Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Lucia's Breakfast - vegetarian with cocktails

I'd heard people talk about the Mapp and Lucia books with the sort of veneration offered to Nancy Mitford's books, or Cold Comfort Farm, but without any real idea of what they were about. Then I saw that the BBC had done a dramatisation of them featuring Duckface and Queenie. If two such talented actors were involved, the source material had to be worth a look.

The books are interesting. Definitely readable and enjoyable, but the characters are all so nasty and petty. In Lucia in London, a group of people who are entertained by Lucia's social-climbing antics forms, calling itself the Luciaphils. I got the impression that E.F Benson was very much a Luciaphil, seeing right through and being amused by his own creation.

Anyway, as part of her climbing, Lucia befriends Mrs Allingsby "tall, weird and intense, dressed rather like a bird-of-paradise that had been out in a high gale, but very well connected". Mrs Allingsby invites her to meet a painter, Sigismund: "Breakfast about half past twelve. Vegetarian with cocktails". Benson is using the invitation to mock Mrs Allingsby's Bohemian affectations, but what could be nicer than breakfast about half past twelve? Especially with cocktails.

So, I made broccoli sformati and a jug of bloody mary. Lucia, when not in a position to be challenged, claims to speak Italian, but I think she may have referred to my sformato as a souffle.


Pam said...

Ha! Interesting and breakfast about half past twelve, with cocktails sounds great. That's one great looking Bloody Mary!

Rachel said...

"tall, weird and intense, dressed rather like a bird-of-paradise that had been out in a high gale". I've met people like that, usually at art galleries.

I'll have to check out those Mapp and Lucia books.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Pam - I love a bloody mary! I make them quite spicy.

Rachel - definitely worth a read for their very Englishness but there are elements that are very dated.

grace said...

never heard of sformato, though it looks tasty. plus, anything served alongside a bloody mary is a-okay with me. :)

charterbot said...

That sformato looks absolutely delicious, and that bloody mary looks like a meal in a glass... all that vitamin C from the tomatoes, so virtuous.

I could not warm to the Mapp & Lucia books, though I tried very hard. Didn't enjoy Angela Thirkell's books either—there IS a reason some authors are considered “minor” voices!


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