Sunday, April 15, 2007

Guns and butter

In the beginning, like camels, we lived on our past. We had been well nourished. The Bougey is famous for its food and we didn't feel hungry until some weeks after strict rationing had been enforced...We were really very well off. What was lacking was milk, butter and eggs. There was an infinitesimal amount of these on our ration cards, but by the time the Germans had collected their requisitioning there was nothing left to distribute to the inhabitants. The German soldiers were interested in butter. It appeared many of them had never tasted it. Had not Hitler asked them if they wanted butter or guns and had they not given the right answer? One day, marketing for whatever unrationed food might still be for sale, a German soldier came into the shop. He pointed to a huge mound of butter and said, One kilo. One kilo, the clerk exclaimed. The German nodded his head impatiently. The butter was weighed and wrapped up. Unwrapping one end of the package the German walked out of the shop. From the open door where I was standing I saw him bite off a piece of the butter. It evidently was not what he expected it to be for with a brusque movement he threw it violently over the garden wall of the house opposite. The story got about. People came to look at it. No one would touch it. There it stayed.

--The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook

1 comment:

Eli said...

I like butter, but, um, not as an entree, or even a snack.