Beef's best when chewing the cud with chums

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold

Share
Related Topics
IF EVER there was a valuable piece of advice given to me by Great- grandfather Arnold all those years ago as I sat by his knees while he sucked on his Old Scrag, it was most surely this: "Never, Ever Trust a Boffin." And the truth of this richly Arnoldian aphorism was never made more plain to me than this week, as I perused with astonishment the assorted eggheads holding forth in the newspapers on the subject of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (dread gibberish).

I have been an enthusiastic beef eater all my life. Morning, noon and night, house guests in Chateau Arnold find that assorted cuts of beef, beef and more beef are freely available: roast rib on the television in the drawing room, chump in the servants' quarters, a chilled consomme with parsley and cream in the toothmugs in all the bathrooms, perfect little pats of steak tartare on the pillows in the guest bedrooms and, for our American cousins, big rissoles next to the floral soaps in the shower rack.

Never has a day gone by without a tasty bit of beef slipping its merry way down the Arnold throat. I start the day with a goodly wedge of Beef Dripping poured daintily - but with all due generosity! - over my Scott's Porage Oats. When I am feeling really naughty(!) I then treat myself to another spoonful (or three) in my breakfast cup of Earl Grey, and jolly good it is too. And so to elevenses, where a simple Penguin chocolate biscuit can be greatly enhanced by the addition of a few slices of lightly roasted beef plus oodles of horseradish and a pinch of nutmeg.

Come luncheon, I tend to fall back on that Great British Standby: a decent joint of beef. This must, perforce, be served rare, or ''still kicking'' as my grandmother would call it. It has been said that a gentleman who manages to conclude his luncheon without a sizeable splash of blood on his necktie is no gentleman at all. Personally, I end my own luncheons looking rather as if Mr Jackson Pollock had just paid a lightning visit, and my friends are well used to the spectacle of my good self parading along the streets of London come the afternoon with little flecks of blood and gristle attached to my jacket, to be devoured a few minutes later as an essential part of a light afternoon tea.

For dinner, I tend to favour a little more beef. As a first course, I acquaint my stomach with a couple of dainty beef vol-au-vents on a bed of lightly curried beef, to be followed by a delicious beef goulash, Olde English Beef stew or beef curry, depending upon mood, with a goodly slab of Mr Wall's Ice Cream plus a couple of spoonfuls of Beef Jelly as a pud. For my savoury, I tend to favour something a little lighter: a minute steak, perhaps, or a decent piece of tongue, or a lightly-poached oxtail with a cheese sauce. And last of all, in deference to the Health Lobby, I try to manage a lettuce leaf with my mug of steaming hot Bovril.

Marvellous! But now the politically motivated scaremongers seem utterly determined to spread their home-grown variety of rumour, gossip and innuendo. Yet the fact remains that though this may afford them some amoosement, it is highly destructive to our national dish. They claim that Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (dread moothful) may well transfer to human beings. But this is, at best, a mooot point. Personally, I have found no sign whatsoever, either in myself or in my close friends, that the consumption of beef products results in any form of human Mootation.

To celebrate our continued allegiance to beef, a grooop of us gathered at the Beefsteak Club on Thursday last to hear Mr Douglas Hogg propose a generous toast to the bull and cow. I have to say, it was mooosic to my ears, and when he sat down he acknowledged our applause with a snort and wave of the hoof. The delightful performance of our second guest, Mr John Selwyn Gummer, was equally memooorable. Gummer brought along his dear daughter, Miranda, whom he was only too happy to force-feed on beefburger a full five years when this ridiculous ''Mad Cow'' scare first began. Miranda, I need hardly say, has never looked more healthy or happy, wagging her tail from left to right throughout the speeches.

The big guns of the BSE lobby are, as you see, somewhat short of amooonition. My body and brain will continue to be oiled by beef for many mooonths yet, regardless of the scaremooongers, who I don't believe for one moooment. Mad Cow disease, forsooth! The very mention of such an absurdity makes me want to lie on my back and wiggle my legs, front and back, in the air. In short, something mooost be done.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist / Physio / Osteopath

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for o...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Don’t pity me for eating alone, just give me a better table

Rosie Millard
Aerial view of planned third runway at Heathrow  

Heathrow expansion: This final 'conclusion' has simply fanned the airport flames

Chris Blackhurst
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most