Monday, March 19, 2012

At one of those blogs the other day, which grant a safe haven

At one of those blogs, the other day, which grant a safe haven for gastro-nomic discourse in public, I found myself stumbling in as the discussion was centering on just how far to go with hopes for a decent poached egg at Claridge's. Oh, you can't know how this conundrum lifted me from that post-operative haze under which I still labour, sometimes all but knotted in my sheets in torments for a slice of seaside sourdough, dappled in Normandy butter and plums. The hiatus was almost as salutary as if I had gone ahead with Mrs David's recommendation, of coddling my eggs in caramelised carrots and béchamel; before reluctantly rotating to another page in sitù, to read of Rick Santorum.

Little, indeed, had I been able to perceive the prosody in the Spring our politics have been enjoying, as one of alimentary escalation in lusciousness with every passing day, one rival's taunt of another's palate deficiencies resulting in ripostes of ever loftier Lucullan lunacy for the next news cycle. Surely we can all remember the day, before this campaign commenced, when the panicked piling on of super-fluous ingredients had not yet so robed the shimmering yolk of satisfaction in surfeits of amour propre? But there we are: a spot of debauchery infallibly tracks with our higher reachings of rectitude, at the hedonistic breakfast table of our politics.

Now that the season has exploited the South for all its enthusiasms for these tendencies, it's natural to wonder how genuinely crazier our candidates can get, even at a convention which promises to be a cockfight. It's enough to restore us by two's to our sheets, to rusticate in the fresh and local underlying ingredients of everyday nourishment, just to weather the culinary heights of a politics of battling foams. Who knew, for example, that the campaign for compulsory childbirth would escalate into one against adoption, only thence to condemn intercourse? How can we fall between so many stools, with a single vile body? 

Possibly it does not beg too much forbearance of our reader, to propose that all of this fanciful flight to lusciousness is really a way of our leadership's distract-ing our attention from the china, as the acuity of whose bluity calls out for nourishing clarity, and truer expositions of the ingredients of our day. But this is china inherited, not shopped for, and it seems that as much as they want it, they do not care for it. Feasts of thrills proliferate, for paper plates of entertainment, the china in the sideboard empty in a bacchanale of vanity. 

Elizabeth David
Provincial French Cooking
Penguin Twentieth Century Classics
Penguin, 1999©


  1. Dear Laurent, thank you for linking to the poached egg post. We have emailed privately, I know, but, nonetheless, I wish you well and a speedy recovery.

  2. Where would we be, without the protection you afford to our gastronomic tendency? To think, Dear Blue, of the many generations who have enjoyed much less indulgence of their inclination to the egg, is to admit that although we may have come far, there are still those who insist that marriage is between a hyperscrambled clod and a charring of pork. Oh, no. Our thanks go out to you, and our hopes for a recovery from this oppression extend to all. Besides, there is merriment in BRH.