“Still immersed in his dream, he drank down the tepid tea. It tasted bitter. Glory, as anyone knows, is bitter stuff.”
– Yukio Mishima, The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea
The book is utterly disturbing, but absolutely well written. A bunch of 13 year olds look at the adult world as hypocrite and delusional. They brutally murder a cat to attain objectivity and drain themselves of all emotions. When the mother of one of them starts dating a man – a sailor who they idolize – they see it as an act of betrayal and plan to retain his glory through death.
I also read about Mishima before reading the book and the book resonates the darkness and destruction within him especially once you know what he did to himself (Mishima performed a ritual Samurai suicide after completing his famous tetralogy The Sea Of Fertility).
It was pretty weird cooking a dish from the book that’s so dark, but I had to keep up with the project. So here’s my rendition of the sandwich that the boys eat before they – very nonchalantly – murder the innocent cat.
Mushroom and Spinach Sandwich
Yields: 8 Sandwiches
Mushroom (chopped) – 200 gms
Spinach (chopped) – 100 gms
Bread slices – 16
Readymade garlic bread seasoning – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp for sautéing mushrooms and extra for grilling the sandwiches
For white sauce:
Butter – 20 gms
All purpose flour – 2 tbsp
Milk – 1 cup
Salt to taste
Pepper – a pinch
1. Heat butter in a pan.
2. Mix in flour when the butter starts melting.
3. Stir for a minute, add milk and stir constantly.
4. Mix in salt and pepper and keep the sauce aside.
1. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and throw in mushrooms to sauté them.
2. Add spinach halfway through and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.
3. Pour in the sauce and garlic seasoning.
4. Place the filling on a slice spreading it equally, cover it with another slice.
5. Apply oil on griller and cook on both sides till crisp and brown.
Cooking and styling – Shirin Mehrotra
Photography – Vishal Kapoor