Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

The shortcut pie crust

with 2 comments

Robert Farrar Capon

I despise recipes that promise results without work, or success without technique. I have eaten too many shortcut pie crusts to trust anyone who tells women that pastry made with oil is just as good as the “hard” kind. Mere facility, of course, is no more guarantee of good taste in cooking than it is in music; but without it, nothing good is possible at all. Technique must be acquired, and, with technique, a love of the very processes of cooking. No artist can work simply for results; he must also like the work of getting them. Not that there isn’t a lot of drudgery in any art—and more in cooking than in most—but that if a man has never been pleasantly surprised at the way custard sets or flour thickens, there is not much hope of making a cook of him. Pastry and confectionery will remain forever beyond him, and he will probably never even be able to get gravy to come out the same twice. Interest in results never conquers boredom with process.

Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb

Written by nevalalee

January 1, 2017 at 7:30 am

2 Responses

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  1. I love this book!

    (Even though I’m not much of a cook.)

    It was required reading in a political philosophy course I took at Notre Dame. I kid you not.

    Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey

    January 4, 2017 at 7:36 pm

  2. @Bill Higgins: I came across it at a thrift store recently, and it caught my eye at once.


    January 4, 2017 at 8:02 pm

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