5 Mar 2009
What Is The Point Of Chard*?
Or: I Say It's Perpetual Spinach** And The Hell With It
Or: Today I Am A Fountainhead
Or: Hey Mr. Talleyrand***
Or: Poltava Was A Dish Best Supped Cold****
Or: Twenty Fourth Foot Footing The Butcher's Bill
Or: Where Have All The Blooming Idiots Gone?******
Feeling impish rather than peckish, I feel compelled to note that on 23 January, 1879, the men of the South Wales Borderers***** might have agreed that a mealie bag a day keeps the impi away. I do hope that some of you get my er, drift, and that fans of the blog, Atlas Shrugged realize that I'm not talking Howard Roark here. Those who have seen the movie, Zulu, might recall the dénouement discussion of the "butcher's bill," though few or none will recall the bon mot which drew at least faint praise from an erstwhile NER writer: Hey Mr. Tally Man, tally me Isandlwana. (I'm a tad tiffed at said writer 'cuz he beat me out by being first to post an observation that in chiding Americans as "cowards" with respect to discussion of racial issues, Eric Holder might be employing Chairman Mao's "let a hundred flowers bloom" stratagem.)
* See Lieutenant
** "Perpetual Spinach" -See Chard - (Hat tip to Google for that one -and somewhat surprising to me, little else in this steaming post)
*** Oops -inflicted that one on the Suffering Reader twice already
**** See Lomonosov - OK, so Google (and a patient who mentioned Poltava many years ago) gets credit for that one as well from this here "dumb Swede". Not surprisingly, Hugh has mentioned him.
***** I'm pretty sure that was the designation in Zulu,
but my inner Jacques Barzun (to be sure, a pitiful shadow of the real thing), remembering the ugly "Lord
Grey" incident, whispers (via - sigh - Google) that at the time the blighters were part of the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot
****** -heads chopped off - see Mao above
5 Mar 2009
Pesto is delicious. That's the point. If you have one, ussea mezzaluna to chop up the flat parsley. It tones the elbows. Leave out the pine-nuts. There’s no need. Put some parmigiano into the pesto sauce, and more on top. Eat. And stop complaining.
Polenta is a different matter. It plays the role of rice, or pasta, a bland accompaniment for whatever you put on or around or on it, such as, for example, mushrooms. It’s not meant to have a strong taste of its own. But so what? Should rice be shunned? Should pasta? Is it the fault of polenta that it is less well-known, and so had come to the table last, possibly introduced by those whom, you imply, necessarily are putting on airs
Don't blame the food for the fatuousness of fashion. Otherwise there'd hardly be a foreign thing to eat.
Now leave me alone. I'm going to have a cup of McCann's Steel Cut Oatmeal. Not because I like it, but because I've heard it's the dernier cri . The craze apparently started at Boyer's outside Rheims, a restaurant with three stars from Bibendum and a hot-air balloon landing on the greensward in back, and took off in Great Britain when a British visitor, visiting the caves at Perrier-Jouet (or was it Castellane? I forget) in Rheims or Epernay or Ay, was taken on a busman’s holiday to Boyer’s, tasted the McCann’s Steel Cut, and – the visitor was none other than Hulton Blumenthal – took it back to his restaurant outside London. Well, the rest is history.
Should I stop eating my McCann’s Irish Oatmeal to fear of following fashion? What about other kinds of cereal? Would that be okay with you? Postnabisco, quand meme.