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OP: Feasts for All Seasons

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by Roy Andries de Groot

Alfred A. Knopf, 1966. Hardcover. Very Good Plus in VG jacket. First printing.

British-born Roy Andries de Groot (1910–1983) was a fine writer, journalist, and, by all accounts, a cantankerous, demanding perfectionist. Injured during the London Blitz of 1940, he eventually became totally blind but remained a tireless observer of a world he could not see. Some of that was through his sense of taste, leading to a career of writing about food and wine.

Feasts for All Seasons (1966)—de Groot’s first cookbook, and an impressively ambitious one at that—is a cosmopolitan melange of recipes and menus organized by season. With exacting cooking and planning instructions and extensive notes on wine tasting, selecting, storing, and serving, it is the ideal handbook for a burgeoning gourmand.

Spring offerings include a Greek Independence Day dinner for a party of 8–10, featuring taramasalata, grilled eel with lemon sauce, stefado (beef stew) with rice-stuffed moussaka, followed by honey-whipped cream over chopped nuts and fresh fruit for dessert. Alternatively, a family of four might enjoy a light weeknight entree of soft-shell crabs flamed in Pernod.

A summer feast begins with tamarind rassam followed by lamb curry with fried potatoes, massoor dal, puris, lemon-lime pickle, and green tomato chutney; and for dessert, Alphonse mangoes and Darjeeling tea. Argentinian guinea hen with lentils makes for intimate, warming autumn dinner.

Our first printing copy is in Very Good Plus condition with a Very Good, price clipped, jacket, which shows chipping about the edges and sun fading to the spine. Charmingly illustrated by Tom Funk.

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