I always thought the cover was quite fetching with its photography by Anthony Denney depicting a cupboard well-stocked with pots and pans, copper, enamel, ceramic.
I kept returning to a phrase that granted permission for substitution. (with in my mind the plethora of cooking gear and the whole opening section on batterie de cuisine). In the game-bird recipe for “Les Palombes à la Béarnaise” Elizabeth David with a note of reluctance concedes that something else might do as an appropriate bed:
Failing artichokes, a purée of broad beans or of Jerusalem artichokes or of celery will serve quite well.
I was initially captivated by the permutations that were possible. But upon further reflection it is the form that they assume that makes the passage memorable. It is all structured around an If-Then relation which lends the statement the indubitable air of a logical deduction. If none, then any of this. This concluding sentence with its enumeration flows in an opposite direction to the opening of the recipe where a variety of birds are described but only one method worthy.
The wild doves and the wood pigeons of the Landes and the Béarn are particularly delicious little birds. The ordinary pigeons which one buys in England are rather dull and dry, but cooked à la Béarnaise they can be excellent.
The poise is in the prose.
Elizabeth David French Country Cooking
And so for day 2359