Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Condiment Cement

Mustard mortar...
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For me, Xmas dinner this year was a fairly sloppy affair. Although the turkey was done to a T and the pigs were cosily snuggled inside their blankets, something went a little awry on the vegetable front. The timing was a little off, and we ended up with sludgy sprouts, calcified carrots, and broccoli that had had the very bejesus boiled out of it.

The end result was that it was very difficult to get a satisfyingly mixed combination of tastes on a single fork. While the turkey and other meats could be easily speared, the slippery vegetables didn’t have quite enough substance to them, and would just dissolve into a compost-like green gunk under my repeated stabbings.

Fortunately, Christmas is almost unique in the wide range of condiments which find themselves suddenly mutually acceptable at the same festive table. There were a spectacular range of mustards within arm’s reach, cranberry sauce (which at any other time of the year would be a jam), bread sauce, and a schooner of gravy that I’m pretty sure was just a whole cow my mother had melted down.

The point is – these various condiments, with their varying viscosities and adhesive properties, proved to be just the ticket in slowly and craftily building up a truly festive forkful of flavour, despite the recalcitrance of the soggy sprouts and the rest of their vegetative ilk.

So here’s what I’m proposing: make a range of mustards and other condiments that retain their taste properties but harden like superglue, either after a few seconds exposure to the air, or after they’ve been mixed with another, similar condiment.

Imagine the delicately-balanced constructions that master chefs would make – simple ice-sculptures and chocolate fountains would be thing of the past as true culinary geniuses constructed intricate Eiffel towers of taste that would be as pleasing to the eye as to the palate. And for the rest of us – playing with your food takes on a whole new Lego-like meaning.

At the very least, sandwiches would be a lot less messy.

lostdog, Dec 29 2007

Recipe http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/534806
for [8th] [MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2007]

[link]






       // The timing was a little off// [lostdog], you really need to speak to your staff - this is unacceptable. It's a point to raise directly with the head cook, rather than going through the housekeeper. Trust me, if you don't tackle these matters when they first arise, the situation will only get worse.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 29 2007
  

       // It's a point to raise directly with the head cook //   

       Standards are falling everywhere ... no, you must speak to your butler, who will then speak to the cook. Are you really the sort of person who speaks directly to junior members of your household staff on a regular basis ? Shame on you.
8th of 7, Dec 30 2007
  

       //you must speak to your butler//   

       No; you must ask your wife to speak to the housekeeper. Shame on you.   

       As for the idea; I can imagine it getting a little dry and brittle to eat, but a bun for the sheer number of alliterative phrases you squeezed in there.
dbmag9, Dec 30 2007
  

       8th, systems vary from estate to estate, of course. However, in our household at least, the chief housekeeper is at the top of the pile, with the head butler and head cook directly beneath her, followed by the usual order for the other staff.   

       Nevertheless, there is a protocol that says that, where matters are particularly serious, it is the done thing to step over one layer of heirarchy. Hence, I might speak directly to Cook concerning culinary matters; by the same token, the head butler might take up a problem directly with one of the chauffers, rather than going through the under-butler.   

       The reason for this "hierarchy skipping" is very simple and practical. There is often discord and tension between one member of staff and those directly below him. By feeding complaints through someone's direct superior, you risk excacerbating this tension. If, in contrast, you approach them directly, they are saved some embarrassment in front of their immediate manager, and they will be grateful to you. It builds trust and loyalty.   

       As my grandfather always used to say "bring complaints to the man; relay praise through his superior." It works very well, and makes for a happy household. We have a staff turnover of less than half a percent per year (including death-in-service), and the average retention time is two generations.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 30 2007
  

       I have to worry about your teeth, my doggy friend.
po, Dec 30 2007
  

       I must remember to tell Jeeves to fire my parents. After all, their job was done years ago, and now they're just extraneous to requirements.
lostdog, Dec 30 2007
  

       If your mother can melt down a whole cow, she should have no difficulty finding other employment.   

       Any hints on how to make this incredible edible glue? Without a little bit of method, I can't fasten a croissant to this.   

       When the servants aren't around, I use the Indonesian dining style of a big spoon in the right hand and a fork in the left to scrape goodies into the spoon. Fast, fun, and no glue needed to build a mix of flavors.
baconbrain, Dec 30 2007
  

       "When you dine with [baconbrain], sup with a Big Spoon ...."
8th of 7, Dec 31 2007
  

       // It's a point to raise directly with the head cook // Wow that is posh, having a person just for cooking heads.
marklar, Dec 31 2007
  

       There's nothing more disappointing than a badly-cooked head.
8th of 7, Dec 31 2007
  

       God, you lot are so...so....hoi polloi.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2007
  

       // hoi polloi //   

       Nous ?   

       Go get your head boiled (properly).
8th of 7, Dec 31 2007
  

       8th - recipe provided (link) for your convenience.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2007
  

       //We shan't let him any champagne in future// Quite right too. Combined with the heat from the barbie, it must have overcome him.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 01 2008
  

       //We shan't let him any champagne in future//   

       Well, you know what they say about champagne--you don't buy it, you only let it.   

       Marvelous, [UB].
baconbrain, Jan 01 2008
  
      
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