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The Story of America, Told Through Mark Twain’s Favorite Foods 馬克.吐溫的美食 美國的故事

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讀紐時學英文
2018/11/30 第243期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
 
 

紐時周報精選 The Story of America, Told Through Mark Twain’s Favorite Foods 馬克.吐溫的美食 美國的故事
Justin Trudeau’s Official Home: Unfit for a Leader or Anyone Else 加拿大總理官邸 不宜人居

紐時周報精選
 

The Story of America, Told Through Mark Twain’s Favorite Foods 馬克.吐溫的美食 美國的故事
文/Tejal Rao
譯/李京倫

Mark Twain was a well-traveled literary superstar, so famous that his editor once journeyed to Washington to ask President Theodore Roosevelt if he would move Thanksgiving because it coincided with Twain’s birthday plans. (Twain moved his party.)

馬克.吐溫是遊歷甚廣的文學巨星,他如此出名,以至他的編輯曾到華府去問當時的總統西奧多.羅斯福,能否將感恩節改個日子,因為跟吐溫的生日撞期了。(吐溫後來把慶生派對改期。)

But in 1879, on a book tour through Europe, he craved the simplest foods from home, with agonizing specificity. Twain wanted Early Rose potatoes, a Vermont-bred heirloom, roasted in the ashes of a fire. Mussels from the waters around San Francisco. And hot broiled Virginia bacon.

不過,1879年吐溫在歐洲各地宣傳新書時,很想吃家鄉最簡單的食物,還提出令人苦惱的具體要求。吐溫想吃早熟玫瑰馬鈴薯,這是佛蒙特州世世代代的特產,在火灰裡烘烤;舊金山海域的貽貝;還有維吉尼亞州熱烤培根。

He compiled a list, an extensive fantasy of a meal, which he imagined sitting down to enjoy right off the steamship when he got home. That list is now a snapshot of some of the most cherished regional American foods of his time.

吐溫列出一張表,是他對一頓正餐包羅萬象的幻想,他想像著一下汽船回到家之後就能坐下來享用。這張表如今呈現了那時代美國一些最受寶愛的地方食物的大致樣貌。

But for a vast array of political, cultural and ecological reasons, few of Twain’s picks — terrapin, prairie chicken and raccoon among them — would be considered an integral part of our national identity today. This month, the audiobook company Audible released an eight-episode series, hosted by the actor Nick Offerman, that explores the reasons.

不過,由於一大堆政治、文化和生態因素,吐溫選擇的水龜、草原榛雞和浣熊等等,絕少被認為是我們當前國家認同不可或缺的一部分。這個月,有聲書公司Audible發行了一系列8集的音訊節目,由演員尼克.奧佛曼主持,探討箇中原因。

Offerman, who compared the taste of turtle meat to that of chicken, was eager to get his hands on some of the more esoteric foods on Twain’s list. In May, as part of the show, he organized a dinner at the Mark Twain House & Museum, the author’s carefully restored home in Hartford, Connecticut, where Twain lived with his wife, Olivia Clemens, after they were married in 1870.

奧佛曼曾將龜肉的滋味比作雞肉,他渴望品嘗吐溫清單上一些常人難以理解的食物。今年5月,他在吐溫故居與博物館辦了一場晚宴,作為節目的一部分。吐溫在康乃狄克州哈特福市的故居細心修復後改為博物館,吐溫與妻子奧麗薇.克雷門斯1870年結婚後就住在這裡。

Offerman asked Tyler Anderson, a Connecticut chef who competed on “Top Chef,” to put together a menu inspired by Twain’s list.

奧佛曼要求康州廚師泰勒.安德森以吐溫清單為靈感設計菜單。安德森曾參加美國競技節目「頂級大廚」。

Anderson produced an eight-course meal. It started with raw oysters with a frothy sherry-maple cream, and moved on to smoked raccoon sausage wrapped in caul fat. The fifth course was sheepshead, a tough, bony fish he poached in olive oil and served with potato purée.

The audio series, loosely based on Beahrs’ 2010 book “Twain’s Feast,” includes plenty of snippets from that dinner, along with excerpts from Twain’s fiction and memoir, weaving in new interviews and reporting that examine changes all over the country through the prolific author’s palate.

安德森做出八道菜套餐。從生蠔佐起泡雪利酒槭糖漿開始,接著是豬網油包煙燻浣熊肉腸。第五道菜是羊首魚,一種肉質很老且多刺的魚,他用橄欖油煨,搭配馬鈴薯泥。

Each episode of the series focuses on a different ingredient that Twain loved. Raccoons, like sheepshead, are still plentiful, but the recipes for its meat that were published in the original edition of “Joy of Cooking” have since been edited out. Tastes change.

這套節目大致以作家安德魯.比爾斯2010年的書「吐溫的盛宴」為藍本,包含那場晚宴大量的片段,吐溫小說與回憶錄選段,穿插新的訪談,並在報導中透過這位多產作家對美食的鑑賞力檢視全美國的改變。

系列節目每一集重點介紹吐溫喜愛的一種食材,每集介紹的都不同。浣熊就像羊首魚一樣,雖然數量仍充足,但在美國出版最多次的食譜之一「烹飪的樂趣」第一版介紹的浣熊肉作法,如今已被刪除。大眾的口味變了。

“The foods Twain loved, we took for granted as American classics,” Beahrs said. “But these things that are part of the richness of everyday life — they can vanish very, very quickly.”

比爾斯說:「吐溫喜歡的食物,我們理所當然以為是美國的經典,不過這些屬於豐富日常生活一部分的事物,也能消失得非常非常快。」

 

Justin Trudeau’s Official Home: Unfit for a Leader or Anyone Else 加拿大總理官邸 不宜人居
文/Ian Austen
譯/李京倫

At Canada’s official residence for its prime minister, security cameras keep silent watch over the fences, visitors pass through gates that can block truck bombs and a detail of uniformed Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers patrol day and night.

在加拿大總理官邸,監視器靜靜盯著圍籬,遊客從能阻擋卡車炸彈的大門前經過,一隊穿制服的加拿大皇家騎警日夜巡邏。

But the prime minister himself is unlikely to be found inside.

但總理本人不太可能在裡面。

When Justin Trudeau became prime minister three years ago, he took a pass on moving his family into the official residence at 24 Sussex Drive, built in 1868 by an American-born lumber baron. Decades of neglect had turned Canada’s top political address into its most famous home renovation project.

這座官邸1868年由一名在美國出生的木材大亨建造,位於(渥太華市)薩塞克斯街24號,杜魯多三年前當上總理時拒絕全家遷入。加拿大最高階政治人物的居所由於數十年疏於維護,變成了最受矚目的住家修繕案。

But no recent prime ministers have been willing to commit the tens of millions of dollars it would take to make the stone house habitable again. It would look as if they were spending money on themselves, a politically toxic step in Canada.

不過,最近幾位總理沒有一位願意投入預計需要的數千萬美元,讓這座石頭宅邸再次適合住人。那看起來會像把公帑花在自己身上,在加拿大勢必惹來政治風波。

Trudeau, 46, who lived at 24 Sussex as a child when his father was prime minister, is no exception.

現46歲的杜魯多也不例外。他幼年父親當總理時住過薩塞克斯街24號。

“No prime minister wants to spend a penny of taxpayer dollars on upkeeping that house,” Trudeau told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. earlier this year.

杜魯多今年稍早對加拿大廣播公司說:「沒有一位總理會為了修理那棟房子,花掉納稅人任何一分錢。」

There was little criticism of Trudeau’s decision to live with his wife and their three children in Rideau Cottage, a relatively modest, two-story red brick house behind Rideau Hall, the house of Canada’s governor general who fulfills Queen Elizabeth II’s duties as head of state.

杜魯多與妻子和三個孩子住在麗都別墅,這是一幢相對平實的兩層樓紅磚建築,坐落在加拿大總督府後方。加拿大總督代表英國女王伊麗莎白二世行使國家元首的職權。杜魯多的決定幾乎無人批評。

That is because the official residence’s deteriorating condition is no secret to Canadians, with government reports documenting its decline for more than a decade.

這是因為總理官邸破敗對加拿大人並不是秘密,十幾年來政府報告詳細記錄了官邸的衰敗。

Those reports make grim reading for anyone but a contractor hoping to land the renovation job.

報告內容對任何人來說都不是好消息,除了想接整修工程的包商以外。

“The building systems at 24 Sussex have reached the point of imminent or actual failure,” one report, by the National Capital Commission, the federal agency that manages official residences, found this year. It rated the residence’s condition as “critical.”

負責管理官邸的聯邦機構「國家首府委員會」今年在報告中指出:「薩塞克斯街24號的建築體系即將或已經崩壞。」報告將官邸的情形評定為「危險級」。

Its wiring, according to the report, has become a fire hazard; the boiler is obsolete; the exterior stonework is crumbling; and the plumbing blocks up regularly.

報告顯示,官邸的線路系統有走火之虞,供應暖氣和熱水的鍋爐老舊過時,外牆石造部分正在崩解剝落,而且水管經常阻塞。

The building by a pool added by Trudeau’s father is “rotting,” the report said, and air-conditioning comes from inefficient window units that could make it easy for intruders to slip in. Many of those windows need replacement anyway. Everywhere there is asbestos.

報告說,這座杜魯多父親在旁邊新添一個水池的建物正在「腐壞」,而且空氣調節仰賴效率低的窗型冷氣,讓人很容易溜進去。許多裝了窗型冷氣的窗戶都該換了。到處都有石棉。

On top of all that, the house is ill-suited for official functions. Among the house’s many deficiencies, “the dining room is at the same time too large for a family and too small for state dinners,” the report said.

更重要的是,這間房子不適合官式活動。報告說,這房子有諸多缺點,包括「餐廳對一個家庭來說太大,辦國宴卻太小」。

The current cost estimate to deal with everything (excluding security upgrades): 38 million Canadian dollars ($28.7 million).

目前估計,解決所有問題但不包括安全設備升級的費用是3800萬加拿大元(2870萬美元,約台幣8.6億元)。

※說文解字看新聞

本文描述加拿大總理官邸年久失修,但翻新所費不貲,恐怕讓民眾觀感不佳,所以最近幾任總理都不住。

標題和內文用了home、house和residence,這三個字意思大略都是家、住處。詳細來說,house是指有人住的建物,home既可指建物,也可指任何有人住在其中並認為屬於自己的地方,如帳篷、船隻或地下洞穴,home也可以是心靈的家,當有人說Let’s go home時,不只在說「回到實體的家」,更在說回到那個讓你感覺最舒服而且屬於你的地方。

residence通常是指占地廣大、令人印象深刻的住宅,所以「官邸」通常是用official residence。residence也可以是居住(權)、居留(權),所以永久居留權是permanent residence,writer in residence就是「常駐作家」。

 

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