Lewis Carroll: “However, this bottle was not marked `poison,’ so Alice
ventured to taste it, and finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of
mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot
buttered toast,) she very soon finished it off.”
Ernest Hemingway in A Moveable Feast. Really Hemingway period. In in our time he makes onion sandwiches sound good. And in The Old Man and the Sea when he seasons the fish with ocean water. The prawns in For Whom the Bell Tolls. Yup. Hem. And fucking drinks. Fuggetaboutit.
“They passed Taco Palace and the homeless center and parked in front of an Italian restaurant and went in and were served pasta in giant bowls with olive oil and bread. Haley Joel Osment ate half his pasta. Mallory ate half her pasta. Kailey and Dakota Fanning ate all their pasta and a few pieces of garlic bread. “I feel meaningless here,” thought Haley Joel Osment. “that is so much food being eaten. Seems funny. I feel detached. I’ll just go back to being alone in the library every day.”
“He drained the hot soup from both bowls, and then tipped what was left in the second into the first, scraping it clean with his spoon. that set his mind at ease. Now he didn’t have to think about the second and keep an eye or a hand on it.
“Now that he could look freely he glanced at his neighbors’ bowls. The one on his left was little more than water. The dirty snakes. The tricks they play! And on their fellow zeks.
He began to eat the cabbage with what was left of he soup. A potato had found its way into one of the bowls–Tsezar’s. A medium-sized spud, frost-bitten, hard and sweetish. There wasn’t much fish, just a few stray bits of bare backbone. But you must chew every bone, every fin, to suck the juice out of them, for the juice is healthy. It takes time, of course, but he was in no hurry to go anywhere. Today was a red-letter day for him: two helpings for dinner, two helpings for supper. Everything else could wait.”
“The Chinese food arrives. Delicious saliva fills his mouth. He really hasn’t had any since Texas. He loves this food that contains no disgusting proofs of slain animals, a bloody slab of cow haunch, a hen’s sinewy skeletons; these ghosts have been minced and destroyed and painlessly merged with the shapes of insensate vegetables, plump green bodies that invite his appetite’s innocent gusto. Candy. Heaped on a smoking breast of rice. Each is given such a tidy hot breast, and Margaret is in a special hurry to muddle hers with glazed chunks; all eat well. Their faces take color and strength from the oval plates of dark pork, sugar peas, chicken, stiff sweet sauce, shrimp, water chestnuts, who knows what else. Their talk grows hearty.”
“We breasted eighteen doves and my wife made a clear stock of the carcasses. Each whole breast was cut in four pieces. We added finely julienned red pepper, mostly for color, and a little shredded endive to the clear stock. We poached the pieces of dove breast briefly so they would be soft and pinkish in the center. It was a delicious soup and we looked forward to making it with surplus woodcock in the fall. The final course, rare venison steaks with a sauce made of venison marrow bones and a little of my prized woodcock stock, was almost an afterthought. Enough is enough.”
I thought everyone on this fucking site was a Lame/James Joyce suck-ass. What gives?
“A fat brown goose lay at one end of the table and at the other end, on a
bed of creased paper strewn with sprigs of parsley, lay a great ham,
stripped of its outer skin and peppered over with crust crumbs, a neat
paper frill round its shin and beside this was a round of spiced beef.
Between these rival ends ran parallel lines of side-dishes: two little
minsters of jelly, red and yellow; a shallow dish full of blocks of
blancmange and red jam, a large green leaf-shaped dish with a
stalk-shaped handle, on which lay bunches of purple raisins and peeled
almonds, a companion dish on which lay a solid rectangle of Smyrna figs,
a dish of custard topped with grated nutmeg, a small bowl full of
chocolates and sweets wrapped in gold and silver papers and a glass vase
in which stood some tall celery stalks. In the centre of the table
there stood, as sentries to a fruit-stand which upheld a pyramid of
oranges and American apples, two squat old-fashioned decanters of cut
glass, one containing port and the other dark sherry. On the closed
square piano a pudding in a huge yellow dish lay in waiting and behind
it were three squads of bottles of stout and ale and minerals, drawn up
according to the colours of their uniforms, the first two black, with
brown and red labels, the third and smallest squad white, with
transverse green sashes.”
I just wanted to quote. But I do like meat. Never had dove or venison, but a steak would be awesome, sure.
I think the only one of the quotes that made my mouth water was Updike’s, but the Ivan quote conveyed how important that meal was to him very well. I think Tao’s description was the least appetizing and vivid, but it’d be a great passage for a book on hardcore clinical depression, which maybe Richard Yates is, I don’t know.
“I had just settled down with my Double Big King burger and a cup of coffee. Double Big Kings are great. I could taste every layer as my teeth ripped through it. Bun, then lettuce, quickly followed by just the right mix of mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup. Just after that, the first bit of melted cheese and the first juicy grease of the burger. At the same time, my lower teeth were already past the lower layer of burger and cheese, and my tongue was busy sending heady flavor signals to the primitive, lizard part of my brain.
“That was the love part of the Double Big King that I mentioned earlier. That undefinable moment of goodness that sent alpha shock waves of near-coital euphoria from your taste buds to your medulla and points beyond. A fairy-tale, only-in-romance novels love.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not Double Big Kings, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. For God so Double Big Kinged the world, that he gave his only begotten son. Double Big King your neighbor as you Double Big King yourself.
“I don’t know how long I had been sitting there. I used to have these kinds of food blackouts at Kenny King’s all the time back then, where one minute I was taking the first heavenly bite out of my burger, and the next thing I knew it was a half-hour later and I was staring at an empty plate with no knowledge of what had happened in between.”
“Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn.
To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living.
Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food. The body, these waterheads imagine, is a temple that should not be polluted by animal protein. It’s healthier, they insist, though every vegetarian waiter I’ve worked with is brought down by any rumor of a cold.
Oh, I’ll accomodate them, I’ll rummage around for something to feed them, for a ‘vegetarian plate’, if called on to do so. Fourteen dollars for a few slices of grilled eggplant and zucchini suits my food cost fine.”
(i don’t actually mind vegetarians/vegans until they start acting like christians about it)
Hemingway in anything. In his interview with the Paris Review he claims the reason he was so good was because he was poor and always hungry. Seemed to find a spiritual value in hunger, although that certainly doesn’t show up on the page. Every dish or beverage he describes makes me think, “Yeah, now would be the perfect time for one of those!”