Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Baron Brisse Menu 4.

Today, August 16th

Yesterday we enjoyed the baron’s ideas on the duties of a host. Naturally, he also had clear ideas on how to behave as a guest.


The first duty of a guest is to be punctual. Unpunctuality must necessarily cause confusion in the kitchen. A dish you have to wait for is generally good, whilst a dish which has had to wait is generally the contrary. The result is that the cook gets demoralized, he loses his temper at the dinner not being appreciated, and certainly it is sufficient caused to discourage the best of chefs. In consequence it follows that the cook gets into the bad habit of sacrificing the flavour of the dish to the form of serving, finding he has not given satisfaction in the cooking, he tries to please the eye. I cannot speak too strongly on the affectation of being late for dinner, and a good host ought not to wait for one or two people who are late whilst five or six others are watching the hands of the clock and yawning convulsively, a sure proof of how hungry they are. Shame on unpunctual people! These persons are sometimes called inexact, but it is a wrong name to give them; for a really inexact man will arrive one day ten minutes before his time and the next day ten minutes after, but unpunctual people are very exact, they always come late.

They are generally people who find it is the only means of attracting attention, and there are others who think it makes them of importance.

Unpunctuality really means a wish to force people to acknowledge their slavery toe the laws of society.

Mrs Beeton, whose book was enormously popular in England at the same time as the baron was writing would surely have agreed with his insistence on punctuality, but would have been horrified at his disdain for leftovers (see Monday’s story).

Here is his suggested menu for August 16.

Potage à la savoyarde.
(Soup à la savoyarde)
Tête de veau à l’ huile.
(Cold calf’s head with oil and vinegar)
Gigot de mouton à la russe.
(Leg of mutton à la russe)
Aubergines à la provençale.
(Egg-plant à la provençale)
Chartreuse de fruits.
(Chartreuse of fruits)

We now have another ‘Savoy’ recipe for our collection.

Soup à la savoyarde.
Soak some slices of bread for a few seconds in boiling stock, place them in a deep dish, sprinkle with grated cheese; brown in the oven, and pour some boiling vegetable soup for fast day (see 30th of June) over them.

Tomorrow’s Story …

The Baron Brisse Menu 5.

Quotation for the Day ….

If I compared my life to a cake, the sojourns in Paris would represent the chocolate filling and everything else would be plain English cake. A.J. Liebling


Anonymous said...

I have been enjoying your posts on Baron Brisse. I would have liked to know him. Thanks.

Lapinbizarre said...

Might the baron have had a problem with late-arriving guests on account of all those heavy soups he was forever serving? Even before you posted your latest blog I had concluded that had I been fortunate enough to be one of the baron's regulars, I would probably, if invited back, have been a consistent late arriver so as to miss the soups. Hot tapioca & carrot soups in mid-August is pushing it, particularly for guests arrayed in the formal costume of the period.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Those latecomers delay dinners, meetings, theater events, etc. Whilst he's too polite to use words like rude or inconsiderate, the Baron has some solid insight into what motivates those types!