Ravioli, Poulet, Canape, Simpatico, Ooh-la-la! (1839)

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Sun Apr 14 02:07:26 UTC 2002

by the Countess of Blessington
(NYPL has "Margeurite Blessington"--ed.)
in two volumes
Philadelphia: Carey & Hart

   OED has 18 hits for this author's THE IDLER IN FRANCE.  (I read that volume two today, volume one being missing from the NYPL.)
   OED has ZERO hits for THE IDLER IN ITALY.
   I think both IDLERs were microfilmed by New Haven's "History of Women" series.
   Food is well-described here.

Pg. 16:  Commend me, also, to a French cuisine with its soup, _sans_ pepper, its cutlets _a la minute_, and its _poulet au jus_, its _cafe a la creme_, and its dessert.  But defend me from the slamming of French doors, and the shaking of French windows...
(OED has 1801, then 1849 for "French window."  OED has 1923 for "French door," adding that it is the same as "French window."  This is FWIW--ed.)

Pg. 26:  Those who would form a just notion of _la cuisine francaise_ in its pristine glory, must acquire a knowledge of it in the _salles-a-manger_ of some of the _vieille cour_ in the Faubourg St. Germain; or in a few of the houses of our own nobility in London, who have preserved some _chef de cuisine_, whose _savoir_ has not been corrupted or palate impaired, by the impurities of the modern French school.
(Long, interesting discussion of French cuisine--ed.)

Pg. 36:  The ladies' maids are packing, and "Oh! la-ing" at the wondrous capabilities of the imperials, chaise seats, &c. to contain the luggage added to the stock by the purchases made at Paris...
(OED has 1924's DIALECT NOTES for "ooh-la-la"--ed.)

Pg. 57: ...but that harmony of both, joined to an expression of candor, intelligence, and goodness, that more than supplies their absence--countenances which the Italians designate by the phrase "_sympatica_," and which attract our good will at the first glance.
(OED has 1864 under its "simpatico" entry--ed.)

Pg. 75:  No ride this afternoon!--what is to be done!?--write down the _resume_ of my studies this morning, in the clever work of Mons. Rey, and antiquarian researches of the last two days.
(OED has 1804, then 1861 for "resume"--ed.)

Pg. 91:  A tale of passion, love, hate, ambition, operating on its slaves more powerfully than in our days, because the world was less old, less civilised and less _blase_...
(OED has 1819, then 1860 for "blase"--ed.)

Pg. 153:  The large logs of wood piled on the ancient gilded dogues on our ample hearth, make one fancy oneself in some old fashioned country house; and the rich silk hangings, and roomy cabriole chairs, and _canapes_, which originally graced some lofty residence, support the impression.
(OED has 1892 for "canape" meaning "sofa"--ed.)

Pg. 154:  One side of this vast _cuisine_ was appropriated to the use of the invalid officers; and two white-capped and aproned cooks, with their _aides de cuisine_, were plying their professional skill on cutlets, _poulets_, _entrees_ and _entrements_, with vegetables and sweet things in abundance.
(OED has 1840 for "poulet"--ed.)

Pg. 178:  But there is truth in the old adage, that "Liking begets liking," and we experienced too many proofs of good will from our acquaintances...
(Old adage not in OED.  Shapiro?--ed.)

Pg. 180:  But a good soup, a _fricandeau a-l'oseille_, or _chicoree_, with _cotelettes a-la-minute_, _poulet a-la-Tartare_, _pomme de terre a-la-maitre-d'hotel_, followed a smoking hot _souffle-a-la-vanille_, consoles one for these good things being placed on the table by a _garcon_ in a jacket of coarse materials...

Pg. 16:  Here the _polenta_, _polpetta_, and _ravioli_, the three favorite dishes of Genoa, are preapred; and great is the demand for them, and the avidity with which they are devoured.
(OED has 1841 for "ravioli."  "Polpetta" is not in OED?--ed.)

Pg. 114:  ...and as our eyes dwelt on it, we were ready to acknowledge that the old Neapolitan phrase of "_Vedi Napoli e poi mori_," had a meaning, for they who die without having seen Naples, have missed one of the most enchanting views in the world.

Pg. 115:  The ice-shops are crowded by the _beau monde_, and the humbler portable shops, with their gaudy decorations, which are established in the streets, are surrounded by eager applicants for the sorbetto and lemonade, of which the lower class consume such quantities.  When I last night beheld numbers of both sexes flocking round the venders of iced water and lemonade...
(OED has 1585 and 1864 entries for "sorbet"--ed.)

Pg. 116:  Frittura, sending forth its savoury fumes, was preparing at another stall; and _frutti di mare_ was offered for sale on tables arranged along the Strada di Santa Lucia.

Pg. 121:  A contract is entered into by which the number of _entrees_, _entremets_, _rotis_, &c. and desserts, are fixed; the _dejeuners_, _petit soupers_, &c. regulated...

Pg. 141:  No night passes in which these good people...do not dance the _tarantella_ in the court yard, to the music of their own voices, accompanied by the _tambour de basque_.
(OED has 1782, then 1844 for "tarantella"--ed.)

Pg. 146:  Dinner was not half over before he told us on what days he had eaten spring chickens, green peas, Aubergine, and a half hundred other dainties...

Pg. 166 :  The table covered with snowy napkins, and piled with every dainty of the united _cuisine a-l'anglaise_, _francaise_, and Neapolitan; from the simple cold roasted meats and poultry, to the delicate _aspics_, _mayonnaises_, _Galantine de volaille_, _pains de lievre aux pistaches_, _pates de Pithievers_, _salades d'homard et d'anchois_, and _la Poutarga_, down to all the tempting _friandises a-la-napolitaine_, formed as picturesque an object to the sight, as a tempting one to the palate.

Pg. 177:  He is as much delighted with Italy as we are, but must return to England _bon gre mal gre_.
(OED has 1818 for "bon gre malgre"--ed.)

Pg. 268:  The Russian fashion of arranging the dinner table is universally adopted by the Neapolitans.  A plateau and epergne occupy the centre, as with us, and the dessert, mixed with vases of flowers, occupies the places of the dishes, which in England are set on the festive board, but which here are placed on the buffet; and are carved and handed round by the servants.  (...)
   Some of the Neapolitan dishes are excellent; and the native cooks are by no means deficient in the gastronomic _savoir-faire_.  I observed that the Neopolitans, like the French, taste of all dishes, however numerous they may be, that are served at table; and that no one, except an invalid, limits his dinner to one or two.

Pg. 294:  Coffee was served _a-la-turque_, in delicate China cups incased in silver fillagree ones...

Pg. 295:  After dinner, coffee was served _a-la-turque_, and in a separate chamber pipes were laid for the gentlemen...
(OED doesn't have "a-la-turque," but has 1854 for "Turkish coffee"--ed.)

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