A Personal Grouse Against Life


This was how Eliot described his seminal poem, “The Waste Land”. Here’s a little snippet to whet your appetities….(poetically at least):

 Under the brown fog of a winter noon
Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant
Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants
C.i.f. London: documents at sight,
Asked me in demotic French
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel
Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.
  At the violet hour, when the eyes and back
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,
Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,

The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights
Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
Out of the window perilously spread
Her drying combinations touched by the sun’s last rays,
On the divan are piled (at night her bed)
Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.
I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest –
I too awaited the expected guest.

Pretty good stuff eh? Well how does it relate to a recipe/food i hear you say? It doesn’t really, but it’s a cracking poem nonetheless. And I’m including it here in the hope of whetting your gastronomic appetities simultaneously- for this weekend i shall be cooking extra-specially for you-my non-existent folowers- a marvellous brace of GROUSE!!!!! Do you see the terribly tenuous Eliot-link now?

I am really very excited about this-i’ve never been able to cook grouse before-only to gut and prep them during a horrendous day’s work experience where i was forced to clean and gut 200 grouse and 50 hares, then to suffer a long  and solitary tube journey home as my fellow passengers fled from the carriage that I-blood-stained and stinking to high heaven- miserably occupied. So what do i have in store for you?

I have two grouse- and a rare opportunity to spend an entire day fiddling with them, so i shall attempt to do them two ways.

One classic British-Roast with quinces, bread sauce, game chips and a turnip gratin.

One Italian-Braised with pancetta,porcini and Chianti and served on a bed of soft polenta with cavolo nero  

Stay posted! (deliberate and bad pun)

An Old Grouse


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