This final installment of our Culinarily Vicarious exploration of the Strictly Gustatory Adventures of world-renowned super-spy James Bond, as recorded in the novels of Commander Ian Fleming, surveys a set of short stories packaged as Octopussy and the Living Daylights, which includes the stories “Octopussy,” “The Property of a Lady,” “The Living Daylights,” and “007 In New York.”
James Bond had already lit his cigarette.
“The Property of a Lady”
“Have a seat. Cigarette?”
Bond took one of his own.
“The Living Daylights”
He selected the Tuinal, chased down two of the ruby-and-blue depth-charges with a glass of water and went back to bed.
Bond lit the gas cooker, burned the message with a sneer at his profession, and then brewed himself a vast dish of scrambled eggs and bacon which he heaped on buttered toast and washed down with black coffee into which he had poured a liberal tot of whisky.
Bond walked hard for two hours along the leafy paths, then chose a restaurant with a glassed-in veranda above the lake and greatly enjoyed a high tea consisting of a double portion of matjes herrings smothered in cream and onion rings, and two “Molle mit Korn,” the Berlin equivalent of a “boilermaker and his assistant’—schnapps, doubles, washed down with draught Löwenbräu.
Bond took off his coat and tie, put two sticks of chewing gum in his mouth and donned the hood.
Then he had two large whiskies on the rocks in quick succession, while he waited, his ears pricked, for the now muffled sound of the orchestras to stop.
Back in the apartment punctually at five, Bond narrowly averted a row with Captain Sender, because he had poured himself a stiff whisky before putting on the hideous cowl that now stank of his sweat.
Bond drank down his whisky, reached for his thriller, now arriving at an appalling climax, and threw himself on the bed.
Instead he took a deep pull at the strong whisky he had poured for himself, put the glass down and looked Captain Sender straight in the eye.
“007 In New York”
James Bond, his stomach queasy from the B.O.A.C. version of “An English Country House Breakfast,” took his place stoically in a long queue that included plenty of squalling children and in due course said that he had spent the last ten nights in London.
James Bond sat back and lit one of his last Morland Specials.
But he would go there for old times sake and have a couple of dry martinis — Beefeaters with a domestic vermouth, shaken with a twist of lemon peel — at the bar.
He would have one more dry martini at the table, then smoked salmon and the particular scrambled eggs he had once (Felix Leiter knew the head-waiter) instructed them how to make.*
* SCRAMBLED EGGS “JAMES BOND”
For four individualists:
- 12 fresh eggs
- Salt and pepper
- 5-6 oz. of fresh butter
Break the eggs into a bowl. Beat thoroughly with a fork and season well. In a small copper (or heavy-bottomed saucepan) melt four oz. of the butter. When melted, pour in the eggs and cook over a very low heat, whisking continuously with a small egg whisk.
While the eggs are slightly more moist than you would wish for eating, remove pan from heat, add rest of butter and continue whisking for a half minute, adding finely chopped chives or fine herbs. Serve on hot buttered toast in individual copper dishes (for appearance only) with pink champagne (Taittinger) and low music.
Thank you for reading the Strictly Gustatory Adventures of world-renowned super-spy James Bond, as recorded in the novels of Commander Ian Fleming. Previous installments of this series may be found here.