Thursday, 14 May 2015

"What you want is pie"

This is what my eldest son said after he and I had had a celebratory posh meal together a few weeks ago. And I thought of these wise words yesterday.

Yesterday, we joined relatives for another posh meal. I've posted about this Fine Dining thing before, but it bears repeating. It was a lovely occasion; great company, beautiful weather, glorious surroundings etc. but the food was of the garden-on-a-dinner-plate variety: small portions of tiny little unidentifiable things which have to be explained. Like this:

Waiter (putting your plate in front of you. Here you have to imagine charming French accent): you have here a pâté of wild hare's trotters pickled in cognac, a purée of wild garlic and cucumber, a peanut soufflé with rose petals, a stuffed claw of pickled lobster, and a beetle nut jus.

Then you have to remember it all when he's gone, because he took away the menu an hour ago,  and you can't remember what you ordered.

As for jus, what's that all about? And whatever  happened to gravy? Good, old-fashioned English gravy. In a jug.

So, back to my son. He's right. What you want is pie. Straightforward, no-explanations-needed pie. And lots of gravy.

23 comments:

  1. You meant Bisto Jus and what you got was Bistro Gravy.

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    1. I just got in in time. I read this and thought how do I have the timidity to think that Frances even knows what Bisto or Bistro is? I think it is corn flour and Bovril. I like it now and again.

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    2. Adrian, of course I know what Bisto is. I use it all the time. I'm not sure what your image of me is, but it's not entirely accurate...?

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  2. I think I'll make a Cottage Pie for this evening; I'm no good at pastry. We're half-way between jus and gravy; we have SAUCE.

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    1. and yes.... I hate those stupid plates of fiddle too.

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    2. Oh, we certainly have sauce. We just don't call it jus.

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  3. In German, this kind of menu is even more ridiculous, because they invented a whole new grammar for the occasion. Instead of listing somethng as "steak with creamy mushroom sauce and peas", they now call it "boeuf at [yes, they really say "at"!] jus of champignons on a bed of halved peas" or another similarly ridiculous construction.
    The peanut soufflé with rose petals sounds nice, but I bet it came as one tiny spoonful of peanut-flavoured mousse on a plate so huge you could use it as a serving platter for a party of eight, sprinkled with caster sugar and adorned with a swirly line of caramel syrup that you'll never get off the plate with the elegant fork you were given.

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    1. I am rarely rude but get a life.

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    2. I'm with you there Meike. I think Adrian must have been commenting on a different blog and lost his way. It's too early in the day for any other explanation.

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    3. I'm not sure what Adrian meant, either, and just hope it was polite. For the avoidance of doubt, I made the peanut thing up. Thanks for commenting, Meike.

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  4. I like food that's a bit fancy sometimes, but not so fancy there are thirty-seven ingredients yet still not enough of it to taste.

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  5. A cheffy pie would be deconstructed - a few pastry crumbs around the plate and a swipe of gravy (sorry, jus).

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    1. Posh chef? They deconstruct everything and turn a simple meal into something unrecognisable.

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  6. I lost my ability to taste when I was in my 30s (after a bout of influenza). It returned though not fully. I lost it again some years later (after another bout) and after some more years some of it returned again. One of the things about no or reduced ability to taste is one's reliance on visual appeal and texture. However the subtleties of a dish such as you mentioned would still be completely beyond me.

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    1. Of course, the dish I mentioned was imaginary, thank heavens, but it's the kind of thing I mean. I can't remember what it was that I ate, if in fact I ever knew.

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    2. I knew you were making it up, but your description was so typical that you had a few fooled.

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  7. I must be too literal at times as I didn't know you were making it up, Frances! But I get the (unappealing) picture.

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    1. I think the fact that some believed this shows how ridiculous some of these menus are. The hare's trotters should have given me away. As far as I know, only pigs have trotters. ;)

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  8. He's right and not a square inch on a huge plate dusted with icing sugar which ends up all over your sleeves - or is that just me?

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    1. Not just you, L. I've had that pudding.

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