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Correction to This Article
This Sept. 15 Food article misspelled the name of a Sauternes. It is Chateau d'Yquem.
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The Hunt For Little Scarlet

How could I have taken this long to describe Little Scarlet preserve itself? The ideal time to appreciate it occurs when the jar is almost empty. A bouquet to rival the golden syrup of a Chateau d'Yquiem reaches up and hits you in the back of the throat, and life is good. The diminutive strawberries and seeds are more distinct in the reduced amount of preserve that's left. When you spread the remainder of what's in the jar on a proper piece of toasted English muffin bread, it goes on thin, with fruit knots here and there -- not the ho-hum coverage and consistency of a grape jelly.

Thurgood, and a borrowed copy of Ian Fleming's 1957 "To Russia, With Love," confirmed a bonus revelation about Little Scarlet: It was preferred by Agent 007 James Bond. "Fleming loved [it], hence his choosing it as Bond's preserve of choice":


(Julia Ewan - The Washington Post)

Breakfast was Bond's favourite meal of the day. When he was stationed in London it was always the same. It consisted of very strong coffee . . . two slices of wholewheat toast, a large pat of deep yellow Jersey butter and three squat glass jars containing Tiptree 'Little Scarlet' strawberry jam; Cooper's Vintage Oxford marmalade and Norwegian Heather Honey from Fortnum's.

In the end, my request for cooking suggestions was politely declined. "I'm afraid we don't have recipes for this variety," Thurgood says. "We contend that the only way to enjoy the flavor is on fresh-baked scones, with clotted cream."

I can live with that.

A Dish That's Good Enough for Little Scarlet

This recipe is not endorsed by British jam makers Wilkin & Sons Ltd., but tastes exceedingly good when their special strawberry preserve, Little Scarlet, is used.

It is adapted from a slim volume that has a charm all its own, particularly if you are a fan of author Dorothy L. Sayers. "The Lord Peter Wimsey Cookbook," by Elizabeth Bond Ryan and William J. Eakins (Ticknor & Fields, 1981), chronicles the epicurean delights enjoyed by Sayers's incomparable character, Lord Peter.

The recipe was included in the Dinner chapter. Sayers was something of a cook herself, evident in the dedication of her husband Atherton "Mac" Fleming's "Gourmet Book of Food and Drink" (1933): "To my wife who can make an omelette."

Sweet Omelette

2 servings

1 tablespoon butter

4 eggs

Salt

4 tablespoons good quality strawberry jam, warmed with an optional 1 tablespoon dark rum

Granulated sugar

In a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter so that it's a bit frothy and coats the bottom of the skillet. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, adding salt to taste. Pour the beaten eggs into the skillet, shaking the skillet so that the eggs cover the bottom evenly. As soon as the eggs begin to firm, spread the warmed jam or jam-rum mixture in the center of the omelet. Fold the omelet over on itself, and turn out onto a warmed plate. Sprinkle with sugar and serve immediately.

Per serving (without sugar): 300 calories, 13 gm protein, 27 gm carbohydrates, 16 gm fat, 441 mg cholesterol, 7 gm saturated fat, 352 mg sodium, trace dietary fiber

-- Bonnie S. Benwick


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