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Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Kitchen Fusspot

The Kitchen Fusspot

They are, in the kitchen at least, late developers. Often genteel, effete, with alittle too much time on their hands. Meals emerge from their kitchens with a sense of expectation, each ingredient having been painstakingly sourced, every direction in the cookery book followed to the letter, and inevitable late. The meal has something of the theatrical production about it, albeit amateur dramatics, as if it has all been so, so much trouble. Which of course it has. And don't we know it.
The kitchen fusspot prepares dinner - a charming though slightly too creamy soup, meat with a syrupy, over-reduced sauce, a dessert as elaborate as an ascot hat and probably just as indigestible - while his guests get more and more hungary, not to say a little pissed.
The kitchen, once tidy enough to appear in the pages of World of Interiors, now resembles a bombsite of stacked roasting tins, saute pans and sieves.
Fusspot is almost always male. He only cooks once a month, if that, and needs endless encouragement and ego massage. The production starts several days before, with working out what to cook with the aid of a pile of cookery books of the celebrity chef variety, and a shopping list, often taken to bed. There may be a tasting of the wines to be served, many of which have come from his own cellar. The menu will be changed every day, each dish chosen for it's ability to follow its predecessor perfectly, to match the wines, to show the cook at his most competent.
The directions will have been analysed in a way the poor cookery writer never dreamed of, each line dissected and filleted and the given a jolly good roasting.

from "Eating for England" by Nigel Slater.
As I read this passage over breakfast it reminded me of some meals that have been cooked for me. I'm sure some of you will relate.

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