Thursday, December 11, 2008

Food in the stories: Feast or Famine

Last evening Lorraine and Nicholas enjoyed St. Honore cake with coffee; they're just becoming acquainted. I've probably heard of St. Honore cake, but had to Google for it. Yuuum! Thank goodness it's 1973; if 2008 they'd be munching on rice cakes with cucumber slices instead (yuuuck!). "The tantalizing aroma of fresh-baked pastry rose around us in moistly fragrant waves..." I am so there. ;-)

Nicholas tells Lorraine she has a wholesome appearance; as though she'd been reared on "fresh milk and apples." That's *whole* milk, no doubt, as in all those old TV shows wherein a child always has a tall cold glass of milk with a sandwich (Wonder Bread brand, no doubt; white) or slice of chocolate fudge layer cake.

The authors, perhaps due in part to their own preferences, seem to be "feast or famine." In some stories "tea and toast" is mostly what the heroine subsists on. Or, more rarely, coffee and cigarettes. :-\ In "Reception at High Tower," the heroine is fearful of suffering from hallucinations and does have a spotty memory; she's still recovering from a nervous breakdown. And yet she consistently refuses to eat, including 36 hours of nothing but coffee and cigarettes. That was annoying; she would have especially needed her strength then.

Otherwise we're treated to mouth-watering descriptions of succulent roast beef with thick gravy, baked potatoes, apple pie, tender filet of fish, fancy puddings, etc. And there's the inevitable *TRAY* of food delivered up to one's room. Served in bed [if the master or mistress of the mansion], or carried to the heroine's room. That'd be a nice luxurious option; "Yes, please send a tray up."

I like descriptions of meals in the stories, even if I don't need the temptation.

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