La cocina de Berthe Cleyrergue


berthe cleyrergueBerthe Clerergue. Housekeeper, confidante, amanuensis.

Berthe Cleyrergue es a Natalie Barney lo que fue Celeste Albaret a Proust; guardiana, cómplice, ama de llaves, cocinera y confidente. Fue Djuna Barnes quien la recomendó a su amiga Natalie Barney. A Barney el servicio le duraba más bien poco, se marchaban escandalizados por el ambiente liberal de la casa del número 22 de la Rue Jacob en Paris. Berthe enseguida cuajó y fue una pieza clave en el éxito del salón literario de su empleadora. Los testimonios de la época sobre los festines que preparaba dan fe de una cocinera sublime; original, minuciosa, creativa y detallista que cruzaba París para encontrar el ingrediente justo.

One walked through the house into the dining room, dominated by a large hexagonal table with a lace cloth, spread with a sumptuous feast prepared by Madame Berthe. She was the kind of old-fashioned cook who might go to the Gare St. Lazare just for cheese and to the rue du Cherche-Midi for bread. “There would be a list of guests and food as long as the kitchen wall,” she said. “We would have 20-60-100 people. Somehow we could seat everybody. We served sandwiches, cakes, fruit, crystallized strawberries, tea, port, gin, whiskey, everything. The whiskey always disappeared fast when we had American guests.”

There were Madame Berthe’s famous chocolate cake and harlequin-colored little cakes and triangular sandwiches, “folded up like damp handkerchiefs,” Bettina Bergery said, and pitchers of fruit cup, and the Duchesse de Clermont-Tonnerre presiding at one end, pouring regal cups of tea, and the green half light from the garden filtering into the room, “reflecting from the glasses and silver tea urn as from under water.”

Fuente: (Eyre de Lanux)

 

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