The Looking Glass : New Perspectives on Children's Literature, Vol 4, No 2 (2000)

Font Size:  Small  Medium  Large
Curiouser-Pig-4-2

Pig & Pepper

- The Cook, column editor

(Wow! Wow! Wow!)


Cuisine ... er ... Dessine-moi un mouton [1]


Saint-Exupery

In June of this momentous year 2000, the city of Lyon in the east of France fêted one of its native sons, Antoine de St. Exupéry. "St. Ex", as he is called here, was a renowned pilot for the French Aero Postale service, and award-winning writer ofVol de Nuit (Night Flight). ("Vol de Nuit" is also the name of a late-night culture chat show hosted by another French institution, the venerable television journalist Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, or PPDA.)

However, St. Ex is probably best, and most affectionately remembered as the author of Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince), a book which, although it embodies many of the aims of writing for children of half-a-century ago, including the noble one of "educating" or "enlightening" children, still manages to capture the popular imagination with its often whimsical and delightful watercolour illustrations.

And, in fact, that all-important phrase from the book’s opening, "Dessine-moi un mouton," ("Draw me a sheep") with which the narrator is first introduced to the Little Prince, has become a catchphrase here in the Land of the Gauls. Le Bigdil, a popular game show, often features a segment in which participants are required to draw a portrait or item to be identified by a partner in order to win a prize…and invariably someone mentions that famous phrase.

Much to The Cook’s Surprise and Amazement, however, food and drink feature very little, if at all, in the book of a man who hails from a region regarded even by Parisians as the Gastronomic Centre of France. Yes, there is the Buveur (the drinker), and though we aren’t told, one might suspect that he’s shamefacedly making his way through a case of "rouge de Rhône", much like his much-loved, equally red-nosed Lyonnais counterpart Gnafron. (Gnafron is a principal character in the Lyonnais-created guignol, or puppet theatre. But there the resemblance ends: Gnafron is infinitely more happy-go-lucky than the unfortunate drinker created by St. Ex.)

And there is that famous opening segment, in which the boa has eaten an elephant.

But, hélas (alas), not a sign of any of the noble Lyonnais fare that St. Ex might have known during his early childhood years living at Place Bellecour, the city's central square.

However, The Cook offers you up a staple of the Lyonnais kitchen, Salade chaude lyonnaise de pommes de terre et saucisson (Warm potato and Lyonnais sausage salad), a hearty dish to prepare for the coming of autumn, something to feed our own inner Little Prince and Princesses.

Note: Saucisson lyonnais usually contains pistachio nuts. You may substitute any mild-flavoured sausage that may be cooked.

Ingredients:

2 lbs firm-fleshed potatoes suitable for salads 

1 pinch of sea salt 1 Lyonnais sausage 

¼ cup dry white wine 1 tbsp white wine vinegar 

2 tbsp Dijon mustard 

3 tablespoons olive oil 

2 shallots, finely chopped 

chopped fresh chives (2 tsps or to taste) 

chopped fresh parsley (2 tsps or to taste) 

salt and pepper (optional)

Method:

1. Place the sausage in a pot and cover with water. Simmer for 30 minutes, without bringing to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool 5 minutes. Remove from the water and slice.

2. Wash the potatoes but do not peel them. Place them in a pot with water and the pinch of salt, and cook about 20 minutes, until they are soft but remain firm and do not fall apart. Rinse them, slice them, and while they are still warm, pour the white wine over them.

3. Whisk together the vinegar, mustard and olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and pour the mixture over the potatoes.

4. Place the sausage and potatoes on a serving dish, and sprinkle with the shallots and parsley.

5. Serve and enjoy!

 


Notes

1. (Cook… er …draw me a sheep) (Return to Text)


Web Links

Le site de la Socit pour l'Œuvre et la Mmoire d'Antoine de Saint-Exupry


Bibliographic Information

Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de. The Little Prince. Katherine Woods (Translator) New York: Harcourt Brace, 1968. ISBN 0156528207.

Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de. The Little Prince. Richard Howard (Translator) New York: Harcourt Brace Trade, 2000. (Hardcover Edition) ISBN 0152023984.

Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de. Le Petit Prince. Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1946 & 1999.  ISBN 2070513289.

 


Volume 4, Issue 3, The Looking Glass, 2000

Site design and content, except where noted, © The Looking Glass 2000.
"Pig & Pepper" © The Looking Glass, 2000.
Send general correspondence regarding The Looking Glass c/o The Editor



The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

ISBN 1551-5680