Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Death in the Family

Papa and Wolfi have returned from Italy and we have moved across the river to an apartment in Hannibal Platz. The windows look out onto the square and I can see our visitors arrive, which is useful when I want to run away.

Between the making and the rising of a pie to celebrate our new home, a very old aunt of my father was gasping for breath like a canary in a cage. She whistled with her head against the pillows as we gathered round, mother and I, wishing it were otherwise. The abbe came with enough rosaries for a choir. I could not help but feel it was for the best when she breathed no more and was out of pain.

The pie had burnt into a small pile of cinders but remembering my great aunt, I made another with more careful attention. We cut a fillet of venison into three or four slices, seasoned it with savoury spice, a little minced up sage and some sweet herbs, laid it all in the pie with six fine slices of pig at the bottom. Betwixt each piece, I greased it and closed the pie. N.


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