White Mice for Breakfast

"O mischief, thou art swift to enter in the thoughts of desperate men!"

More Popular than Cheeses? Esther’s Cheese of the Week March 30, 2010

Filed under: Savoury Delicacies — theotherhand @ 2:34 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

This week, tartiflettes:

That’s right, perceptive readers! No thin-as-prosciutto word games, no mildly unrelated photographs, just DRUNK CHEESE.Or in actuality, UBRIACO.

Or in its gloriously precise wine-sodden reality, FORMAIO EMBRIAGO.

Yes, my over-excited reblochons! An exciting cheese indeed, un fromage ivre, un queso borracho; un formaggio ubriaco! Do try to contain yourselves, I intend to elaborate and find it most difficult when I know that my readers are pawing at the screen like cannibals at a tanning salon. DECORUM, dear frites, is the key to gastronomy success.

AnyWHO, formaggio ubriaco is a cheese which has been wined and dined, enveloped and enrobed by the fruity must of cabernet and merlot grapes, après the wine pressing has concluded. The cheese is then left in beautiful union with the must, for several days, a week, a delirious honeymoon of cheese and wine, two substances meeting, growing intimately familiar, reading Dr. Zhivago to each other, listening to classical love arias and watching the bella notte section from Lady and the Tramp, before being cruelly separated from each other, compelled by the force of fate to live alone; purple rind the only memory of the ill-fated, but magical love affair… Tragic, mon oeufs, but beautiful nonetheless.

Lumi’s hand encroaching on my embriago

HOW Esther, I hear you ask, how did you discover this fromagian romance? I shall tell you; this morning, myself and a long-term confidante, Lumi Salmonchee, paid a visit to a wonderful delicatessen, taking with us dear Ricky, who has been moping rather of late after all the fumé in the press about his personal life. (Poor man, I don’t see why coming out as a vegetarian would be of such interest to the press…)

During our long perusal of the cheese counter, I espied the purple-washed elegance of the Embriago, resting amongst the other, happier cheeses, wearing its pathos bravely with its subtle hint of tragic grape. Ricky immediately identified with it, and demanded tearfully that we purchase some for lunch. Lumi seemed less eager, engrossed as she was in gnawing at a block of Applewood.

CAN you imagine my surprise, butterbeans, when I was handed a slice costing FIVE GUINEAS AND FIVE SHILLINGS?! Lumi, of course, threatened to tell my acquaintances of the extravagant purchase. She will not, however, since have a good quantity of blackmail material on her. (Always good practice, crumpets) You’ll be pleased to know that Ricky had a delightful lunch, and is currently napping in the hammock on the verandah. This afternoon, we intend to get the crossbows out, and play ‘Shoot the bagels hung from the butler’s coat’, before baking some cookies and watching re-runs of Doogie Howser, M.D.

Delightful. Until elevenses, sweet Eccles,

Esther. xxx


Turkish B Good March 15, 2010

Filed under: Confectionary,Savoury Delicacies — theotherhand @ 1:05 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

This week, piccalillies, I whole heartedly encourage you to HAVE A:

Oh my, did those pearly kings and queens have the right idea! However, as colourful and wholesome as the cuisine of the music halls was, this missive, dear eaters, does not address boiled beef, pork trotters or savs. It instead concerns a deliciously CHARMING peti’terie… (a petite eatery for the less perspicacious amongst you; a SMALL culinary locale. Please make a note of this new vocabulary in your specially designed E.C. (Esther Crumpet) memo pads. I trust you have all obtained these; repetition is ever so bothersome)

… a CHARMING peti’terie with a most flavoursome dish of plantain persuasion. An elegiac elopement of textures and tastes, rich, yet humble, sweet and cool, melting but…

But I am gamboling ahead of myself, loyal chouxs! I must relate the series of felicitous coincidences which led me to the bananaine surprise! Know then, that poor Leavis has been feeling under precipitation of late, so to cheer him up I set out for a visit in my new perambulatory machine, taking with me a batch of freshly risen CRUMPETS.

However, as I was driving through the merry streets of Canterbridge, who should I espy perched in the window of a cosy establishment but Mrs P. and Pamela, who were pleasantly occupied in cooing at passing toddlers. Eager not to miss such good sport, I joined them for luncheon. Said peti’terie, Cafe Otto, is graced by two splendidly astute hosts, whose rhetorical nudges towards a superb plate of dolma were gratefully accepted.

‘Twas towards the end of our jovial repas however, that the real treat-ine was granted, and fortuitously, I captured an image:

As simple, yet elegant and TASTEFUL as one of Miss Pamela’s bows. A yielding, fudge-like centre embellished with hidden jems of pistachio and walnut, melding in a delicate morsel of banana, with chocolate robing as classic as a beatnik’s black polo neck. What is more, it was GRATIS, dear eaters, a quality which emphasized its charms twofold.

Poor Leavis never did get his crumpets. Although I entrusted them to the doorman, Roland Barthes was hanging about again like a hungry beagle. I suspect he ate them.

Love and cucumber sandwiches,

Esther xxx


Easy as a Piece of Cake March 9, 2010

Filed under: Savoury Delicacies — theotherhand @ 11:24 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

This week,  I’m afraid I have been terribly:

+   =  

Yes that’s right, dear chitterlings. This week, I, along with several esteemed colleagues, have been rather preoccuPIEd. It began early last week, when, quite simultaneously, we all fell about ourselves over a Piemaker! Can you imagine our mutual chagrin when we discovered ourselves attempting to squeeze through the door of his quaint eatery ‘The Pie Hole’ at the very same time? Quelle Catastrophe! Miss Pamela, the first to have lain eyes on him, forgot all her virtue and began threatening to use her demure hair ribbon as a garotte! Geraldine, meanwhile, joined the fray by brandishing a weighty volume from her bag, suggesting a good pummeling. Not wanting to disarray the elaborate cornucopia I had balanced in my curls, I stepped back from the ruckus, and with the aid of a handy soda dispenser, quelled the warm spirits all round. Once we had all dried off, and were sat most peaceably in a booth with large malts, the following truce was agreed upon:

To LEAVE the most delectable pie-maker (who is, in any case, a work of fiction) to his travail, and revel in our own expertise by the creation of a CELEBRATORY PIE.

Ah, dear crumpetines, this is indeed Esther’s Advice to dispel strife and care on all occasions. The next time you are worn with grief and dismay, and are sitting on the floor surrounded by wrappings, sobbing and cramming cream buns into your mouth, raise yourself up, brush off that icing sugar, and shout gaudiloquently:


If you are fortunate, and pray to St. Escoffier, your pie may even look a smidgeon like this:

(DELICIOUS FOOD DISCLAIMER: RETREAT A SAFE DISTANCE FROM KEYBOARD TO PREVENT DROOL DAMAGE. Esther Crumpet will be in no way held responsible for salivation based malfunctions.)

Delectable goats' cheese, spinach, pine nut and shallot, puff pastry PIE.

Of course, sweet readers, those will the skills of Esther Crumpet are few and far between, so YOURS may not look quite so glorious. It is of no matter, the important lesson learned is that you have CREATED a dish of which to be proud and SAVOUR, rather than weeping in a buttery mess into your empty packet of prozac.

Until next time, pikelets!

Esther xxx