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Sport 9: Spring 1992


Fish and chips for two
2–3 fillets of fish
1–2 scoops of chips
1 lemon cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 200°F. Place fish and chips in
newspaper in centre of oven to keep warm. Plates
in warming drawer. Serve with lemon wedges.

This, from Recipes for the Busy Bride, a wedding present from Mrs Oliphant, fills me with fury. Can she have forgotten the cheese soufflés I used to make when I was seventeen and visiting? 'Amy will run up a cheese soufflé,' they used to say. Too furious to add lemon wedges. Anyway fish and chips are best consumed in a car by the sea.

Cheese soufflé
Roux sauce
3–4 eggs separated
generous amount of cheese, pref. parmesan
salt and pepper
375° 20 mins

The bare outline in my seventeen-year-old handwriting on a smeared piece of paper like a love-letter. As sure of the recipe as I was hopeful of love. The smugness of mastering the roux: that liaison of butter and flour in which the starch grains burst like the popped braces of a passionate gentleman doing the tango. Then the milk is added slowly. And if the liaison comes unstuck there is always the eggbeater.