Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Works Well: desperate attempt to be popular

DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has just reported: now almost wholly irrelevant, Works Well will fall off this Flat Earth if it fails to cover food. Or cooking. Or TV chef programmes. Look around, BB, go with the herd, says DEFRA’s permanent under-secretary.

Well I did cassoulet in the novel – a man/woman relationship broke up over cassoulet. And what did Plutarch say about that? Ah the shame of it!

How about the teisin lap scandal then?. Good thinking! For several years this spicy, not over-sweet cake was my reason for driving 48 miles round trip to Waitrose in Abergavenny. Then, zilch. No longer done, said the assistant manager. But it’s Welsh, man! And down here you sell more Welshness than food! Got the recipe off the Internet but despite Mrs BB’s efforts a dull fruit cake emerged. Teisin lap, like cassoulet, is never definitive. Meanwhile, ashamed by osmosis, Waitrose quietly put TL back on the shelves. That’s a dull story, boyo.

The Lough Pool Inn at Sellack is back in business with ox cheek, stuffed heart, and rabbit, to name but a few. That’s no good, boyo. There’s no French chic, no parboiled capers. The Home Counties continue to be surprised we aren’t eating each other, down here in Hereford.

So must Works Well perish? Have to say it, boyo, your record’s poor. How about The Great Stuffing Schism riving the BB marriage apart. BB points to meaty-type-thingy in supermarket. Mrs BB says, always says, “I’m not paying for stuffing. It’s the easiest thing in the world to knock up.” Ah the dismissive esotericism of great cooks.

Two nights ago we had crumpets with scrambled eggs and crispy streaky bacon. You’re fiddling while Rome burns, BB. Blogger’s sure to pull the plug. And that picture’s cheating.


earlybird said...

Perhaps you could post the cassoulet extract from the novel? Surely that would run to several posts of 300 words.

Or you could switch over to Wordpress.

Rouchswalwe said...

The crumpet dish sounds amazing! (What's a crumpet?) I could google it, I suppose, but Mrs. BB is one cool egg, and I suppose her crumpets are especially crumpety in the most delicious way. Is it something one could drink an ale with?

P.S. I agree with Mrs. BB about the stuffing. These fancy smancy cooks have forgotten about simple goodness, like the fancy smancy brewers who add all sorts of odd things to a beer.

marja-leena said...

Ah, that's it, my blog needs a food column to make it popular... plus some wit, methinks, with some beer.

Lucy said...

Had to come back to this to check out teisin lap, all the years I lived in Wales I never came across it. I went to Google images to confirm what it might look like. It needs to be cooked on one of those bakestone/griddle/girdle things, which it always amuses me to imagine being worn as some kind of stomach-flattening early foundation garment.

The deeply repugnant food critics on MChef got very excited when presented with an 'offal fritter', so doubtless your ox cheek would have them in a positive frenzy.

Crumpets, bacon and egg would be worthy of Christmas morning round here, and while I agree with Mrs BB in principle, I have been known to succumb to Paxo sage and onion when I've seen it. And I used up a quarter kilo of my precious 10 kilos Ryanair luggage allowance on my way home last time with a Soreen malt loaf.

Princeling eats cassoulet like many British infants eat beans on toast, but it may well be out of a tin.

Barrett Bonden said...

EB: Your wish is my command (see above). I checked out Wordpress and note it's a more glamorous form of blog than Blogger. Prettier. I'm not sure what else it does.

RW (zS): Crumpet: For one thing crumpet is a synonym (vulg.) for pulchritude, as in: "We went to the dance but didn't see any crumpet." Otherwise it's a 5½-in. dia. disc of bready substance, with holes drilled into it on one side, and a slightly leathery skin which is heated under the grill and (as far as the BBs are concerned) used as the basis for something savoury. Occasionally just melted butter. A tea-time snack on a cold day. Only alcoholics would use it as an accompaniment for beer

M-L: It's only two short steps from wit to teasing to being wounding. In fact I thought I'd recently transgressed this way on your blog having left a huge post with you which never subsequently appeared. Too wounding, I thought.

Lucy: Yeah, it's kinda anti-climax to find that, after a huge cultural crusade (careful with that word these days), you find the stuff's available in a supermarket. I like TL because of its well-judged sweetnes. I can't stand over-sweet, esp with chocolate, and once allowed one of my daughters to feed a creme egg (not knowing what it was) into my mouth while driving, and nearly honked over the steering wheel.

Malt loaf's fine and we're both addicts. But should we ever meet again I'd avoid references to Paxo. Mrs BB doesn't do rudeness but you'll notice a middle-class tightening of the bottom jaw. Actually that isn't the sticking point about stuffing; it's made-up dishes in the supermarket ("foreign kickshaws") that involve stuffing she's against. Given the elaboracy (doesn't exist; needs inventing) of the reports from your kitchen I would have thought Paxo was a fairly rare example of your backsliding. Mrs BB's stuffing is more like an extra serving of vegetable, with onions predominant. I seem to be in dangerous territory here and feel inclined to delete the third part of this comment. West Riding meanness will probably ensure this doesn't happen.

Julia said...

Stuffing (otherwise known as dressing in the South) is easier than pie, and usually involves day old cornbread around here. Does Mrs BB add starch to her onions and other vegetables?

Boyo - is this a Masterchef reference by any chance?

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: Boyo is a lazy sentence suffix to indicate that a Welsh person is speaking. In this case (since Abergavenny is in Wales) there's an imaginary dialogue going on with a Welsh person pointing out my inadequacies. Perhaps too ambitious for a 300-word post.