The Elusive….you know ….the thing….

Over the last few days I have been trying to remember a word that forever slips my mind. To suggest that it is but one word that forever slips my mind would be an…another word which jostles for space in the lexicon that balances delicately on the very tip of my tongue The irony is that, at the outset, I had, for once, remembered the forgotten word which was to be revealed to the reader in some amusing fashion; but it’s gone. To add a frisson of excitement, and indeed mystery, I had earlier noted down the just remembered word but where I noted it down has since become unclear so I shall move on to mashed potato in the hope that it may reveal itself along the way.

A bowl of lovingly made mashed potato is an iconic dish that, as is the way with icons, so often disappoints. The disappointment can usually be placed directly at the feet of that lack of love, which lack is the downfall of so much cooking, and the lack of a proper potato ricer which, on searching for a reference to illustrate this essential kitchen tool to you, dear reader, I have managed to acquire on line, but 5 real minutes past, a replacement for my old rusty one for the princely sum of 20€, reduced from 137€! I don’t like exclamation marks but I am fucking well exclaiming.* There’s nothing to see here…move along ….to boiling potatoes in chunks, in cold water, and with plenty of sea salt. Pass the cooked potatoes through the ricer and add lumps of unsalted butter, plenty of white pepper, big dollops of creme fraiche and the yoke of a fresh ( freshly laid is ideal ) egg and stir together with a wooden spoon. Such is the potato on top of the “Sheperds Pie” in the photograph which is also a vegetarian “Shepherd’s Pie” using a meat substitute which was as rich and deeply flavoured as any I have eaten and which allows me to look my local lambs in the face without shame ….although looking lambs lovingly in the face could suggest, to those who have spent lonely weeks on a mountain side with lambs’ mothers, something of the sort.

Sadly, that which was lost has not yet been found, although the tip of my tongue is atingle with possible candidates pushing themselves forward …enigma has just offered itself up and the “a” ending is definitely a clue….the search will go on as, like J. Marion Wayne, I set off into the snowy white pages of Roger’s ( as opposed to the mispelled bloke who has his own one) Thesaurus from which I will not return without my errant noun.

* I would mention the site from which I bought the ricer but I don’t want to be responsible for anything going wrong as I haven’t used the site before.

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 2020, Cooking, Digital photography, Eggs, food, Food and Photography, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The Elusive….you know ….the thing….

  1. Mad Dog says:

    I have the most trouble with Spanish words – I remember them, but not the English! Cilantro is probably the worst.
    I’m planing a parmentier soon, I think I will be adding an egg yolk to the mash 😉

    • Excellent move…..I do the same forgetting French words….as I was trying to remember the forgotten English word, I simultaneously forgot the French word for “shelf”….but all is remembered now…until the next time:)

      • Mad Dog says:

        Ha ha – the worst is switching between Spanish and French, when in country. The switch goes OK, but going back to the tongue of the country I’m in results in a subtle and unpredictable melange of the two …and if I try to concentrate and sort it out, it gets worse!

  2. Richard Tennant says:

    Love it all Roger, thanks for making Sunday smile.
    Rich x

  3. Nevertheless, Roger, your dish sounds very delicious , I should make it soon , as I love mash potatoes, but I recently discovered the way of called “stumped potatoes, I got it from my German friends, which means that you don’t mash the potatoes , just stump them to get some small pieces of them. Adding some roasted garlic…. Have a delicious week , Roger.

  4. catterel says:

    On my way to get some potatoes – your recipe is pretty much how my mother made them, but some roasted garlic does sound like the cherry on the cake! There’s a part of the brain that must be hoarding all those lost words, like a dim dungeon – occasionally one escapes.

  5. Francesca says:

    I often make a fine version of Veggo Shepherd’s pie, comfort food from Veggo Heaven and most animal eaters are quite fond of my version. I think it’s the addition of old fashioned sauces, such as Worcestershire, which fools them. But I’ve never added an egg to the mash and shall definitely do so next time. I’m not sure I can be bothered with the ricer approach- another thing to annoy my aching right hand and item to wash- but I believe you.
    Words may disappear, but plenty of new ones arrive to take their place: the older I get, the more words I acquire, in English and Italian- and the more words I forget, but they come back, only when they’re ready- at 3 am in the morning, or when you are doing something totally random and disconnected to the writing process. The key is not to think about the lost word.

    • You’re right about adding Worcestershire sauce and other good flavourings….works really well. And you’re right about the words creeping up on you at odd times….and when I’m writing they do have a habit of just appearing:)

  6. Interesting, I never thought to use an egg yolk in the mash. The photo is mouth watering.

  7. Lee Ambrose says:

    Using egg yolk in the mash add different value and it nice work.

  8. Lee Ambrose says:

    Really egg yolk works nicely?

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