Russell Baker

Also at dinner tonight, we discussed funny essays.  My contribution was a famous piece called Francs and Beans by New York Times columnist Russell Baker, which begins like this:

As chance would have it, the very evening Craig Claiborne ate his historic $4,000 dinner for two with 31 dishes and nine wines in Paris, a Lucullan repast for one was prepared and consumed in New York by this correspondent, no slouch himself when it comes to titillating the palate.

Mr. Claiborne won his meal in a television fund‐raising auction and had it professionally prepared. Mine was created from spur‐of‐the‐moment inspiration, necessitated when I discovered a note on the stove saying, “Am eating out with Dora and Imogene—make dinner for yourself.” It was from the person who regularly does the cooking at my house and, though disconcerted at first, I quickly rose to the challenge.

Enjoy, and happy new year!