Saucy libertine

The funniest moment of the day came early, when I was reading the local paper over breakfast.  Carol Pearson, who is married to ex-MP Charles Clarke, writes a weekly article, usually with a rather carping semi-political tone to it – I might well often agree with her, but somehow the tone rather needles me.  On this occasion, she was criticising Michael Gove.  An easy target he certainly is, I know very few people who do not criticise Michael Gove in stern and sometimes exasperated terms, and I’m certainly not one of the few.  I couldn’t quite go along with Carol’s view however, which seemed to decry all academic subjects in favour of very basic life skills.  And then she said this about her cookery lessons.

“Thus I left school with a handful of O- levels (sic) and a handy acquaintanceship with chopping, whisking, rubbing-in and how to make a roué sauce.” She was so pleased with the roué sauce that she repeated it at the end.

I almost fell off my chair with laughter.  Roué and sauce seem to form a natural partnership it’s true, but I can’t think what the ingredients might be.

(For anyone with no knowledge of cookery terms, a roux is an amalgam of melted butter and flour which is cooked gently before liquid is added – with milk, it’s the basis of a white sauce, for instance.  It isn’t a sauce in its own right, and its pronunciation is indistinguishable from roue, but not from roué.  I assume you know what a roué is.)

14 comments on “Saucy libertine

  1. Mike and Ann

    Flanders and Swan’s definition of a roue (with accent):-

    He was old, he was vile, and no stranger to vice,
    he was base,
    he was bad,
    he was mean.

    From ‘Have some madeira, m’Dear’.
    Perhaps he included some madeira in his roux.

  2. savannah

    so, sugar, y’all are saying that this dear woman is in partnership with a saucy roue? (damn, i can never remember how to insert accents.) xoxoxox

  3. Z

    It was the careful insertion of the accent that made me laugh so much.

    Vicus, dear heart, I do apologise and rue the assumption. Although if you have no idea what a roué is, why are you offended?

  4. Bilbo

    I’d never take being assumed a roué as a shameful thing – more something to aspire to.
    Probably means that in my case it would more likely be accurate?
    I suspect that it would be extraordinarily difficult to be a roué at 16 though (I was certainly far too shy) – it seems rather to be something that should become easier with age.
    Hmm – I seem to be ageing disgracefully and have no real wish to do otherwise. I wish there was a male counterpart to the Jenny Joseph poem as I feel one is rather needed right now…

  5. Z

    Vicus had a wild and steamy youth, I am given to understand, following which he has aged (although barely in appearance, I am given to understand) with great grace. Like you, Bilbo, I am doing it the other way round.


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