Monday, February 13, 2012

Indulging in a Food Quote

 'The kitchen had its scrubbed, afternoon, waiting look.  On the rocking-chair lay Nanny's film paper.  Margaret took it to read while she stood in the larder eating.  On the stone slab was half a gooseberry pie, caved in, and a jam-tart covered with a trellis of pastry; but she had to eat secretly what would not be missed.    In the meat-safe was a slab of grey beef, overcooked, a knuckle of veal gleaming with bluish bones.  Sage swung from the ceiling, brushing against a net of onions with a lisping sound; there was a brown crock full of cream cheese.  She cut a thick slice of wholemeal bread, covered it with butter, then with the cheese, began to eat greedily, dealing craftily with the crumbs, turning the pages of the cinema paper.'

This morning I grabbed my copy of The Virago Book of Food from the bookcase and checked the index of authors for Elizabeth Taylor.  It just so happened that the excerpt on offer is from Palladian.  After a busy week at my house I am finally on the last few pages but I do remember the above-mentioned scene and feeling a bit stuffed just reading about all that food!  You really get a sense of someone just going for it.  Margaret's excuse is that she is pregnant and thinks about the next meal before the one in front of her is finished.  But who hasn't been so hungry that they stand in front of the pantry or in the larder having a good go at everything that looks delicious and tempting?  Standing in the pantry, bag of potato chips in hand, is my usual appetizer before most dinners.

Book Snob is hosting this month's title in a celebration of Elizabeth Taylor's centenary and I've just noticed she has a post up.  No doubt she will be informative and entertaining as always, click here if you're interested!


  1. I think Palladian may be about the only Elizabeth Taylor I haven't read. Must track it down now just for that passage! K x

    My word verification is feadmi--feed me?!

  2. Love that description of the kitchen, it reminded me of the kitchen in "Downton Abbey" with its crockery and meat-safe. There is a great article on Elizabeth Taylor in the book review section of the New York Times this past Sunday.

  3. kristina, Ooh, that's so spooky when things like that happen with the word verification.

    All the best in your search!

    Sunday Taylor, That's so interesting about the article, I need to get my hand on a copy somehow!

    There's something about those kitchens isn't there. Being a downstairs girl in surroundings like that couldn't have been all bad!

  4. I love the serendipity of finding a Palladian excerpt in the book. I'm going to share this on the VMC Readers Facebook page.

    Sadly, my word verification is "spharyse" which isn't nearly as cool as "feadmi"!