The Other I

May 2, 2010

Another mess

Filed under: The English,Uncategorized — theotheri @ 3:40 pm

It looks as if the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is going to become an unqualified catastrophe.  They think it might take as long as three months to stop the leak which might not be a mere 5,000 barrels of oil a day but 25,000.  (To put that in context, the Exxon Valdez leak totalled 11,000 barrels of oil, and the effects are still evident.)

But it gets worse:  a whistleblower who worked for BP says there is another BP well in the Gulf which violates federal law and could make the current leak look like child’s play.

In that context, I suppose it qualifies as good news that the police disarmed the car bomb set to go off in the middle of Times Square last night.

So I thought it would not be inappropriate to write about another mess to which I was introduced during the weekend we just spent in London.

It’s called Eton Mess, and it is a dessert the like of which I have never had before.  It’s traditionally served at Eton College’s annual cricket game with Winchester College, and I would think would serve as an adequate consolation prize for whichever team loses.

Basically, it consists of the following in – from what I can tell – whatever amounts are available or preferred by the cook – mixed up in a huge mess:

  • any kind of summer berries or soft fruit;  strawberries are traditional
  • Cointreau, brandy, bourbon or any other liqueur
  • meringues, usually crushed into bite-size pieces
  • whipped cream
  • sugar to taste
  • melted white or black chocolate

I have searched Google for a picture that even vaguely resembles the dessert I was served at Brown’s restaurant in London’s Convent Gardens, but they all look quite sedate and respectable.  What I was served was a huge pile on a flat plate approximately the size of a small melon.

I cannot see that it had any redeeming nutritional value whatever save aiding one in actually rolling down the street.

I ate the entire thing.


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