For dinner tonight, my wife made a delicious beef stew (served over noodles) and followed it up with a peach tart so sublime I murmured the last line of this poem by Sydney Smith; since I’m not sure it’s as well known as it used to be and as it should be, I’ll quote it in full here, and wish you all bon appétit:
Recipe for a Salad
To make this condiment, your poet begs
The pounded yellow of two hard-boil’d eggs;
Two boiled potatoes, passed through kitchen sieve,
Smoothness and softness to the salad give.
Let onion atoms lurk within the bowl,
And, half-suspected, animate the whole.
Of mordant mustard add a single spoon,
Distrust the condiment that bites so soon;
But deem it not, thou man of herbs, a fault
To add a double quantity of salt;
Four times the spoon with oil of Lucca crown,
And twice with vinegar procur’d from town;
And lastly, o’er the flavour’d compound toss
A magic soupçon of anchovy sauce.
Oh, green and glorious! Oh, herbaceous treat!
‘Twould tempt the dying anchorite to eat:
Back to the world he’d turn his fleeting soul,
And plunge his fingers in the salad-bowl!
Serenely full, the epicure would say,
“Fate cannot harm me, I have dined today.”