The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Apr 10, 2011

Cuisine in the Strand

The Strand Magazine, known for yonks as a fine source of detective short fiction, and more recently, venue for the publication of newly discovered stories by P.G. Wodehouse and Mark Twain, has in its March 2009 issue, a neat tale of haute cuisine gone awry. Excerpt from Andrew Taylor's The Woman Who Loved Elizabeth David.
"I thought we'd have filet de porc en sanglier. It's one of my Elizabeth David recipes. Pork that tastes like wild boar. The secret is the marinade. And you can't skimp on the ingredients either - things like coriander seeds, juniper berries, basil. There's a little shop in Brewer Street where you can get them. I think it must be the only place in England."
Black market ingredients, I thought. Pork and all. The bitch. The cow.
While Marina talked, the rich odours of the meal wafted though the hatch into the living room. My hands were sweaty on the cold glass. In my nervousness, I finished the drink more quickly than I should have done.
It is strange how in a crisis one finds reserves of strength one did not suspect existed. Somehow I went back into the living room and accepted another dry martini. Somehow I made myself eat the ghastly, over-flavoured pork, which Marina served up with such a triumphant flourish that I wantd to throw the plate at her. I even complimented her on her cooking. She said she would give me the recipe.
The meal dragged on. It was far too heavy and elaborate for lunch. Marina served it in the French way, with salad after the main course, and then cheese before the pudding. So pretentious. What was wrong with our way of doing things?


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