…and all in the best possible taste.

That mice should ever have been laying plans is surprising, but less surprising to hear that those plans often went awry. No place for smugness here: do we humans need reminding of our own best laid plans? So, in the search for well laid plans, we need to look outside the realm of mice and men, and that goes for well made pastry and tarte tatin.  In the aftermath of my latest, perfectly laid, cookery plans, I cannot decide whether I am a man or a mouse, but that narrow option is the breadth of my possible choices, because there is no question that those best laid plans had gang hopelessly agley.


It had all begun so well. Sunlight, music and sparkling wit filled the kitchen, thanks to the services of the Almighty and Radio 4.  Cosseted in this harmonious atmosphere, I processed through the steps of a clever and well researched recipe, attentive to each command, filled with the confidence of one who knows that right is on his side. Reminiscent of a keen eyed kamikaze pilot, my eyes skimmed across the page,  reading and absorbing the words of experience that flowed from the pen of Patricia Wells. ” If you are like me ” she wrote “the urge will be to stop the cooking a bit soon, so it doesn’t burn”. As if to prove how unlike her I was, I quelled the urge to stop the cooking which duly took me past the “deep, golden brown” stage and proceeded directly to the “Oh, fuck, I’ve burnt the pears” stage. The white headband around my forehead, the samurai sword on my lap and the glass of sake at my lips faded and were instantly replaced by blue sticking plaster, a broken tipped Sabatier and a glass of Côte de Rhône as I stared hopelessly at that which had gone so awry. I blame the cooker, the butter, the pan ….I blame the fucking mice. Was Burns not a poet but a pissed off patissier…. did he acquire his name, in a moment of raging irony, from the chef at mediaeval Gleneagles and how did he know John Steinbeck in the first place…..no surprise that he wrote about Grapes of Wrath. If he cooked like me he’d be necking them on a regular basis.

However dark and hellish this tarte tatin aux poires  may look, it was absolutely delicious. The appearance is my fault but the wonderful taste is due to Patricia Wells’ recipe.pear_tatin_recipe


About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2013, Bad luck, baking, Cookery Writers, desserts, Digital photography, Drinks, Emotion, Expectation, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, Fruit, Humour, Kitchens, Patricia Wells, Pears, Photography, photography course, Photography holiday, Sugar, tart, tarte tatin aux poires, Uncategorized, Wine, wine, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to …and all in the best possible taste.

  1. Hi Roger! Your writing is as good as your photography and your cooking… What a wonderful reading! Thanks for sharing! At first I thought you will use some Chicago related story line, but then again you surprised me 😉

  2. I blame the mice..hope you didn’t share with them as it looks perfect to me….very clever writing (as ever)!

  3. Mad Dog says:

    Phew! Looks like the mice might have got their just desserts regardless 😉

  4. I have been a tarte tatin addict for years, and I’m not going to try detox. Loved your writing – next time let the feminine side out and the bloody thing won’t burn 🙂

  5. I don’t think it is possible to ruin tarte tatin. I always just add more butter to the mix when things teeter off course. If you like ginger, it is excellent cooked with the pears.

  6. I think it looks delicious. Have only had Tarte Tatin in Paris and loved it. I also knew I wasn’t talented enough to reproduce it.

    Your next book could easily be a collection of these blog posts!

  7. Thank goodness for wine to get us through these moments. 🙂

  8. I love your cooking stages, Roger. They sound awfully familiar, and not just for pears.

  9. I’ve always loved pears. I should have them more often. This looks delicious Roger. And “kinda blue”, in a good way 🙂

  10. Hahaha.. yes, the best miss-laid plans are often my excuse. Perhaps Patricia was rather fond of that other mice rhyme and she had difficulty seeing her pears progress… she must have had to run to take her tatine out before the said carving knife appeared:) Anyhoooo, it looks lovely to me, I’d eat the whole thing! xx

  11. Karen says:

    It is a fine line between perfect and “a little too dark”…I won’t say burnt because it looks delicious.

  12. Rachel says:

    Just serve it anyway and call it Tarte Tatin aux Poires Brulées… don’t apologize and don’t blink! Mmmmmm… I would eat it! 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.