Originally Published October 1958
In Scotland once, mid snow and ice,
A youth did bear this strong devise:
Avise la fin!
It was a clan call, albeit in Norman French, and the youth was one of my father’s ancestors, and the devise said with blunt Scotch economy, Consider the end!
That is what my father did, gastronomically as well as in several other ways, for his offspring. He wanted us to taste life in the round, with all of our senses as well as our wits to work for us. He considered the art of eating a basic part of the plan. He was ably abetted by my mother, a voluptuous woman who had a fine teaching hand with pastry and custards when she cared to, and who managed to be assisted, for all I know of her life, by a series of devoted sluggards who may have forgotten to dust beneath the beds but who could produce a dramatic cheese puff for Saturday lunch or a prune tart worthy of any bishop, with children helping and learning under their feet. My father sat back, well nourished and watching, and his clan had little idea for the future, until they must do the same, that he was considering at least one more end of human fulfillment.
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