Sources close to the Royal Family have already blurted out the news that there will be 16 different kinds of canapes for the reception following the April 29 wedding of Prince William and his Kate.
One of the anticipated treats is quail eggs with celery salt. Now, there’s some confusion about what else will be served with the little treats; some accounts claim goat cheese and caramelized walnuts. But everyone is in agreement on the celery-salt part.
That may not sound like a difficult thing to produce, but considering that an estimated 10,000 total canapes will be served, if you divide by the 16 types, that could mean something like 625 quail-egg items lined up for sprinkling. That’s a lot of celery salt. Enough to give the chef a good case of repetitive-stress injury, even. If they have worker’s comp in England, we’d like to see the wording on that request-for-benefits form.
(Before you bird-rights people start, uh, flocking here to comment–do not worry–this is not a lot of work for the quail. Some types apparently lay an egg a day. Which is roughly equivalent, in energy expended, to writing half of a blog post. Trust me, this is E-Z.)
Our big attraction to royal doings stems from our amazement at the ways they make simple things more complicated. Even though they can afford to send a score of footmen over the pond to get a planeload of frozen stuffed mushrooms at Costco, keeping them on ice for the return trip and up to the reception, they insist on doing things the hard way. Put out bids for quail eggs, organizing the celery-salt experts. On and on.
Given the furor over invitations to the canape reception, you know there will be someone who finds a way to smuggle a quail egg out in a pocket and get it bronzed. Or, two quail eggs, which could be bronzed and used for book-ends.
Personally, I think canapes would be much more enjoyable if they were made of familiar comfort foods. If bubble-and-squeak is too common for the Royals (or too difficult to crowd onto a cracker) they could use American comfort foods. A square of meatloaf and a dab of mashed potato on a toast point. Carefully sculpted peanut butter and jelly towers, maybe. Tiny pancakes with bacon bits and a dab of maple syrup.
I’ve stalled long enough. No one wants to say it out loud, but someone has to tell the Queen: No one wants to stand around all dressed up and eat salted eggs. They just don’t.