Tuesday, 20 July 2010


This one I rather hoped I wouldn't have to resort to, but I feel in some need of writing for writing's sake. I quite enjoy that food thing. And lots of it. Although that is misleading; I will not put rubbish into my body. I eat a lot, but I'm very fussy. I'm better than I was, and a lot of that came from my impoverished circumstances in London. I would eat what I was given, I had to expand my repertoire. As a child, red meat had never agreed with me. Be that pure obstinacy on my behalf, or a genuine complaint I'm still unsure. Should somebody place a steak before me, my stomach instantly becomes terribly acrobatic, bless it. However, sausages and bacon do the complete opposite, and their respective smells leave me salivating.

A great many of my friends accuse me of being a food snob. And quite likely, I am. I will not touch such things as pot noodle, ketchup, mayonnaise (home made excepted), builder's tea or that nasty pre-sliced bread that always seems so popular. Or margarine. Or caged-hen eggs. Essentially all the things to which an impoverished, student-type ought to defer. The list does go on rather. I hate such things as instant mash. The very idea is, to me, quite abominable. Mashing potatoes is possibly one of the simplest tasks in cookery. Oh dear, the point of this was to talk about something I like. Perhaps I have uncovered the next entry? Right, yes, well.

However none of this apparent snobbery is simply to keep up appearances. Quince could well be having a resurgence, but this doesn't influence me. I love quince because it tastes stunning. And it goes so well with such a lot, not least with cheese. I love runny, heart-attack inducing cheeses on crisp-bread crackers. And prosciutto. All cured meats really. And roasted vegetables. Roast chicken, or goose, or pheasant. I'm afraid this is all going to lack any sort of cohesion. One food will always suggest another. And memory plays such a wonderful role. I used to embarrass my friends terribly when they ever dared come food shopping with me. Waitrose was rather my place of worship for a long time. I was certainly devout. Contrasting the solemnity with which I made Sunday services, the Waitrose ritual was one of excited to-ing and fro-ing in between the aisles. There was always something wonderfully interesting to look at, sourced from somewhere mind-bogglingly exotic. Or so it was for me at least. There is something about fresh, ripe, home-grown, local and tasty ingredients that truly makes me happy. Knowing the meat/dairy/eggs were sourced from happy animals seems to automatically improve their flavour. Is that merely a placebo? I like to think not, although I'm certain various studies have shown no person can ever really tell in blind tests. But then, arguably, is that even the point? The satisfaction of choosing something sustainable and positive over the cheap and negative option is absolutely reward enough. I may have been pounds out of pocket, but I was and remain unperturbed.
The monetary thing has become an issue. I will always, and I mean always, over-spend unnecessarily on food. Today I did start well, I packed my lunch and that was all fine. However I then stopped off at the Boatshed in Cottesloe, to meet a friend. This particular grocer has a reputation for having the most wonderful foods, infamously eschewed by a large number of the locals. For example, they have just started selling Manjimup truffles, something they managed to cultivate after years of trying in the South-West countryside. I love it, and not simply because of the bountiful tasting plates. It was via one of these that I came to taste the Boatshed's chocolate mousse. I had to sit down. On the floor. Such was it's genius. And naturally I've introduced my current wingman to this airy, fluffy, frankly orgasmic delight. And that's what we bought today. For the second time in less than a week.

This is bad not only financially - forget not the turbulent economic times in which we still live, where austerity should be our hallmark philosophy - but it is not at all friendly to my waistline. In London I ate quality not quantity and I walked everywhere. It was certainly cheaper than paying for transport. I also cycled distances too great for walking. I was a bit feeble should the weather have been poor, but in general I would carry on unless the very heaviest of downpours should render me sightless. On the other side of the world, this does not occur. I eat quality and a huge quantity of it. Why? I'm not even hungry. However I cannot sit idly by and allow a sibling to have a larger portion of whatever than myself. I also drive almost everywhere. It's simply the done thing. You can neither survive nor rely on public transport alone, and the distances are far too great to allow for walking. I'm trying to do so more often, simply because I enjoy a good walk. Ah! idea number two from post number five.

Sadly this lacks any succinct, logical thought. I apologise. But perhaps this allows for my genuine like of food to shine through. I do hope so, at least.


  1. Food snob? No. I believe you have a developed palate.

    Yours for flavor,

  2. I got the biggest kick out of this post, and yes, I completely understand on all counts.

    About the chocolate mousse, I had a good laugh about your having to sit on the floor in reaction to the genius--I'm with you in spirit on this one!

    Yes, I did myself in the other night with a piece of Triple Chocolate cake at a restaurant that I thought was going to be a small piece but it arrived like a freight car on a large dessert plate, ridiculously huge. So much so that I asked the waiter to bring a to-go box right away so that I could divide it up. Then I managed to eat the rest of it later that night :-(.

    Now I'm looking at having to undo the damage from that and I was doing so well on my diet, having lost nine pounds. Still, we have to have a splurge once in a while.

    Thanks for the wonderful post and I look forward to the next,

  3. and this is the first blog that I follow that I can go 'well, doesn't that sound delicious?' (the mousse, oh the MOUSSE!) and I could quite conveniently go and get some.

    Yup. Next time I leave the ghetto that is south of the river.....

  4. Ah! The name of your blog has been niggling my brain with familiarity until just now when I realized who Mr. Elton was. You're definitely Knightly.

    Thanks for popping by my blog.

    I loved going food shopping in Manhattan. It was always appealing. But here it's functional, in spite of all the french delicacies. They've gown banal. Now it's ... what breaded meat can I smother with ketchup with a side of instant potatoes so my kids will eat it. I know, gross right? But they don't like endives with ham and bechamel. What's a girl to do?

  5. You aren't a food snob... you have marvellous taste! I am really hungry now after reading this and luckily I have late lunch booked in an hour. Chocolate and chocolate mousse are some of my favourite things. I wonder if Boatshed do mail order? I shall be looking into it. Hope you're very well xx

  6. PS. I love your 'something of the moment' picture. Did you know it's Frances Farmer? xx