Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sherman also came upon the rebel pickets

My au pair is a lunking sweetheart and you'll be glad to know that, while there is no McDonalds in his Siberian city, his mother was fond of Hawaii pizza. He says he's keeping a record of my recipes. I must roll my eyes. I hate to cook, and rather than a cookbook I use whatever I’m reading at the moment in the kitchen, which at this moment is Ulysses S. Grant’s Personal Memoirs.

When I’m wondering if I’ve put enough salt in the sauce, General Grant notes, “While a battle is raging one can see his enemy mowed down by the thousand, or ten thousand, with great composure; but after the battle these scenes are distressing, and one is naturallly disposed to do as much to alleviate the suffering of an enemy as a friend.” And then I add more salt.

When I’m wondering, though not with total attention, if the pasta's done, General Grant says, “There was about two feet of water in this swamp at the time. To get through it, even with vessels of the lightest draft, it was necessary to clear off a belt of heavy timber wide enough to make a passage way. As the trees would have to be cut close to the bottom – under water – it was an undertaking of great magnitude.” Then I figure the pasta is al dente.

Mr. Grant, I ask, is it better to use sage in this dish, or thyme? And General Grant, later President Grant, says “The Mexicans were very kind to us, and threw no obstacles in the way of our landing except an occasional shot from their nearest fort. During the debarkation one shot took off the head of Major Albertis. No other, I believe, reached anywhere near the same distance.” So I use sage.

2 comments:

Ivy said...

This is my most favourite blog post today -- best in a long while. :-)

S. Thomas Summers said...

“While a battle is raging one can see his enemy mowed down by the thousand, or ten thousand, with great composure; but after the battle these scenes are distressing, and one is naturallly disposed to do as much to alleviate the suffering of an enemy as a friend.”

I gotta read this memoir. You know me and the CW.

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