I was reading this news article, about the Queen Elizabeth’s dinner in reciprocation of George Bush’s presidential dinner. The dinner was served in Manning’s residence (Mannings is the British ambassador in US)
“Under Manning’s roof, guests dined on wild Scottish smoked salmon (appetizer), roast rib of veal (main course) and a summer pudding (dessert). Four wines were served, and the queen asked everyone to drink to the president and first lady Laura Bush, to the future of Britain and the United States and to the countries’ “enduring friendship.”
I don’t know how hard it is to make roast rib of veal(http://www.kycattle.org/recipes.cfm?recipeid=4). Assuming it is really difficult, and takes hours of pain-staking effort – I have trouble stomaching the fact that there were totally 3 dishes. I suppose you can cut your roast rib of veal into 4 equal pieces and sample with 4 different types of wine, giving you the delusion of variety.
My Indian upbringing jarred when I saw this new item, and also realised just how much importance we place on food. I think all our social gatherings hover around food. Our wedding banters have the supreme ability of stumping the most gluttonous eater. The precise statistics are unavailable, but I presume 50% of the wedding banter involves asking one another whether they ate food. At my brother-in-law’s wedding, it was surprisingly easy to make conversation with folks I saw for the first time in my life. All I had to do was smile and ask whether they had food or would like some coffee.
At a royal dinner, there must be a hundred topics to steer clear of for political reasons. The weather is too boring. What do you ask people after the “How are you”, if food is out.
Manning had served as ambassador in India, and I am imagining the chefs of the the President (CP) and the ambassadorial chefs (CA) met at a bar.
CP to CA: Phew! This queen’s dinner tired me out.
CA: Really? what did you make?
CP: Pakoras, Salad, Soup, bajjis for appetizers.
Pilaf, Naan, Aloo paratha, Chicken Tikka Masala, Shahi lamb curry, Malai matter panner, Malai kofta, Hyderabadi biriyani, Raita and Pickles for the main course
Ras malai, gulab jamuns, Kheer for desser
CA: Yeah! Last night, I was really tired too. I had to make wild Scottish smoked salmon (appetizer), roast rib of veal (main course) and a summer pudding (dessert).
CP: HEY! That’s not fair.
CA: Sure is – took me the same time, and people enjoyed it too. See my news item – and where’s yours to compare?!