Curling papers and toes

My favourite new toy is the Google translator – a wonderful resource if you need to translate a whole thesis into Greek, or Japanese, in ten minutes. It’s also useful for recipe research, particularly with French terminology that you can’t remember the English for and don’t have the Gastronomique handy to look it up with.

I needed to translate paupiettes de veau, a dish (so Time magazine tells us) prepared on US television by Dione Lucas in 1955. First I misspelled what I was looking for, found a recipe for papillotes on a French site, and hit the translate button. I wish I had time to sit and laugh at them all, but so far I found two recipes, one for “Curlpapers of Calf to greedy peas”, and one just for “Calf Curlpapers”, which included a little preface about the joys of spring, and having gone shopping at “Large Expenses and we brought back a varied vegetable heap from there”. The greedy pea recipe follows:

Preheat the furnace with HT 7 (210°).

Wash and wipe lemon, cut it out of discs. Divide escalopes in two to obtain 2 equal pieces. Equeutez and fray greedy peas. Make bleach them 3 min with salted ebullient water. Drain them.

Cut 4 pieces of paper sulphurized, in the center of each one of them, pose 1 piece of escalope, salt, pepper, pose 1 lemon disc, then the other piece of calf. Distribute greedy peas around, strew with pink bays, add 1 cuil. of cream on the meat and close again the curlpapers.

Charge for 8 to 10 min, half-open the curlpapers, slip inside of the parsley pluches and are useful at once. 

Useful indeed. But hey, a valiant effort, I think. And it does add some mystique to peas to imagine them being greedy… (The French, by the way, is for pois gourmands, so now you know, if anyone ever calls you a gourmand, remember to get offended).

I did, eventually, find something close enough to end my search; paupiettes are not curlpapers but simply rolls (beef olive style), and the recipe calls for grass of Provence. How much more fun they would be, but even those of us who grew up in Swaziland know that herbes de Provence are not the kind favoured by Bob Marley.

Still, it was fun while it lasted. Now back to some real work.

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