Her desire was for him to become an opera star or a great actor—to have constant exposure to fabulous people, and to lead an interesting life directly in the public eye. He attended classes at Reed, commuting from his home on Salmon Street, in and According to his biographer, Robert Clark, he was expelled for being openly homosexual. Beard delighted in wild-harvested chanterelle mushrooms, Oregon huckleberries, fresh-caught salmon, and many other foods found in his native land. But no college spokesperson would verify that story for me.
Over the years Reed, a liberal arts college that prides itself on having progressive values and being a welcoming place for quirky students, has chosen not to comment on the subject. He is mentioned in almost every issue of the student-run school newspaper, the Reed College Quest , from September when he first matriculated to when he left.
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That much notice is especially unusual for a first-year student, Reed archivist, Maria Cunningham, tells me. Despite declining the opportunity to contribute to Reed while he was alive, he wound up willing the college the bulk of his estate. Credit Jennifer Margulis. The main floor of the library is filled with long tables of picked-over free food, there to keep bleary-eyed students studying for finals fueled as they quest for knowledge.
There are hundreds of interesting documents in the seven boxes of Beard archives that the college houses, including a letter Beard received a year before he died. Watson, describes it, is full of nostalgia. She goes on:. Our Mothers were very good friends so we shared in the good news of your arrival … I heard my Mother call your Mother so often that I still remember your phone number, East … I can vouch for the fact that your Mother was a wonderful cook.
Notes about this book
My most vivid memory is of her baking powder biscuits and those elegant teacakes which she taught me to make. They were basically rich baking powder biscuit dough to which she added raisins or currants. She cut the rolled dough in triangles and brushed the tops with cream. It seems that Europe agreed with him, especially Paris and Berlin, where the attitude towards gay people was much more open than in America at that time.
In Germany Beard fell in love with a handsome young man named Hans. He graduated from college after all, at the age of 73, when Reed awarded him an honorary degree. Reed archivist Maria Cunningham. I thought it was so funny. He wrote his first cookbook in at the age of James Beard signing books at a street fair in midtown Manhattan in Credit Bill Golladay.
Based in New York City for his entire adult life, Beard taught cooking classes, hosted fabulous dinner parties, was a coveted guest, ate lavishly, wrote voluminously, and traveled extensively. He reveled in change. Even as he aged—and suffered from myriad health problems, including high blood pressure—he was known for his boundless energy, positive demeanor, and razor-sharp memory.
He returned often to the West Coast and in the early s Beard started teaching cooking classes in the summer in the home economics department of Seaside High School, just south of Gearhart where he had spent his summers as a child. The sheer pleasure Beard takes in food and eating, though it caused him health problems later in life, is wonderfully contagious. In his Fowl and Game Cookery later reprinted as Beard on Birds , he teaches readers how to enjoy eating everything from the familiar chicken, turkey, duck to the decidedly more exotic squab, pigeon, snipe, woodcock, dove.
He was exhaustive in his knowledge about food.
James Beard's Pleasant Pasta
It was beautifully green and very tasty. Freshly made pasta is much more flavorful than that dried packaged stuff. I made a brown butter, green garlic and sage topping and added some aged parmesan. Try it! By Electric Mixer: Fit the paddle into your electric mixer.
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Put the flour and salt into the bowl and give it a quick whirl to mix them. Add the egg, spinach and oil and turn on the beater. Let it go for half a minute, until you have coarse grains of dough in the bowl, something like the consistency of piecrust before it is gathered into a ball.
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