This year I’m blogging once a month about finishing reading everything Roald Dahl wrote. Full disclosure: I’m not a Dahl scholar, just a humble fan of his work. This is a lay endeavor, perhaps not even all that fascinating to others. We’ll see. By the end, I hope to be able to say “I’ve read everything written by Roald Dahl!” or at least “I’ve read everything Roald Dahl wrote save for that one play I can’t seem to find a script for.” Something like that.
Memories with Food at Gipsy House
AKA Roald Dahl’s Kitchen Nightmares
Co-authored by Dahl and his wife Felicity, Memories with Food at Gipsy House is just what it says on the package: it’s a bunch of stories about eating delicious meals, plus recipes. Sometimes the recipes are from the stories, sometimes not. It’s an interesting endeavor, peppered with anecdotes by his wife and children and housekeepers and friends about various meals eaten or elusive ingredients procured or the experience of cooking a specific dish.
During Dahl’s sections, his storytelling style reminded me strongly of one of my favorite of his books, My Year. Both have that quality of a beloved uncle rambling at you from his favorite chair by the fire, around 10 PM when he’s had a drop in and should be tottering off to bed but everyone’s begging him for just one more story.
Some of the anecdotes will be familiar to those who have read many of his other works—the Norway stories either repeat or expand on events detailed in Boy, for example, and Piggy the Cook from Going Solo also appears. Not that I minded. Again, that spell of the beloved uncle makes everything enjoyable even when it’s not entirely fresh.