Peach Melba and a Clean Desk, Vol. 18, Issue 3

Really, Etiquetteer should have remembered to wish you a Perfectly Proper National Peach Melba Day yesterday, but peach Melba was never on the menu at Durgin-Park in the first place, and why on earth would peach melba be celebrated in January when peaches are not in season? Probably to emphasize its upper-class origin. Traditionally the rich enjoy all the culinary delicacies out of season just because they can*.

We must never forget that no less a chef than the Great Escoffier Himself created this deliciously simple (and simply delicious) dessert in homage to the great singer Dame Nellie Melba Herself following her performance in Lohengrin. (Granted, it’s much simpler when not served in an ice swan, as originally done.) So of course that would be much too grand for Durgin-Park, the last home of Indian pudding.

Owing to an unfortunate allergy to peaches, Etiquetteer is no longer able to enjoy this Exquisite Pleasure of the Table. But if served it, you may be sure that Etiquetteer would just pick wistfully at the ice cream without making a fuss. Let’s not make a fuss about our dietary issues, shall we?

So that was all supposed to be yesterday. Today, the second Monday of January, is National Clean Off Your Desk Day, a handy reminder for anyone who made New Year’s resolutions to Get On With It in a non-threatening manner. That said, you may be sure that Etiquetteer is casting a Most Threatening Glance in the direction of That Mr. Dimmick Who Thinks He Knows So Much. Just think (oh, the shame of it!), he has not even begun his Lovely Notes from Christmas. Let’s get on with it, people! We all have bits of the Old Year still clinging to us: unanswered letters and bills, Lovely Notes unwritten and unsent, reports to file, etc. Take some time today to Clear the Deck, and if so inclined, post a photo of your clean desktop to Etiquetteer’s Facebook page. If it helps, pretend you’re the Second Mrs. DeWinter getting rid of all Rebecca’s things. Perhaps Mrs. Danvers will give you a gold star for tidiness . . .


*Readers of Edith Wharton will immediately recall her short story After Holbein.