Magazine article The Spectator

Food: Game for a Laugh

Magazine article The Spectator

Food: Game for a Laugh

Article excerpt

SAINT JOSEPH of Copertino, 18 September, was such an extraordinary saint that his fellow Christians could scarcely cope with him (no pun intended). As a child he was clumsy and found it hard to learn; at 17 he wanted to become a monk or a friar but the Franciscans would not take him as he was too stupid, and the Capuchins threw him out after eight months because he broke everything, poor fellow. Eventually, he became a stableboy at a Franciscan house at La Grotella. He did his very best and was finally ordained as a priest in 1628, whereupon he was continually passing into ecstatic trances and floating above the ground, which disturbed the choir and the refectory no end but attracted countless curious visitors, so he was transferred to a Capuchin friary in the hills of Pietarossa and kept completely out of sight. All this he bore without complaint. Fittingly the 20th century has made him the patron saint of pilots and airline passengers. I'm off to America next week and shall put myself under his protection.

The partridge shooting began this month, and if you are lucky enough to have some by you, young and in good condition, the best thing you can do is plain-roast them, with their own gravy as a sauce. Season a good lump of butter and place it in the bird. …

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