the power of suggestion
"We finished the oysters and moved on to an enormous salad. It had every expensive green known to mankind, nuts, berries, and a delicious dressing made with champagne vinegar and olive oil that Matthew whisked together at the table . . . . The next course was a stew, with chunks of meat in a fragrant sauce. My first bite told me it was veal, fixed with apples and a bit of cream, served atop rice. Matthew watched me eat, and he smiled as I tasted the tartness of the apple for the first time. 'It's an old recipe from Normandy,' he said. 'Do you like it?'"
"Marthe pulled more items from her tray--a silver place setting, salt, pepper, butter, jam, toast, and a golden omelet flecked with fresh herbs."
"Marthe stepped out of one of the kitchens, flour covering her arms up to the elbows, and handed me a warm roll fresh from the oven."
"Plates full of food came and went--everything from wild mushroom soup to quail to delicate slices of beef."
I am embarrassingly susceptible to descriptions of food in books. I've been enchanted lately by Deborah Harkness's A Discovery of Witches, which includes enticing passages detailing delicious-sounding delicacies. One of the characters, Marthe, is a housekeeper/cook who is wonderfully cozy and grandmotherly (despite being a vampire). She brings the heroine endless cups of tea and the most sumptuous food. Today I read about how Marthe handed her "a plate with a few crumbly biscuits studded with nuts," and the next thing I knew, I was making these scones.
I want Marthe to move to Boston and take care of me.