We are lucky to have Chapter CCCXXX of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, as skimpy as it is. For this was the week the local cable TV station aired the first and only episode of Ms. Crepuscular’s cooking show, “Crepuscular Cuisine.” Much of Chapter CCCXXX is devoted to this.
“I could not help being inspired,” she writes, “by all those new ‘Beyond Meat’ products, which are all-vegetable dishes cunningly prepared to taste like meat dishes. This has proved tremendously popular!
“So I thought, ‘What about something for meat-eaters who won’t eat vegetables but nevertheless want meat dishes that taste like vegetables?’ Why not ‘Meatables’? Or ‘Beyond Vegetables’? I mean, I read about this on a chess website, so it must be a terrific idea!”
Here we have part of the transcript of the show. Violet is in her studio kitchen, introducing “Beyond Vegetables.”
VIOLET: In truth, creating meat dishes that taste exactly like vegetarian dishes requires much more skill, labor, and preparation than I, for one, would ever bother with and neither should you! So I will teach you a simple but effective cheat.
I have found that creating a dish whose taste is completely unidentifiable, well, that’s the ticket! If your dinner guest has never heard of the Slovenian radish or ‘that wonderful variety of cauliflower from Kenya,’ called mbumba or something, how is he going to know he’s not eating a meat dish made entirely of vegetable ingredients?
And so we experiment with a wide variety of ingredients–here you see I have peppermint toothpaste, Frothee artificial foam, red pepper, black pepper, salt, Sweet ‘n’ Low, and A-1 Sauce–until we have something that tastes like nothing anyone has ever tasted before. And voila–the cook has a triumph!
*** But her triumph is short-lived. According to local news reports, less than an hour after the show went off the air, a crowd of irate viewers assembled outside the studio and began to pelt it with stones, loudly demanding the immediate cancellation of “Crepuscular Cuisine.” Several of the viewers threatened to sue the network, claiming that family members who had sampled Ms. Crepuscular’s experimental “Beyond Vegetables” were almost instantly smitten with digestive upsets.
As for Chapter CCCXXX of Oy, Rodney, all we have, really, is a mysterious stranger who looks like Broderick Crawford nosing around the grounds of Coldsore Hall until he is chased off by squirrels.