OF MAKING WALNUT CATSUP
And this is a very small cookbook for Trout Fishing in America
as if Trout Fishing in America were a rich gourmet and
Trout Fishing in America had Maria Callas for a girlfriend
and they ate together on a marble table with beautiful candles.
Compote of Apples
Take a dozen of golden pippins, pare them
nicely and take the core out with a small
penknife; put them into some water, and
let them be well scalded; then take a little
of the water with some sugar, and a few
apples which may be sliced into it, and
let the whole boil till it comes to a syrup;
then pour it over your pippins, and garnish
them with dried cherries and lemon-peel
cut fine. You must take care that your
pippins are not split.
And Maria Callas sang to Trout Fishing in America as
they ate their apples together.
A Standing Crust for Great Pies
Take a peck of flour and six pounds of butter
boiled in a gallon of water: skim it off into
the flour, and as little of the liquor as you
can. Work it up well into a paste, and then
pull it into pieces till it is cold. Then make
it up into what form you please.
And Trout Fishing in America smiled at Maria Callas as
they ate their pie crust together.
A Spoonful Pudding
Take a spoonful of flour, a spoonful of
cream or milk, an egg, a little nutmeg,
ginger, and salt. Mix all together, and
boil it in a little wooden dish half an hour.
If you think proper you may add a few
And Trout Fishing in America said, “The moon’s coming
out.” And Maria Callas said, “Yes, it is.”
Another Method of Making Walnut Catsup
Take green walnuts before the shell is
formed, and grind them in a crab-mill,
or pound them in a marble mortar.
Squeeze out the juice through a coarse
cloth, and put to every gallon of juice
a pound of anchovies, and the same
quantity of bay-salt, four ounces of
Jamaica pepper, two of long and two of
black pepper; of mace, cloves, and
ginger, each an ounce, and a stick of
horseradish. Boil all together till
reduced to half the quantity, and then
put it into a pot. When it is cold, bottle
it close, and in three months it will be
fit for use.
And Trout Fishing in America and Maria Callas poured
walnut catsup on their hamburgers.
PROLOGUE TO GRIDER CREEK
Mooresville, Indiana, is the town that John Dillinger came
from, and the town has a John Dillinger Museum. You can
go in and look around.
Some towns are known as the peach capital of America or
the cherry capital or the oyster capital, and there’s always
a festival and the photograph of a pretty girl in a bathing suit.
Mooresville, Indiana, is the John Dillinger capital of America.
Recently a man moved there with his wife, and he discovered
hundreds of rats in his basement. They were huge, slowmoving
When his wife had to visit some of her relatives for a few
days, the man went out and bought a .38 revolver and a lot
of ammunition. Then he went down to the basement where
the rats were, and he started shooting them. It didn’t bother
the rats at all. They acted as if it were a movie and started
eating their dead companions for popcorn.
The man walked over to a rat that was busy eating a friend
and placed the pistol against the rat’s head. The rat did not
move and continued eating away. When the hammer clicked
back, the rat paused between bites and looked out of the corner
of its eye. First at the pistol and then at the man. It was a kind
of friendly look as if to say, “When my mother was young she
sang like Deanna Durbin. “
The man pulled the trigger.
He had no sense of humor.
There’s always a single feature, a double feature and an
eternal feature playing at the Great Theater in Mooresville,
Indiana: the John Dillinger capital of America.