[Sca-cooks] o happy day!

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sat Jan 6 11:16:42 PST 2007

On Jan 6, 2007, at 12:27 PM, Susan Fox wrote:

>>> There is also a 'Hobbit's Cookbook', but I'm not very fond of it.
>>> Nanny Ogg is
>>> by far the superior food writer.
> Verily.  You'd never see "strawberry wobbler" in Tolkien.  <grins,  
> casts a
> quick glance toward The Rock>
> There is of course a Narnia Cookbook, by the stalwart stepson Douglas
> Gresham, written years before the current movie projects.  Mostly nice
> prewar English cookery.  Drat, I was hoping for some recipes for the
> aristocratic Calormene sweets and Giantish anthropophagy.  Just for
> completism's sake, of course.

What I remember best about "The Horse and His Boy" were the  
incredibly obsequious speech patterns of most of the less honorable  

>> 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.
> One of my sub-collections is Literary Cookbooks -- not surprising  
> since
> Linda Wolfe [THE LITERARY GOURMET] was a friend of my favorite  
> aunt's.  I
> think I concur about the Nero Wolfe [no relation] cookbook.  I  
> might also
> strongly recommend the cookbook tie-in for the Patrick O'Brien
> Aubrey/Maturin series.

Is that "Loubscouse And Spotted Dog"? Hard to remember all this since  
now most cookbooks seem to be entitled "Unknown Object A and Unknown  
Object B", just as all John Le Carre novels have to be entitled  
"[The] [Insert Proper Noun] [Insert Abstract, Intangible Concept  
Noun], to arrive at something, say, like "The Poindexter  
Inconsistency". Too many cookbooks around now are entitled things  
like "Poodnooble and Flonkdorsky," subtitled "Two Good Foods You  
Never Heard Of From Tierra Del Fuego".

But yes, I think I have a copy of "Loubscouse and Spotted Dog", and  
remember it as being a good one.

>   This was so much more than mother-and-daughter
> fangirls, this was a true labour of love.  The cooked the rats for  
> gosh
> sakes.

Yum. I always get my rat recipes from Andre Simon's Concise  
Encyclopedia of Gastronomy, followed by Schwabe's Unmentionable Cuisine.

>> 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.
> I read the Jeeves stories as an adult, after I had started down the
> good-intention-paved road to Culinary Historianship, and spotted the
> neologisms as they appeared.  Possibly I am poorer for that.

Probably, but there's so much great food-related humor in Wodehouse  
-- the whole subplot about the steak and kidney pie in "Brinkley  
Manor", all the characters raiding the larder in the dead of night in  
"Something Fresh", culminating in a cold ham being mistaken for a  
corpse in the darkness, and the "food-crank" [read "aggressively  
militant vegetarian] villain in "Jeeves and the Old School Chum".

> Well, at the risk of thrusting myself into another time-devouring  
> long term
> project, maybe we should invent the dishes to match the invented  
> lingo and
> write it anyway.  Widespread distribution of Jeeves' hangover  
> remedy might
> be considered a true public service, don't you think?
> Selene

Ah, yes, the beverage Jeeves never names, but which Bertie refers to  
variously as "one of those Depth Bombs" or "Dynamite Specials" ["of  
yours"], and about which Jeeves only says that it is a little  
preparation of his own invention, in which the Worcester Sauce gives  
it its colour, the raw egg makes it nutritious, and the red pepper  
gives it its bite.

I actually have a cocktail cookbook originally published in the  
1930's, which includes a number of preparations which might claim  
spiritual kinship with Jeeves' invention. The only one whose name  
comes immediately to mind is "Old Pepper". Many of these don't  
actually contain anything alcoholic, but the common wisdom (and the  
action shown when they portrayed the making of this drink in the  
opening episode of "Jeeves and Wooster") would be that a certain  
amount of the hair of the dog -- for TV purposes it appears to be  
Bollinger brandy -- is helpful.

A week or two ago the Evil Spawn requested the loan of the several  
hours of "Jeeves and Wooster" we have on DVD -- he had read some of  
the stories a few years back, but didn't much remember them, and his  
favorite bit was the one with the aforesaid hangover remedy. He then  
asked me if this was something from the books, and I was happy to be  
able to tell him that it was, indeed, and that his guess that the  
written word on this subject was probably pretty cool, was right on  
the money. So, of course, we had to immediately go find a copy of  
"Carry On, Jeeves," and locate it...


"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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