Monday, March 31, 2008

Trapeza

Anyone who has had the good fortune of eating with monks or nuns at a common trapeza (refectory) will immediately recognize this scene:
Dinner was protracted for nearly an hour, but not by reason of any great profusion of variety of food. It was rather a bad dinner; scarcely better than he would have got at Lord Cooper's infamous table; greatly inferior to the daintily garnished little dishes which he enjoyed at home. In course of time each member of the Boot family had evolved a little store of seasonings and delicacies, all marked with their owner's initials – onion salt, Bombay duck, gherkins, garlic vinegar, Dijon mustard, pea-nut butter, icing sugar, varieties of biscuit from Bath and Tunbridge Wells, Parmesan cheese, and a dozen other jars and bottles and tins mingled incongruously with the heavy, Georgian silver; Uncle Theodore had a little spirit lamp and chafing dish with which he concocted a sauce. The dishes as sent in from the kitchen were rather the elementary materials of dinner than the dinner itself.
From Evelyn Waugh's darkly comic novel, Scoop.

3 comments:

Fr. Milovan said...

I recognize this scene...Actually I'm in it: the fourth from Bp. Maxim.

Felix Culpa said...

So which condiment were you reaching for? The hot sauce or the ketchup?

zeilski said...

This is a fantastic photo. I am actually wondering if you would let us use it to demostrate communal living in an upcoming book we have called Desert Fathers and Mothers. If you are open to giving us permission to use it, I can provide more details.

Kim Tanner
Sr. Visual Content Editor
kim.tanner@zondervan.com