book, how one writes about themselves through the food that they eat and cook, how recipes can be autobiographical documents, about how a recipe collection can be a cache of a person's memories... But during this year of writing, reading, and researching, I never cooked from the cook book. On May 25, a few days before I graduated and after I had handed in my project and had my senior board, I finally cooked from The Cook Book. I hosted a celebration of Alice for my friends at my house in Tivoli, NY that included a banquet of Alice's best, wine from only California and France (Alice's two homes), a shrine to Alice, quotes from the book written on the wall in chalk, a reading from my project, and a seance led by one of my roommates. Somehow there was wine left over but the food vanished quickly. The menu went as follows:

Mushroom Sandwiches (1)

Mushroom Sandwiches (2)

Stuffed Braised Peppers

Salad Niçoise

A Tender Tart

Alice's Cookies

All of these recipes can be found in the cook book. I highly suggest any and all of them, especially the mushroom sandwiches, they were Alice's specialty. 

photos by Hannah Ray Taylor
Chloe ChappeComment