30 January 2015

Friday's Literary Feast

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

1912 - 75

Margaret was hungry, not tired.  She went to the kitchen.  As soon as one meal was over, she began to think about the next.  Food had started to entrance her.  
  The kitchen had its scrubbed, afternoon, waiting look.  On the rocking-chair lay Nanny's film paper.  Margaret took it to read while she stood in the larder eating.  On the stone slab was half a gooseberry pie, caved in, and a jam-tart covered with a trellis of pastry; but she had to eat secretly what would not be missed.  In the meat-safe was a slab of grey beef, overcooked, a knuckle of veal gleaming with bluish bones.  Sage swung from the ceiling, brushing against a net of onions with a lisping sound; there was a brown crock full of cream cheese.  She cut a thick slice of wholemeal bread, covered it with butter, then with the cheese, began to eat greedily, dealing craftily with the crumbs, turning the pages of the cinema paper.  When she had finished, she was still hungry.  She cut another slice and spread it as before.  The thought of all this good, wholesome food going into her was pleasing.  A fly from the outside tried at the perforated zinc over the window.  As strategy failed, it tried force.  When it flew suddenly away, the silence was complete, perfect.  Margaret ate more slowly, with no further sensuous delight.  She felt puffed and fagged with eating.  'Grossly, full of bread,' she murmered, thinking she saw what it meant, felt what it meant, for the first time.  And then 'crammed with distressful bread,' she remembered Shakespeare must have been greedy too.  She was sickened now by the food around her on the shelves, puled off some bits of sage and sniffed at them - aromatic, that was better.  She heard her mother calling down through the house; the voice winding thinly down the stairs, along the passages, peevishly.  


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