This week in the Kirschner Collection, I had one of my best finds to date: No Time For Cooking by Arlene Francis. I love this book not for the recipes, most of which I regard with a mixture of equal parts awe and revulsion (see: curried pickle and pimiento loaf), but for the photographs.
Prior to picking this up, I did not who Arlene Francis was, but after reading her charming introduction and commentary throughout, I found myself poring through every video I could find on YouTube that she starred in. Here’s a favorite clip in which Arlene plays the trombone on the game show I’ve Got a Secret:
And the photos! The photos of both Francis and the food in this book reminded me of one of my favorite entertainers, Amy Sedaris. I think this book is exactly what Sedaris was trying to re-create in her book I Like You. So, rather than just share a recipe, I would like to take you on a visual tour of some of my favorite images in this book, along with Arlene’s commentary on each one.
“My teen-ager, Peter, likes to feed his friends in his own room where the record collection is handy. This meets with my approval because it’s a lot easier on the rugs and furniture in the rest of the apartment.”
“We’re a family of outdoor eaters, ready to pack up and head for the country at the drop of a Crocus. (Incidentally, I’m rather proud of this efficient, little kitchen. I planned it myself out of what was formerly a walk-in closet!)”
“Sunday Cassoulet combines beans and smoked ham with other savory ingredients. On special evenings, transfer beans to your best serving dish and top with grilled frankfurters”
“Potato salad, molded in pan lined with sliced ham, is transformed into elegant party dish. Tomato peel, curled into roses, adds colorful touch.”
“There’s a saying that theater people are always hungry. The reasons are — when they’re not working, they may not have the cash. When they are working, they don’t have the time. So, when I get them together for a buffet meal, I stress quantity, as with this oversized salad”