I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Now worth eating

I sat on the sofa, pleasantly knackered after providing some minor service for my helpmeet. The door opened and I was handed a deliciously smelling plate: a couple of cooked chicken livers transfixed with toothpicks. Ah...

Quickly they were a memory, a memory that resonates. Chicken has been a barometer of gustatory wellbeing for me over the years. Immediately after the war it was an unimaginable luxury, appearing once a year only at Christmas. Turkey? Only aristocrats and black-market criminals ate that.

For ten years chicken retained its luxury status but then came the cheap, battery-reared corpse and my interest waned. "Food for invalids," I told my ma-in-law.

Chicken staged a small comeback in the USA when a KFC bucket, accompanied by a $5 jug of beer, formed an epilogue to evenings spent watching the Pittsburgh Jugoslav Club play softball. Back in the UK the pap continued.

I was re-converted in France by a Poulet de Bresse which cost many euros. I realised flavour is available but it doesn’t come with a Tesco Value label. It costs. That aforementioned evening we ate the livers' surroundings, roasted, and VR let me strip the skin off the remainder and chew. Barometer now set Fair.

Poetry extract, chosen not knowing the author, honouring Joe Hyam.

I wish I were a
And I could pick off the coconuts with my nose,
But, oh, I am not,
But I'm a cockroach
And I'm a waterbug,
I can crawl around and hide behind the sink.

Reasons why. Two good, if conflicting, rules; be unexpected (nose instead of trunk), be straightforward if it elaborates the line (behind the sink). And grab attention - here by mispronouncing elephant. A child speaking?

Anon. (Hey, I was fooled too.)


Lucy said...

Fooled me (I think...) but too much upper case and punctuation of course. I like the 'a' rather than 'an' at the end of the line, especially with the 'were'.

One of the good things about coming here, free range label rouge chicken affordable and available almost everywhere, you don't have to go as far as poulet de Bresse. Sod all to do with animal welfare (bof!), it just tastes better. You don't get it with the livers though, more's the pity, but can get those separately.

Stella said...

At our local small shop we can get chicken flat/sauced/bagged, capon, free range, rotisseried, or ordinary. None come with livers. (For livers I have to go to another, larger, store.) Most of the locals buy their dinners ready-cooked I suspect and might faint at the sight of a liver. My parents emigrated in 1949 from Scotland and it surprised me when I learned that rationing went on for several more years in Britain. No rationing here, but no bounty either and no money -- the splurge of chicken on Sunday was an occasion. My mother was a bad cook, but you have me wondering if the fault was the product she had to work with. You have me thinking of the succulent chicken in the movie Amelie.

mike M said...

The message is clear: Envy forgets the downside of what is desired. An elephant cannot easily hide. Count your blessings and be happy.

Roderick Robinson said...

Lucy: Again the extract is taken from The Poet's Tongue and in sequence. Which means there's frequently old rackety stuff to begin with (although the Yeats wasn't chronological). But Auden believes people who really love poetry are capable of finding good lines here and there in the most unpromising locations.

Just six weeks to go before I can start looking for blue labels.

Stella: War-influenced cooking - the memory makes me shudder. Years ago I blogged about Canadian Supper Cake, a recipe that attempted to compensate for the shortage of butter, etc, by substituting liquid paraffin. Canadians of my acquaintance weren't amused, and neither was I at the time. Trouble is my Grannie kept on cooking it long after restrictions on butter had eased somewhat.

What a culinary snob you are, Stella, (eg, "faint at the sight of"). But that's why you are now a fully-fledged member of USOAC; as president I welcome you with open arms and promise to help squeeze the last bit of Canadian decency from you, leaving only the tendency towards wit which you are now succumbing to day by day.

MikeM: More telegrams, I see. But that last sentence skirts sentimentality a bit too close for my liking. You won your USOAC membeship some time ago; but you can be stripped of it in an eyeblink.

Lucy said...

Now don't be menacing to Mike, or assume him incapable of irony. I thought the cockroach might be Archie of Archie and Mehitabel, though I imagine that might post-date the anthology. The premise was that Archie typed his poems but being a cockroach lacked sufficient weight to hold down the shift key.

The image of you being ministered unto by VR with chicken livers is a charming one.

mike M said...

I'll bite. What's USOAC other than "United Seniors of Oakland and Alameda County"? Liver can be tasty, but I can't get over the notion that it's a filter.

Roderick Robinson said...

MikeM: Scroll back to previous post: Gluck said it better*. Scroll down to my second re-comment to Stella (starts Stella (Second go): How long ago...) And take in following adjacent re-comment to Crow (Starts Crow (second go): You, of course...)

An act of pure invention, but intended to suggest that I regard the people who take time out to comment on my blog as an imperishable elite: articulate, witty, on top of their game, keen to keep me honest, people anybody'd be happy to have round for tea.

Also, more subtly, to mark the fact that some people read my blog but don't comment. They're apparently put off by the lively byplay. Yet when they do decide they're quickly into their stride: arguing, calumniating, opinionating. I'm pleased and proud to be associated with you all and to be the location for this transformation. A worthwhile phenomenon which helps justify my existence and provides proof that blogging (said by many to be a dying art) is still an admirable medium for those who like writing.

Lucy: Have I now de-manaced MikeM? Am I now shriven?

Ellena said...

Even if I only retain one out of 20 new words facing me here, I am pleased to read.
And please hear Lucy as she is on her knees.

mike M said...

Oh, geez. One post away and I missed it...but I did search your blog for "usoac" and came up empty handed, so I did put forth effort. There is a big "free range" movement afoot here in the US (for chickens), the underlying theory I think is that happy birds taste better. I for one would rather eat a creature that enjoyed its life as much as possible, and I'm not willing to downplay the existence or extent of bird happiness. Price Chopper, one of our leading supermarkets, is now selling a line of free-range, grass fed, antibiotic and hormone additive free beef. Not overly expensive and the grass fed bit leads to a whole new (wonderful) flavor. Natural for cattle to eat grass...they are not yet well evolved to be fed only corn. Corn is taking over the world, in case you haven't heard. Easy to grow, government subsidized here. Corn in everything, including the packaging.
No bites on my liver comment. Did you access the reviews on Amazon successfully?