Miss Dahl's Volumptuous Delights is my absolute favorite cookbook - so delicious and entertaining, the entire thing reads like a novel. And her anecdotes preluding each seasonal recipe section are so funny. An excerpt for you, on Sophie's ideal kitchen, page 15:
This kitchen is a gentle relaxed one, where a punishing, guilt-inducing attitude towards food will not be tolerated. In this kitchen we appreciate the restorative powers of chocolate. The kitchen would have a fireplace, and possibly a few dogs from Battersea Dog's Home curled up next to it. There might be a small upright piano y the window, with an orchid that doesn't wither as soon as I look at it. On long summer days, the doors to this kitchen are thrown open, while a few lazy, nonstinging bees mosey by. Children stir. When it rains, there is room in this kitchen for reading and a spoon finding its way into the cake mix. Serious cups of tea are drunk here; idle gossip occurs, balance and humor prevail. It's the kitchen of my grandparents, but with some Bowie thrown in. It is lingering breakfasts, it is friends with babies on their knees, it is good-bye on a Sunday with the promise of more. This kitchen is where life occurs; jumbled, messy and delicious. It is lovely.And one more from Sophie's acknowledgements section:
Thank you to my erstwhile stable of girlfriends, for providing laughter, sense and sweetness while eating chocolate cake on the sofa long into the night.Now doesn't that just sound like fun? Especially if said cake is the flourless chocolate kind on page 256.