Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Baron Brisse Menu 3.

Today, August 15th …

Baron Brisse had quite clear ideas on hospitality. Here is his advice on being a good host.

You must welcome your guests with effusion, so that they may feel quite at home before sitting down to dinner. Try if possible to introduce your guests to each other before dinner, particularly if you think that there are two people who will sympathize with each other. The decision how to place the guests at table must always be a troublesome business for the host; in fact, I consider this the most difficult part of giving a dinner; if you wish it to go off well. The host must always have his eye on his guests’ plates and glasses, to make sure they have all they require; and if a guest refuses a dish, the hot must try to persuade him to change his mind. A host whose guest has had to ask for anything is a dishonoured man.

Hmm. I’m not too convinced that a good host tries to persuade a guest to change his mind about a dish that he has refused. The guest hates it? Is allergic to it? Has eaten too much already? Is saving room for dessert? I would have seriously considered refusing the tapioca soup on yesterday’s menu. Today’s menu suggestion is fairly inoffensive, apart from the calorie count.

Menu for August 15.

Potage au macaroni avec parmesan.
(Macaroni soup with Parmesan cheese).
Saumon au bleu
(Salmon boiled in court-bouillon)
Fritot de poulets.
(Chicken fritters)
Rosbif rôti.
(Roast beef)
Petits Pois au lard.
(Green peas and bacon)
Flan de poires.
(Pear tart).

Chicken Fritters.
Cut up the chicken into joints, and soak for an hours in olive oil, seasoned with slices of lemon, onions, parsley, salt and pepper; drain, sprinkle them with flour, and fry until a good colour; dish up in a pyramid, cover with tomato sauce, and garnish with fried parsley.

Fried Chicken? Not crumbed. Less than “eleven different herbs and seasonings.” But with tomato sauce (presumably not bottled ketchup). The Colonel or The Baron. Who wins?

Tomorrow’s Story …

The Baron Brisse Menu 4.

Quotation for the Day ….

Food: Part of the spiritual expression of the French, and I do not believe that they have ever heard of calories. Beverley Baxter

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