18 September 2015

Friday's Literary Feast

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

1929 - 45

Monday, 8 May 1944

Dear Kitty,
Miep told us this morning about a party she went to, to celebrate an engagement.  Both the future bride and bridegroom came from rich families and everything was very grand.  Miep made our mouths water telling us about the food they had:  vegetable soup with minced meat balls in it, cheese, rolls, hors d'oeuvre with eggs and roast beef, fancy cakes, wine and cigarettes, as much as you wanted of everything (black market).  Miep had ten drinks - can that be the woman who calls herself a teetotaler?  If Miep had all those, I wonder however many her spouse managed to knock back?  Naturally, everyone at the party was a bit tipsy.  There were two policemen from the fighting squad, who took photos of the engaged couple.  It seems as if we are never far from Miep's thoughts, because she took down the addresses of these men at once, in case anything should happen at some time or other, and good Dutchmen might come in useful.
  She made our mouths water.  We, who get nothing but two spoonfuls of porridge for our breakfast and whose tummies were so empty that they were positively rattling, we, who get nothing but half-cooked spinach (to preserve the vitamins) and rotten potatoes day after day, we, who get nothing but lettuce, cooked or raw, spinach and yet again spinach in our hollow stomachs.  Perhaps we may yet grow to be as strong as Popeye, although I don't see much sign of it at present!
  If Miep had taken us to the party we shouldn't have left any rolls for the other guests.  I can tell you, we positively drew the words from Miep's lips, we gathered round her, as if we'd never heard about delicious food or smart people in our lives before!

Yours, Anne

The Diary of a Young Girl
trans. by B.M. Mooyaart-Doubleday

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