Thursday, April 10, 2008


Fate Cannot Harm Me

Sydney Smith, A Recipe for Salad:
Two large potatoes, passed through kitchen sieve,
Unwonted softness to the salad give:
Of mordant mustard, add a single spoon,
Distrust the condiment which bites so soon;
But deem it not, thou man of herbs, a fault,
To add a double quantity of salt:
Three times the spoon with oil of Lucca crown,
And once with vinegar, procured from town;
True flavour needs it, and your poet begs
The pounded yellow of two well-boiled eggs;
Let onion atoms lurk within the bowl,
And scarce suspected, animate the whole;
And lastly, on the flavoured compound toss,
A magic teaspoon of anchovy sauce:
Then though green turtle fail, though venison's tough,
And ham and turkey are not boiled enough,
Serenely full, the epicure may say —
"Fate cannot harm me, — I have dined to-day."
For another literary recipe for salad, see Moretum in the Appendix Vergiliana.

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