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Bertie Goes to the Ballet

Hello! Cara here. Have you ever had one of those Mondays… You know, the kind after a long and very busy holiday weekend… The kind of Monday when you think, “I’ll go see what Diane posted today on the blog,” and then you do — and then you sit there puzzled for a moment, because you know you read that post yesterday?

The kind of Monday that you suddenly realize is actually Tuesday?

Tuesday… And your day to blog?

Not that that’s ever happened to me.

However, as (coincidentally, of course) it is my day to blog today, and I’m sitting here with my tea (not earl grey, not very hot, but lovely nonetheless) and needing a topic for my post, I shall interview everyone’s favorite Regency time-traveler, Bertram St. James, the self-titled Exquisite.

Welcome, Bertie! How are you today?

Beautiful, of course! But oh, so cold.

Here, I’ll make you some more tea. So, did you enjoy the modern American version of Christmas?

Quite a bit. It was rather like the King’s Birthday — everyone was celebrating. Oh, and the best part was when I saw that Nutcracking Ballet Thing.

I take it you enjoyed it?

Quite a bit! The music was entrancing. I am still humming it. And the grace and elegance of the dancers was a thing of beauty unparalleled in my poor experience. (Dancing was nothing like that during my day, I fear!) However…

However?

Well, I did keep wishing I had seen a more prosperous troupe of performers.

Prosperous? Why do you think these weren’t?

Oh, please. To begin with, the ladies were wearing ragged costumes, which were so old that the skirts had all been (I blush to say) rendered rather shorter than even modern decorum would dictate.

Moreover, it was painfully clear that none of these dancers has had a decent meal in a very long time. I felt compassion every time one of the twig-like ladies stretched her arms upward, as I imagined her imploring the heavens — or perhaps Mr. Santa Clause — to give her a little food. A pizza perhaps. (I adore pizza. It was worth coming to this century purely for pizza. Particularly pizza with pine-apple and anchovies.)

Ah, I hear the kettle whistling. Thank you for joining us here today, Bertie dear! I’ll go make the tea.

My pleasure, as always.

Cara
Cara King, author of My Lady Gamester, and brewer of tea

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Megan Frampton
15 years ago

Cara, it sounds like you are having the kind of day I had last Friday!

Bertie, as always, is exquisite–but can HE ever make the tea?

Anonymous
Anonymous
15 years ago

I adore pizza. It was worth coming to this century purely for pizza. Particularly pizza with pine-apple and anchovies.

Most definitely. Have you tried the pizza with artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, and goat cheese? Delicious!

Bertie, would you consider yourself a foodie, a gastronomical expert? If so, what is your favorite dish from your time?

Mine would a shepherd pie or beef wellington. Ooh, and let’s not forget mince tarts. Yum!

Anonymous
Anonymous
15 years ago

Ooh, pizza, pepperoni for me please! 🙂

And I guess you haven’t seen supermodels yet then, have you Bertie? That’s an adventure alright. . . 🙂

Lois

Elena Greene
15 years ago

Glad you reminded me, Cara, because I probably would have thought tomorrow was Tuesday… 🙂

Bertie, have you tried shrimp, pesto and olive pizza? I love it and believe it or not, it’s my children’s favorite!

Bertram St James
15 years ago

Have you tried the pizza with artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, and goat cheese? Delicious!

Ah, Milady Soleore! The one with artichoke hearts sounds delightful. Particularly together with the pine-apple and anchovies.

Are sundried tomatoes anything like various tomatoes? I have, I admit, eaten various and sundry tomatoes in my time (though those I ate in my time were much smaller than these I see in the superb-market), but I confess I’m not entirely certain whether sundry tomatoes and sundried tomatoes are quite the same thing. (Perhaps the latter has added “Vitamin D”?)

Goat cheese, I confess, sounds dreadfully peasant-like.

Bertie, would you consider yourself a foodie, a gastronomical expert? If so, what is your favorite dish from your time?

An expert diner, to be sure! Any list of my favorite dishes would certainly include fricasseed lobster, larks in vol-au-vent, rabbits a la Venetienne, oyster patties (as long as no parsley is used), potato-balls ragout, lemon puffs, ratafia pudding, whipped coffee-cream, cocoa-nut-cream, tamarind water-ice, syllabub with clouted cream, and cinnamon-cakes.

I refuse to eat turnips, mashed or otherwise.

Mine would a shepherd pie or beef wellington. Ooh, and let’s not forget mince tarts. Yum!

Oh, yes, I do very much like mince-pies, mince-tarts, and mince-anything-else. (Except I will not eat mince-turnip. Or minced turnip.)

Shepherd pie sounds peasant-like as well. Unless the pies are not made for the shepherds, but from the shepherds, in which case I still won’t eat them.

I don’t know beef wellington. Is it good?

Bertie, have you tried shrimp, pesto and olive pizza? I love it and believe it or not, it’s my children’s favorite!

I do love shrimp, Madame Greene, and olives, so I daresay I would like them on pizza, along with pine-apple and anchovies and artichoke hearts.

I’m afraid I don’t know pesto — do you perhaps mean pasta? (I have learnt that “pasta” is what modern people call macaroni.) Or is it some sort of puree of insect?

Best wishes,

Bertie (who is now frightfully hungry, and needs to ask Milady King to hurry her preparations for luncheon)

Cara King
15 years ago

Cara, it sounds like you are having the kind of day I had last Friday!

Maybe it’s going round, like the flu! 🙂

Bertie, as always, is exquisite–but can HE ever make the tea?

Um, Megan, let me put it this way. He keeps telling me his “man” always did this for him, and always did that for him, and sometimes it’s more work to actually teach him how to do a thing (and convince him to do it) than to just make one more cup of tea!

He’s like certain children that way. 🙂

And of course, he is extremely decorative. Raises the ton of the place immensely. So maybe he isn’t so much like a kid, as like a cat. Beautiful…and demanding. And very, very lazy.

(But I mean that with much affection, Bertie dear! I love cats!)

Cara

Bertram St James
15 years ago

And I guess you haven’t seen supermodels yet then, have you Bertie?

Oh, I feel so sorry for them, Milady Lois! And I think it is so kind of all the pretty journals to keep reminding us of all the starving “super-models” in the world, and continuing to urge us to donate to Oxfam and Unicef so they can be fed.

Bertie, quite full himself

Todd
15 years ago

I quite like watching ballet dancers. It’s a bit like watching aliens. During a recent performance of that Nutcracking Ballet Thing, the “Oriental Dance” featured a midriff-baring costume (amazing how fashion invades even the sacred temple of the arts), and I spent the dance counting the ribs on the dancers. Never seen so many ribcages in my life. I mean, it was a bit like a scene from the first “Pirates of the Carribean” movie. Only set to music.

I am also very fond of pizza. Which may be why I cannot pass for a ballet dancer.

Todd-who-is-feeling-a-bit-hungry-himself-after-reading-all-of-those-comments

Diane Perkins
15 years ago

I’m shocked at the pizza selections! (Except the pepperoni one)Pineapple? Artichokes? Shrimp? In this family we are pizza purists–although we do now select onion and green pepper.

My husband’s Italian grandmother used to make pizza every saturday–her dough contained potatoes. My husband has attempted the recipe from time to time. Once he even got it right.

Nothing on it but tomato sauce and mozarella — not that skim milk kind either!

Ciao,
Diane

Elena Greene
15 years ago

Bertie, pesto is not pasta but is good on pasta as well as pizza and other things. The classic version is a mixture of basil, olive oil, cheese and pine nuts though there are variations with sun-dried tomatoes and such.

You may find it delicious if your esthetic senses are not too offended by a food that looks as if it’s been grown on the edge of a pond. 🙂

Anonymous
Anonymous
15 years ago

LMAO XD I found your site by chance, looking for some info on Colleen Gleason’s book. That was one of the most intelligent and FUNNIEST things I’ve ever read in my life. I’ve laughed for like, 10 min. That was so clever, really cool. BTW, I love pizza, of course, who doesn’t.

Nanda (raposa.do.artico@gmail.com)

Cara King
15 years ago

Thanks for joining us, Nanda!

Cara

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