19 December 2014

Friday's Literary Feast

Quotes from The Virago Book of Food:  The Joy of Eating

1819 - 80

Fine old Christmas, with the snowy hair and ruddy face, had done his duty that year in the noblest fashion, and had set off his rich gifts of warmth and colour with all the heightening contrast of frost and snow...
  And yet this Christmas day, in spite of Tom's fresh delight in home, was not, he thought, somehow or other, quite so happy as it had always been before.  The red berries were just as abundant on the holly, and he and Maggie had dressed all the windows and mantlepieces and picture frames on Christmas eve with as much taste as ever, wedding thick-set scarlet clusters with branches of the black-berried ivy.  There had been singing under the windows after midnight...and then there were the smell of hot toast and ale from the kitchen, and the short sermon gave the appropriate festal character to the church-going; and aunt and uncle Moss, with all their seven children, were looking like so many reflectors of the bright parlour-fire, when the church-goers came back, stamping snow from their feet.  The plum-pudding was of the same handsome roundness as ever, and came in with the symbolic blue flames around it, as if it had been heroically snatched from the nether fires, into which it had been thrown by dyspeptic Puritans; the dessert was as splendid as ever, with its golden oranges, brown nuts, and the crystalline light and dark of apple-jelly and damson cheese; in all these things Christmas was as it had always been since Tom could remember; it was only distinguished , if by anything, by superior sliding and snowballs.

The Mill on the Floss


  1. It's a wonderful blend of sight and scent, isn't it - Christmas just smells so lovely. I hope you have a lovely Christmas and splendid 2015.

  2. Thanks, Vicki...I hope your Christmas was wonderful!