Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Life, Art, Cooking, Voting.

Election Day here in Virginia. We have one every year. But, of far more worry than tapping that box next to the unopposed candidate for our district’s House Seat, is whether or not to serve a fourth course for book club this evening.

We’re reading, at my suggestion, Any Human Heart, and so I determined to serve an English meal. Once I’m done boiling the pizza….

Just kidding. I will serve a soup course — ideally consommé, but I don’t think I’ll have time for that — followed by a shepherd’s pie (which uses lamb instead of beef as in a cottage pie), a salad,  a sweet (again, doubt I’ll have time to make a trifle) and cheese plate with port. The thing is, a traditional English meal should have a course following that pie. Something like a roast bird with wintery roast root vegetables. I only know this thanks to the inimitable Aesthete’s suggestion that I purchase a copy of Arabelle Boxer’s Book of English Food: A rediscovery of British food from before the War.

When the Aesthete makes a suggestion…. well …. Who better to lead from the front?

Before I saunter out to buy some cheese and a few sundries (oh yes, and “vote”), I thought I’d leave you with a few pictures by the fellow responsible for the cover of my copy of Boyd’s book, Duncan Hannah. The cover is by far my favourite, but all the same, one of the following is my desktop pic at the moment. Can you guess which one?

8 thoughts on “Life, Art, Cooking, Voting.

  1. Hi Chris,
    Just a gentle question – are you certain that your guests to be enjoy traditional English cooking? Many people don’t. Although I live in soCal, I grew up in Canada and was raised on Shepard’s Pie, Fish & Chips, Welsh Rarebit, etc. Not something I have fond memories of and I avoid it altogether whenever my wife and I are in London. Cheers mate!

  2. Hello Robert, I can’t leave a recipe well-enough alone. The shepard’s pie has benefitted from some home-grown rosemary, a bit of garlic … well, you get the idea. I don’t think I’ll go with a fish course. Had considered poached salmon. May start with a light cream soup. Carrot and ginger, perhaps.

  3. I really despised Mountstuart. I got a bit more than halfay through and asked myself why was I wasting my time reading about this loathsome man – the genital and masturbation references seemed anachronistic and unnecessary as well.

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