[Sca-cooks] o happy day!

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sat Jan 6 07:09:30 PST 2007

On Jan 6, 2007, at 1:23 AM, Volker Bach wrote:

> symbolic language. It actually is, so that should be easy enough.  
> But be
> careful with medieval tie-ins - Tolkien's foodways are really the  
> foodways of
> an idealised rural England, plus a slightly skewed image of the  
> wider world.
> there is some influence of early medieval poetry, but wherever you  
> get down
> to hard facts (and ingredients), you are talking Olde Englande.

Ah. Shortbread, honey butter and a smattering of Armored Turnips for  
authenticity's sake. Haven't I heard that someplace before?

> I once cooked Bilbo's feast with the dwarves, and I found almost  
> every single
> recipe in Hartley's 'Food in England' (a nostalgic 'looking back'  
> book that
> is almost contemporary with the Lord of the Rings, which I think is  
> not
> coincidence - it reflects the world both Hartley and Tolkien were  
> nostalgic
> for).

Hartley's book, as I recall it, somehow seems at first, to be  
presenting the foodways of the 18th century or so, but again, as I  
recall, if you dig deeper it's more like the foodways of the 1920's  
through the '50's that had been around, in some form, since at least  
the eighteenth century... so yes, old recipes, still largely current,  
as of the tie of writing.

> There is also a 'Hobbit's Cookbook', but I'm not very fond of it.  
> Nanny Ogg is
> by far the superior food writer.

I think the best of these, and not especially applicable here, is Rex  
Stout's Nero Wolfe cookbook. It's the only one I can think of where I  
came away having learned something about food, that I did not  
necessarily learn from reading the stories. I always wanted somebody  
to do a P.G. Wodehouse cookbook, and was a little distressed when I  
discovered most of the output of the chef, Monsieur Anatole, in the  
Jeeves stories, was a mixture of straight-up Escoffier and plausible- 
sounding but purely fictional terminology.


"S'ils n'ont pas de pain, vous fait-on dire, qu'ils  mangent de la  
brioche!" / "If there's no bread to be had, one has to say, let them  
eat cake!"
     -- attributed to an unnamed noblewoman by Jean-Jacques Rousseau,  
"Confessions", 1782

"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?"
     -- Susan Sheybani, assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry  
Holt, 07/29/04

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