Archive for January 25th, 2013

January 25, 2013

A neat little dinner

For Fëanor‘s collection of food-quotes, though I suspect he has this one already. From Georgette Heyer’s False Colours; noted epicure Sir Bonamy Ripple explains his plans for a small dinner party.

‘They have a way of cooking semelles of carp which is better than anything my Alphonse can do,’ he said impressively. [...] I thought I would have it removed with a fillet of veal. We must have quails: that goes without saying – and ducklings; and nothing beside except a few larded sweetbreads, and a raised pie. And for the second course just a green goose, with cauliflowers and French beans and peas, for I know you don’t care for large dinners. So I shall add only a dressed lobster, and some asparagus, and a few jellies and creams, and a basket of pastries for you to nibble at. That,’ he said, beaming upon his prospective guests, ‘is my notion of a neat little dinner.’

‘It sounds delightful, sir,’ agreed Kit. ‘The only thing is –’

‘Yes, yes, I know what you’re going to say, my boy!’ Sir Bonamy interrupted. ‘It wouldn’t do for a large party! But I mean only to invite three other persons, so that we shall sit down no more than six to table. And there will be side-dishes: a haunch of venison, and a braised ham, possibly. Or a dish of lamb cutlets: I must consider what would be most suitable.’ A note of discontent entered his voice. ‘I do not consider this the season for dinners of real excellence,’ he said gravely. ‘To be sure, few things are so good as freshly cut asparagus, to say nothing of a basket of strawberries, which I promise you, my pretty, you shall have! But only think how superior it would be if we could have some plump partridges, and a couple of braised pheasants!’