7 November 2014

Friday's Literary Feast

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

1858 - 1924

A member of the Fabian Society, Edith Nesbit published under the gender-neutral names of E. Nesbit and Fabian Bland.  She wanted recognition as a poet, but turned to children's literature to support her large family.

Jimmy was eagerly unpacking the basket.  It was a generous tea.  A long loaf, butter in a cabbage leaf, a bottle of milk, a bottle of water, cake, and large, smooth, yellow gooseberries in a box that had once held an extra-sized bottle of somebody's matchless something for the hair and mustache.  Mabel cautiously advanced her incredible arms from the rhododendron and leaned on one of her spindly elbows, Gerald cut bread and butter, while Kathleen obligingly ran round, at Mabel's request, to see that the green coverings had not dropped from any of the remoter parts of Mabel's person.  Then there was a happy, hungry, silence, broken only by those brief, impassioned suggestions natural to such an occasion:
  'More cake, please.'
  'Milk ahoy, there.'
  'Chuck us the goosegogs.'
  Everyone grew calmer - more contented with their lot.  A pleasant feeling, half tiredness and half restfulness, crept to the extremities of the party.  Even the unfortunate Mabel was conscious of it in her remote feet, that lay crossed under the third rhododendron to the north-northwest of the tea party.  Gerald did but voice the feeling of the others when he said, not without regret:
  'Well, I'm a new man, but I couldn't eat so much as another goosegog if you paid me.'
  'I could,'said Mabel; 'yes, I know they're all gone, and I've had my share.  But I could.  It's me being so long, I suppose.

The Enchanted Castle

Mabel Betsy Hill

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