Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Evening Picnic

In SM Stirling's Conquistador (New York, 2004), although Tom, Adrienne and their companions have set off on a scouting expedition against a dangerous enemy, the pace of the narrative remains leisurely and there is plenty of time for sight-seeing and, of course, eating.

Abalone fillets, quickly fried in sizzling butter and garlic over a fire, are followed by fried sliced potatoes, then by sage-and-herb spiced venison sausages wrapped in dense, chewy bread, accompanied by white wine chilled in seawater and followed by coffee with home-made chocolate-walnut brownies.

However, a good descriptive passage appeals to at least three senses and, in this case, the scenery matches the food:

"They stood in silence, looking out over infinite blue, along the steep green coastline, down at the white curl of foam along the sand and the arch of the waterfall." (p. 440)

"As the sun sank toward the western horizon the Pacific became a glittering road of eye-hurting brightness. The cliffs turned ruddy with the sunset..." (p. 443)

"The sun vanished in a line of red fire and hot gold among the clouds on the western horizon. Stars began to appear above the low crescent moon..." (ibid.)

"The flotsam burned with a snap and crackle, flames flickering blue and green with the salts dried into the wood." (ibid.)

Here, the senses are taste, sight and hearing. Snap and crackle are heard as is silence.

1 comment:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Considering the efforts I'm making to LOSE weight, these all too tempting descriptions of magnificent eating are hugely tempting! (Smiles)

    And I've seen similarly colorful sunsets in my visits to Hawaii. My brother's house is on the west coast of Maui.

    Sean

    ReplyDelete