Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Loophole

Photo courtesy Flickr
Knowing the origins of domestic practice is liberating: the most formal customs are the most ancient. Sometimes a contemporary problem disappears in a puff of history.

Recently, a hostess was discomforted to discover that the chicken was done and the vegetables had not even gone into the oven.

Ordinarily another round of drinks would take care of the problem, but we had chosen a temperate menu. Fortunately, moi was able to volunteer that the great country houses of the English eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were known for their cold food, because the kitchens were hundreds of feet from the dining rooms.

I forgot to add that spending a year in Salt Lake City taught me that the LDS prefer food that is neither very hot nor very cold. The environmental wisdom of that policy makes itself apparent over time, and there is culinary wisdom, too. Good food tastes just as good cold as hot.

Congenial company in a private house is far more important than sophisticated table service.


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