HWR: I read in a French magazine that some of the French may have adopted or may be about to adopt our US custom of Sunday brunch.
PhR: Let them eat cake.
HWR: Wouldn’t you like to eat brunch here on Sunday instead of our normal four-course Sunday lunch?
HWR: I still don’t understand why you refuse for us to bring out paper plates and cups when we have more than ten guests.
PhR: Because you threaten to put wine or Champagne in them! And while we’re at it, why not paper food? Quelle drole d’idee!
HWR: I guess that’s why you don’t like picnics?
PhR: The history of mankind is the overcoming of cold, uncertainty, fear, and wild beasts. Those are all the ingredients of a picnic.
HWR: Why do you have to have bread with everything, even when the meal includes other starches? Isn’t one enough?
PhR: Bread is the staff of life. And your choice of the word “starches” is funny. It’s like that American guest of ours who said she’d like “protein” for breakfast. We’re not running a chemical factory.
HWR: That’s the truth. Speaking of bread, tell me again about that afternoon treat your Auvergnat grandfather would make for you—the piece of bread rubbed with garlic and pork fat. Wasn’t he worried about cholesterol?
PhR: Are you kidding? He was worried about whether he was giving me something with taste; he ate raw onion for breakfast and pork fat every day of his life and he died young at age ninety-four.
—Harriet Welty Rochefort, French Fried