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Alice B. Toklas

"Illness sets the mind free sometimes to roam and surmise."

Alice B. Toklas, The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book (1954)

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"... like camels, we lived on our past."

Alice B. Toklas, The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book (1954)

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"What is sauce for the goose may be sauce for the gander but is not necessarily sauce for the chicken, the duck, the turkey or the guinea hen."

Alice B. Toklas, The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book (1954)

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"... It was at this time, then [during the Occupation], that murder in the kitchen began. The first victim was a lively carp brought to the kitchen in a covered basket from which nothing could escape. ... I carefully, deliberately found the base of its vertebral column and plunged the knife in. I let go my grasp and looked to see what had happened. Horror of horrors. The carp was dead, killed, assassinated, murdered in the first, second and third degree. Limp, I fell into a chair, with my hands still unwashed reached for a cigarette, lighted it and waited for the police to come and take me into custody."

Alice B. Toklas, The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book (1954)

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"Experience is never at bargain price."

Alice B. Toklas, The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book (1954)

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"There is nothing that is comparable to it, as satisfactory or as thrilling, as gathering the vegetables one has grown."

Alice B. Toklas, The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book (1954)

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"These [recipes] are very nice ways to cook string beans but they interfere with the poor vegetable's leading a life of its own."

Alice B. Toklas, The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book (1954)

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"I like a view but I like to sit with my back turned to it."

Alice B. Toklas, in Elizabeth Sprigge, Gertrude Stein: Her Life and Work (1957)

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"Tomorrow an ex-G.I. is calling for me in an ex-Jeep to take Basket to the vet's -- he has to have something done to what if he were a chicken would go over the fence last."

Alice B. Toklas, 1946, in Edward Burns, ed,. Staying On Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas (1973)

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"... the French write plays and paint as naturally as we play jazz -- it's just a national gift."

Alice B. Toklas, 1948, in Edward Burns, ed,. Staying On Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas (1973)

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"I have just learned a delicious French usage. On wedding invitations when they say the mass is at noon they mean one o'clock --when they say at noon precise they mean half after twelve -- and when they say at very precisely noon they mean noon."

Alice B. Toklas, 1948, in Edward Burns, ed,. Staying On Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas (1973)

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"It is as Gertrude used to say unfamiliarity that breeds contempt."

Alice B. Toklas, 1949, in Edward Burns, ed,. Staying On Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas (1973)

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"Some time all kinds of letters will be published to the ineffable delight of endless readers."

Alice B. Toklas, 1950, in Edward Burns, ed,. Staying On Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas (1973)

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"Please do not send me a catalog. I am at the age now where I am destroying papers rather than gathering them."

Alice B. Toklas, 1950, in Edward Burns, ed,. Staying On Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas (1973)

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"[On Gertrude Stein:] About Baby's last words. She said upon waking from a sleep -- What is the question. And I didnt answer thinking she was not completely awakened. Then she said again -- What is the question and before I could speak she went on -- If there is no question then there is no answer. And she turned and went to sleep again. Were they not a summing up of her life and perhaps a vision of the future -- often they mean that to me and then they are a comfort."

Alice B. Toklas, 1953, in Edward Burns, ed,. Staying On Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas (1973)

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"As Gertrude always used to say as soon as you have disturbed someone you can find the missing object yourself."

Alice B. Toklas, 1953, in Edward Burns, ed,. Staying On Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas (1973)

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"... I hear Francis has presented you with a grandson. Isn't he wonderful -- he thinks of everything."

Alice B. Toklas, 1953, in Edward Burns, ed,. Staying On Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas (1973)

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"Sex is perhaps like culture -- a luxury that only becomes an art after generations of leisurely acquaintance. Why we scarcely approach either as individuals -- it's mass propulsion still!"

Alice B. Toklas, 1953, in Edward Burns, ed,. Staying On Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas (1973)

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"Haven't you learned yet that it isn't age but lack of experience that makes us fall off ladders or have radiators fall on us."

Alice B. Toklas, 1955, in Edward Burns, ed,. Staying On Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas (1973)

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"... the past is not gone -- nor is Gertrude ..."

Alice B. Toklas, 1955, in Edward Burns, ed,. Staying On Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas (1973)

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"[On Gertrude Stein:] ... we are agreed that the reminiscences should be centered on Baby and her work. That mine be discarded -- possibly to throw light on her method. You agree -- dont you? I am nothing but the memory of her."

Alice B. Toklas, 1958, in Edward Burns, ed,. Staying On Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas (1973)

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"Dawn comes slowly but dusk is rapid."

Alice B. Toklas, 1960, in Edward Burns, ed,. Staying On Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas (1973)

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"This has been a most wonderful evening. Gertrude has said things tonight it will take her ten years to understand."

Alice B. Toklas, quoted by Mortimer Adler in a TV interview (1976)

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"[On Gabrielle, her house servant:] She has inspired moments a half dozen times a year. The rest of the time she is spiteful like a petty criminal. If it didn't take so much time it might be diverting."

Alice B. Toklas, in Samuel M. Steward, Dear Sammy; Letters From Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas (1977)

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Alice B. Toklas, U.S.-born French writer
(1877 - 1967)

Full name: Alice Babette Toklas.