The Pleasures of the Table 2

Chapter 2 “On Appetite”  is broken up into various categories, today I bring you “Definition of Appetite”.

“Movement and life are the cause of a continuous wastage of substance in every living body; and the human body, that complicated machine, would soon break down if Providence had not equipped it with a device for warning it when its strength is no longer equal to its needs.

The warning device is appetite.  That is the name we give to the first indication of the need for food.

Appetite is heralded by a certain languor in the stomach and a slight feeling of fatigue.

At the same time the brain dwells on objects analogous to its needs; the memory recalls things which have been pleasant to the taste; the imagination pictures them, as it were in a dream.  This condition is not without charm; and we have heard thousands of adepts exclaim joyously: ‘Oh what a pleasure it is to have a good appetite, when you know that an excellent meal is waiting for you!’

In the meantime, the whole machinery of nourishment is set in motion: the stomach grows sensitive; the gastric juices rise, the internal gases are noisily displaced; the mouth fills with saliva; and all the digestive powers are up in arms, like soldiers only writing for the word of command to go into action.  A few moments more, and spasmodic movements will beginp; there will be yawning, stomach pangs, and finally hunger.

It is possible to observe every phase of these various conditions in any room where people are being kept waiting for dinner.

They are so natural that the most exquisite politeness cannot disguise the symptoms; and hence my aphorism, ‘The most indispensable quality in a cook is punctuality.’”

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36 thoughts on “The Pleasures of the Table 2

    • Thank you Kim, my Easter was lovely – I got my Pete back after being away on business for 2 weeks so was awesome, plus my folks are here visiting too -so a double win! The furry children are cuddled here with me now, it’s freezing all of a sudden and pouring with rain so I guess the winter has definitely rooted now. Mom has been doing most of the cooking but we have been playing with some new recipes too, which I will post soon. Have a beautiful week friend and hope you had an equally as good Easter with family and your furry felines. :-) xo

  1. Reading this, especially the last few lines, I have an image of some very grandly dressed people sitting round a large dining table, cutlery in hand and hungry looks on their faces! Great post and glad to read you had a lovely Easter with your parents and Pete :)

  2. Oh I’m very familiar with appetite. It’s very prevalent in my little ones around 4:30 in the afternoon. :) Hope you had a great Easter!

  3. Hahaha.. ok, I’m embarrassed to admit it.. but I can’t remember the last time I had an appetite or felt hungry.. because I am constantly snacking! It’s time I did something about that!! Loved this! xoxo

    • Smidge I am so pleased to learn that I am not the only one who is constantly snacking! Every time I go to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, I seem to nibble on something! Have an awesome week. :-) xo

  4. Love would be so dull if we didn’t have ‘appetite’ to stimulate an excitement around food and eating. Imagine if eating wasn’t pleasurable and just a chore! It would be a very different world xx

  5. I agree with tanya, having the people sitand wait so as to observe their faces as they wait, forks poised! Wonderful piece of writing. I have not had breakfast yet so I believe I am encountering the languidness and thoughts of lovely food right now! morning mandy! c

  6. Appetite, so aptly and visually described. And that last line, what we all strive for, but can be elusive…punctuality, and the art of having the whole meal come together at once. Wonderful post, Mandy, and glad to hear that your Easter was a happy one.

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