Having shot your cormorant...

Discussion in 'Films, Music and All Things Artsy' started by Poppy, Nov 27, 2006.

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  1. I can think of at least two arrsers who would appreciate a copy of this for Christmas :D


    The Times November 14, 2006

    Having shot your cormorant...
    Ross Anderson

    If you think cook books are dull, our correspondent has found one that will change your mind

    A tough old bird: how to cook a cormorant
    Take a look at the photo. Does he strike you as a modern man? No, I thought not. Public school, RAF, huntin’, shootin’, fishin’: if any man could be described as an anachronism, you might think it would be Pilot Officer William Menzies Weekes Fowler (deceased), of Durham School, Bomber Command, Stalag Luft 3 and Eskdale, Cumbria.

    But you might be wrong. Willie Fowler’s culinary masterpiece, Countryman’s Cooking, has been republished after 41 years. It didn’t make much of a splash in 1965 (“I think he used to sell copies of the book down the pub,” says the new publisher, David Burnett), but it deserves to do so now: for not only is it hilariously funny, but it reveals a man whose views on food snobbery, animal welfare, land management and the environment are so 21st-century as to be uncanny in someone who was born in 1914 and died nearly 30 years ago still referring to the Kaiser’s War and Hitler’s War.

    Willie interrupts a discourse on casseroled pigeon, for example, to have a pop at self-styled gourmets and epicures. “Why,” he inquires, “should someone be jeered at as an ignoramus because he prefers egg sauce with his salmon instead of shrimp?” Before a sensational recipe for chicken and mushroom pie, Willie lets intensive farming have it with both barrels. Having lambasted insecticides, artificial fertiliser, pellet-feeding and antibiotics, he concludes: “Nothing will ever be done about it, even if these things are proved to be harmful. Too many people are cashing in.” And who might they be? “Farmers are just about as callous and ............"