Katherine Mansfield’s Garden Party Puffs Puffed

Katherine Mansfield’s 1922 short story The Garden Party, set around the wealthy Sheridan family’s shindig, inspires Guardian columnist Kate Young to make a dessert from their elegant spread.

That meant the cream puffs had come. Godber’s were famous for their cream puffs. Nobody ever thought of making them at home.

‘Bring them in and put them on the table, my girl,’ ordered cook.

Sadie brought them in and went back to the door. Of course Laura and Jose were far too grown-up to really care about such things. All the same, they couldn’t help agreeing that the puffs looked very attractive. Very. Cook began arranging them, shaking off excess icing sugar.

The Garden Party is a perfect short story,” Young writes. “The language and plot are economical, but it has such a clear sense of time, place and character. Cream puffs are a pastry people may not think they can make at home (despite how easy they are). These ones have remained with me for years. They are not a million miles from my pistachio creme puffs, based on a scene in Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, but they are bigger, sweeter and the gently scented cream is delicious in summer. I ate mine, sitting in the garden, with a cup of lemon verbena tea.”

Original article by Kate Young, The Guardian, July 21, 2017.

Photo by Kate Young of The Little Library Café.

Tags: cream puffs  Guardian (The)  Katherine Mansfield  The Garden Party  

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