Where’s the chalk?
I want to write something on the board.
OK. Here’s chalk.
M U S T U R D
Ever Mistress Critical, I say
He changes the U to an A
M A S T U R D
He tells me that, unlike Nelly, he has a 'refined palate'. This means that only the right kind of mustard will do. When He of the Refined Palate opens a tin of Fray Bentos Corned Beef it must be anointed with the appropriate mustard. Dijon mustard with crushed walnuts will not do. At a pinch, Colman's English in a squeezy bottle might suffice but unfortunately, he did not find that as it lurked behind a jar of raspberry jam. So I must put to the very head of my shopping list the proper mustard to accompany corned beef. Because people with refined palates have very particular needs. People like me when peckish would be quite happy to pick at cold cabbage or stale crusts of bread. People like me will eat any old thing (it's true) but people like him need delicate morsels and the proper condiments.
I point out that when he says refined what he really means is finicky, picky and pernickety. He disagrees.
Nevertheless, I make a point today of buying mustard but because I am gift shopping I cannot bear to enter a supermarket. Instead, I go to my favourite Eastern European shop where I buy fresh vegetables, bread, and mustard. I'm not sure that Mr. Pernickety will find it acceptable but he pronounces it good.
Later that evening He of the Refined Palate opens a tin of corned beef and cuts a few slices which he smears with Romanian mustard.
Mmmm! That looks so delicious. I may serve that to our guests at Christmas. Cubes of cold corned beef and a dollop of mustard. Maybe poke it on a stick. I'm sure they will think it a delectable fusion of Argentinian and Romanian cuisine and I can just hear their compliments now.