Authors' Preface

Appears in

ON HOW A MODEST CLAY POT-and a good woman converted a bachelor from the delights of dining out to the joy of home cooking:
Our first year together, Georgia kept saying "I can't understand why you never learned to cook. If you had your way, there'd be some wild new dish every night-hippopotamus lips under glass, kumquats jubilee. You love music, wine, the theater-it all goes together. How come you never cooked for yourself?"
As a longtime bachelor, the notion of cooking, even breakfast bacon and eggs, rarely intrigued me once I happened upon the joys of dining out. In the late Thirties I moved to Boston from my native Louisville, whose cuisine, aside from the superb aged beef of the Bourbon Stockyards, was an endless round of grits, molasses, and biscuits, and for Sunday dinner a boiled chicken, canned green peas, and mashed potatoes. Don't ever let anyone con you about "good old Southern home cooking"; except for New Orleans, which is more French-Creole than South, it's a laughable myth. My flight from Dixie may have been due to a subliminal urge to get away from that cooking. Also, there was little "live" jazz in Kentucky, and I had gone bug-eyed out of my mind over Benny Goodman.