Saturday, July 30, 2011

Little and Large

Mournfully collywobblish and feeble, I really haven't had the energy to blog, instead have been downloading freebies on to my iPhone, most of which I suspect I shall never read all the way through, unless I develop a fascination for Spinoza. I began with Moby Dick - the thought of  Ishmael sharing sleeping space with a gigantic Maori harpooner, Queequeg, would be like me aged eight trying to make room for Jonah Lomu. I recall a similar dread on first reading almost half a century ago. All this being the result of fevered imagination which will inevitably be made worse as nocturnal whirlings and shriekings must surely follow dinner tonight. Being 'not particularly hungry', sufficient for Gipsy to start thinking wistfully of tumbrils and the attendant mercy of the guillotine so beloved of her peasant ancestors, we had a 'small snack'. This consisted of a tearing pizza the size of a bathmat with Roquefort - the good stuff, since "it's a bit old now"- shallots, ham, capers, small get the idea. Together with two nine-inch crabs. Shells that is. Minus claws. Fifteen inches when extended. I know. One of them was attempting to extend his in the direction of my own digits moments before he took a very hot bath.
It is, I think, one of the few times at the dinner table when a  ball-pein hammer was part of the cutlery; Gipsy scattering bone and claw with enthusiasm. The tarragon mayo dip was exceptionally good, I thought. The pictured dish is large enough to wash one's feet in.
Twenty-four hours later, you'll no doubt be overjoyed to learn that my alimentary health is much improved, so as an afterthought, still with the food motif, Sunday lunch was taken al fresco. Gipsy seems entirely unaware that packaged food exists, thus everything is manufactured from scratch. Should she decide to comment on this, I shall tell the world about the pig last autumn. Olivier, the photographer, brought some bluefin tuna with him for the last day of shooting which kept sufficiently to provide a tartare of breathtaking simplicity and a flavour that cherubim would have fought over. The accompaniment, eggplant à la japonaise is not shownThe spoiled prince of a cat, who occasionally graces our table with his presence; the next door neighbours having gone to Tuscany, had the left-overs which were sliced from the original (vast) fillet and which I myself would have been quite happy with but since they were slightly too dry, they failed to meet the exacting standards of la maîtresse

My modest contribution was cutting the potato chip and onion garni which I managed without losing a finger. Gaze, then, and be envious, heathens.


  1. I want to know about the pig.

    And I am curious about the sashimi... Isn't it bluefin tuna? In any case, bluefish or bluefin is of little consequence to me. I'd gag on either, heathen that I am.

  2. Meant to say "Hi!" to Gipsy. She is looking singularly pleased and particularly content. How lovely.

  3. "Bluefin" is, of course, right and I am summarily corrected. Bluefish is a game fish found off the Australian coast. No material relation.
    And no, you would not gag, retch, heave, blow lunch or toss your cookies at a little tuna tartare. It neither looks, feels nor tastes like you might imagine. Trust me.
    Oh, yes. The pig...

  4. I have been further corrected. The tuna was albacore tuna, also known as longfish tuna, the PC alternative to the red tuna decimated by the Japanese. It's ironic then that we ate the raw fish as sashimi on Friday with the photographer, whose wife happens to be Japanese.


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