Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Next morning they would go over the dishes — the soup, the salmon; the salmon, Mrs. Walker knew, as usual underdone, for she always got nervous about the pudding and left it to Jenny; so it happened, the salmon was always underdone. But some lady with fair hair and silver ornaments had said, Lucy said, about the entrée, was it really made at home? But it was the salmon that bothered Mrs. Walker, as she spun the plates round and round, and pulled in dampers and pulled out dampers; and there came a burst of laughter from the dining-room; a voice speaking; then another burst of laughter — the gentlemen enjoying themselves when the ladies had gone. mrs dalloway
It made no difference at this hour of the night to Mrs. Walker among the plates, saucepans, cullenders, frying-pans, chicken in aspic, ice-cream freezers, pared crusts of bread, lemons, soup tureens, and pudding basins which, however hard they washed up in the scullery seemed to be all on top of her, on the kitchen table, on chairs, while the fire blared and roared, the electric lights glared, and still supper had to be laid. mrs dalloway
Saturday, April 5, 2014

The true king of culinary absurdity comes from L’almanach des gourmands, an 1807 cookbook written by Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimond de la Reyniere, a man so outlandish he faked his own death to see who would attend his funeral. His creation was called the rôti sans pareil—the roast without equal—and it is everything that has made the half-dead art of engastration increasingly popular today: ambitious, ostentatious, and alluringly, inevitably delicious.

His recipe calls for a bustard stuffed with a turkey stuffed with a goose stuffed with a pheasant stuffed with a chicken stuffed with a duck stuffed with a guinea fowl stuffed with a teal stuffed with a woodcock stuffed with a partridge stuffed with a plover stuffed with a lapwing stuffed with a quail stuffed with a thrush stuffed with a lark stuffed with an ortolan bunting stuffed with a garden warbler stuffed with an olive stuffed with an anchovy stuffed with a single caper, with layers of Lucca chestnuts, force meat and bread stuffing between each bird, stewed in a hermetically sealed pot in a bath of onion, clove, carrots, chopped ham, celery, thyme, parsley, mignonette, salted pork fat, salt, pepper, coriander, garlic, and “other spices,” and slowly cooked over a fire for at least 24 hours.

Mark Hay
Monday, March 3, 2014
sauce
Friday, February 21, 2014
The most intimate account of his final years appears in a short booklet, The Domestic Life of Thomas Hardy (1921-28), by a parlour maid, Nellie Titterington. She reveals, among much else, that towards the end of lunch every day he ate a baked custard pudding. His last meal was a soup made from parsley, onions and bread, known as “kettle-broth”. Telegraph
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
[Mavis Gallant] spent the 1950s wandering from city to city in Europe, so poor that, she wrote in a journal, she lived “on bread, wine, and mortadella,” and what is more, knew the price of mortadella in every major European city, traveling to wherever it was cheapest. kirkus
Friday, February 7, 2014

To a Young Lady, With Some Lampreys

With lovers, ’twas of old the fashion
By presents to convey their passion;
No matter what the gift they sent,
The Lady saw that love was meant.
Fair Atalanta, as a favour,
Took the boar’s head her Hero gave her;
Nor could the bristly thing affront her,
’Twas a fit present from a hunter.
When Squires send woodcocks to the dame,
It serves to show their absent flame:
Some by a snip of woven hair,
In posied lockets bribe the fair;
How many mercenary matches
Have sprung from Di’mond-rings and watches!
But hold – a ring, a watch, a locket,
Would drain at once a Poet’s pocket;
He should send songs that cost him nought,
Nor ev’n he prodigal of thought.
    Why then send Lampreys? fye, for shame!
’Twill set a virgin’s blood on flame.
This to fifteen a proper gift!
It might lend sixty five a lift.
    I know your maiden Aunt will scold,
And think my present somewhat bold.
I see her lift her hands and eyes.
    ‘What eat it, Niece? eat Spanish flies!
‘Lamprey’s a most immodest diet:
‘You’ll neither wake nor sleep in quiet.
‘Should I to night eat Sago cream,
‘’Twould make me blush to tell my dream;
‘If I eat Lobster, ’tis so warming,
‘That ev’ry man I see looks charming;
‘Wherefore had not the filthy fellow
‘Laid Rochester upon your pillow?
‘I vow and swear, I think the present
‘Had been as modest and as decent.
    ‘Who has her virtue in her power?
‘Each day has its unguarded hour;
‘Always in danger of undoing,
‘A prawn, a shrimp may prove our ruin!
    ‘The shepherdess, who lives on salad,
‘To cool her youth, controuls her palate;
‘Should Dian’s maids turn liqu’rish livers,
‘And of huge lampreys rob the rivers,
‘Then all beside each glade and Visto,
‘You’d see Nymphs lying like Calisto.
    ‘The man who meant to heat your blood,
‘Needs not himself such vicious food –’
    In this, I own, your Aunt is clear,
I sent you what I well might spare:
For when I see you, (without joking)
Your eyes, lips, breasts, are so provoking,
They set my heart more cock-a-hoop,
Than could whole seas of craw-fish soupe.
Sunday, February 2, 2014 Friday, January 31, 2014

Shad are back, and we celebrate the Hudson’s Clean Water Act recovery.
What a joy to eat the unborn. We’re monsters, I fear. What monsters we’re.
We’ll binge on shad roe next spring in the delicious few minutes it’s here.

- Seidel, “Downtown”

Thursday, January 30, 2014