Thursday, October 15, 2009

All in the Write taste!

Maybe thinking back I can understand where my interest in cooking started. I spent my childhood being engrossed into books like Famous Five, Secret Seven, Malory Towers, St Clare's. Most of the time I used to think I was a sleuth myself and went about solving mysteries. Now don't ask me what they were. It won't fit this post and one person would be really wild that I spoiled the fun by talking more about something else than the topic on hand.

Yes, coming back to my interest in food, I loved these books as much for the thrill they gave but more because of the strange but tempting food that those kids ate.

The below excerpts from 'Upper Fourth at Malory Towers' would explain better!

Tongue sandwiches with lettuce, hard-boiled eggs to eat with bread-and-butter, great chunks of new-made cream cheese, potted meat, ripe tomatoes grown in Mrs. Lucy's brother's greenhouse, gingerbread cake fresh from the oven, shortbread, a great fruit cake with almonds crowding the top, biscuits of all kinds and six jam sandwiches!

Now I didn't know what lettuce was then. But imagine your mind running wild thinking how that taste would be. The author was so clever in getting the interest of the reader by including dishes that sound so exotic, even now to me.

Then in my first year of college, we had 'The importance of Being Earnest' by Oscar Wilde. This has the famous character Algernon, who I sadly tried imitating for some months. The opening scene has Algernon talking to his man servant about cucumber sandwiches. And that caught my attention. Few scenes in fact revolved around the cucumber sandwich and the frustration of the character not able to finally eat them is so funny. Imagine a room with 40+ young girls jammed in a room in a hot summer afternoon and all they can get to hear is about some fellow's obsession with cucumber sandwich. My friends thought they had better things to do!

This was new for me. Going back home, first thing I remember making was a cucumber sandwich for myself. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. Since then, I have always made these for sandwich with cheese slices and every time I remember that afternoon in my first year class room. Its strange how small facts like these stay forever in our minds. But then I guess, we are strange creatures!

Do read the novel, it is one fine piece of art!

But best of all was the movie "Ratatouille" This was really so moving as we feel the same!

It is the conversation between Remy and Emile.

Remy: Hey, I brought you something to...
[sees Emile eating garbage]
Remy: AH! NO, NO, NO, NO! SPIT THAT OUT RIGHT NOW!
[Emile obeys]
Remy: I have got to teach you about food. Close your eyes.
[Emile obeys; Remy hands out piece of cheese]
Remy: Now take a bite of this...
[Emile snarfs the cheese]
Remy: No, no, no! Don't just hork it down!
Emile: Too late.


Sending this post to Sra for her blog birthday party. I know I wanted to write more, but well!

I thank Sra for giving me an opportunity to read through these again and enjoying my memories of those lovely foods!

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7 comments :

Happy cook said...

Oh the good old days of reading famous five and secret seven. The life of these kids for me was like out of the world and the food they ate.
Brings back a lot of fond memeries from my childhood.

Cham said...

Ha ha Do you love cucumber sandw? Sometimes, taste changes in time period! that is why I asked...
Nice quote!

Jaya Wagle said...

Srivalli,
Thank you for refreshing my memories of all the above mentioned books. I too used to imagine running away to a deserted island like the Famous Five or digging for stuff or the hostel adventures the girls in Malory Towars would have.
I too had no clue what most of the foods they described were but enjoyed reading about it nevertheless. I don't think I've read Wilde's book though. Will look it up.
And Ratatouille is a fav movie in our family, I think one of the best movies Pixar produced.

Mythreyi Dilip said...

Happy diwali to you and your family dear Srivalli, may this diwali light up your life with prosperity and lots of happiness!!!

Avisha said...

Srivalli very nice post.I remember reading those mysteries books too and infact I did get one of the Famous Five books from India for my son to read. I remember covering my head with covers and pretending to sleep( afternoon nap) I would read these books.Some memories...

R's Mom said...

Oh wow..you did get back to memories about the lovely food descriptions which Enid Blyton books used to have...Yummmmmmm! Thanks a ton!

sra said...

Two of my favourite books! Thanks, Valli! I know a place where the cucumbers are sliced to English perfection - actually, so thin, we're not even sure they're there! I used to like the Famous Five too - the food they ate on their wanderings was v simple, tomatoes, boiled eggs, cold water from the stream, but it all sounded v delicious then.

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