From Chaper VIII of To the Queen’s Taste
Nothing but a few limp, cold string beans that the children didn’t eat yesterday? And some tuna fish left from Friday’s lunch? A slightly gristly bit of tongue? Three beets? A half cupful of tomato soup?
Take the string beans. Anyway, they’re cold. There are very few of them, you were thanking your stars, but it takes so little to fill those dishes. Marinate them in some French dressing with a quarter of an onion chopped finely in it.
The beets you slice and arrange in a little overlapping row. You pour a little French dressing over them, and sprinkling with chives from the pot in the window. Or, if they’ve died, you sprinkle a little dill.
You separate the tuna fish into little hunks and pour the tomato soup over them. Strain the soup first.
Slice the tongue paper-thin and leave it alone. Or, if it is beyond that, chop it up and mix it with a little mustard sauce made of mayonnaise and prepared mustard, mixed. Four capers on the top would help, if you have them.
You now have—
STRING BEANS A L’ONION.
BEETS VINAIGRETTES AUX HERBES.
ITALIAN TUNA FISH.
TONGUE, MUSTARD SAUCE.
That’s enough if your hors d’oeuvre tray has only four divisions. If it has six, you may have to open a can of sardines and hard-boil an egg.
Secondly, apparently anyone CAN cook. Really, all it takes is the kids leaving a few nasty ol’ sting beans on their plates, you know- the ones you were going to make them eat for breakfast until you remembered you had company coming tonight?
And what is up with all the French dressing? And we all know that French dressing is pretty much just ketchup, mayonnaise and relish anyway, so there’s no cooking there either.
Also, “I” do NOT separate the tuna fish into little hunks. I also do not strain the tomato soup and even if I did, I would not call it “ITALIAN TUNA FISH”. Really!
As for the tongue…well, I personally would have stopped at “Slice the tongue paper thin and leave it alone.” I probably wouldn’t even slice it. Actually, I am quite sure I wouldn’t have any tongue in my refrigerator. Not even my own.
Finally…FOUR CAPERS ON THE TOP DO NOT HELP! WHO ARE YOU FOOLING WITH THE CAPERS?!