Thursday, December 14, 2006

Even Easy Street has a pothole or two

For someone who was once sent scurrying after a failed attempt to buy "two pounds of fresh, ripe tomatoes," Jacob Richler sure has done well for himself, food-wise. He is the National Post's food columnist, where he acts as a kind of "snob at large," trying this, sampling that, and basically pooh-poohing anything that doesn't come in a tiny, glass jar, costs less than $40 a gram, and hasn't been harvested from the uterus of an endangered creature. The columns would be pretty dull fare (get it?), but for the glimpses they give into Richler's life and his particular perspective on the world around him.

For example, see this week's column, on cheese.
I moved last week, and it was an unequivocally joyous event marred only by the predictable chaos that inevitably follows from this sort of thing – especially in the fridge. General disorganization meant that I actually ordered in dinner one night. [emphasis mine]
Horrors! But it gets worse for young Jacob...
One night, finding nothing in the fridge that appealed, I was driven to rummaging around in the cupboard, where the best thing I could find was a tin of duck confit from vallee du Lagoin, France. And while the legs did turn out very well indeed once crisped, and the extra fat lent itself nicely to a pommes sarladaises, afterward, the unthinkable happened: I had run out of cheese.
I think we can all identify with that: laundry comes back unpressed, the nanny's late, the episode of Brideshead Revisited they're showing on PBS is the same one they showed last week, and then this – nothing in the house but some imported confit. Not a crumb of cheese. Well, maybe a crumb. Actually, more like about $50 worth of high-end fromage:
OK, there was a small amount of a nice tete de moine, a small wedge of special reserve Stilton from Thomas Hoe Stevenson, and half a wheel of fine raw milk Camembert from Isigny Ste-Mere, but there wasn't much cheese. Certainly there was nothing new and exciting or previously unsampled – I had not been to the Cheese Boutique for weeks, and there was no prospect of finding the time to do so over the following few days.

How very grim.
Grim, indeed, but Richler should at least be thankful that, for all his cheese-related hardships, he is not as bad off as those students at his local Dominion he talks about earlier in the column, the ones “splitting the charge for a box of KD and a four-pack of toilet paper eight ways.”

Actually, I wish Jacob, in the spirit of the holidays, had chosen to momentarily overlook the social and cultural gulf separating him from those students and invited them back to his place for a big, communal meal of macaroni and tete de moine.

1 comment:

ognir.rrats said...

Born on third, thinks he hit a triple.