Piperade, and film
16 November 2002
'Don't know about you, but I have this vision of Lord Longford waiting by the Pearly Gates and looking at his watch and saying to St. Peter, "I don't know what's keeping Myra."'
Which I think is exact, except of course that they shall not need watches in Heaven; there are cherubim on little fluffy cloudlets, bobbing about and calling out at precisely regular intervals, "Eternity, and all's well..."
Which leads me (via Trevor, obviously, not the silly Longford man) to another FAQ, which usually comes as some variation on "Chaz, your books are so filmable to my mind, when are we going to see one of them on telly/on the big screen?"
To which of course, as ever in this business, the answer is "Who knows? Not I..." To be honest, there hasn't been that much interest expressed. At the moment, there are three projects running. Trevor has had an option on Dead of Light for the last few years; we have a script, we have a wish-list for the casting, all we need is cash. Granada TV has an option on Shelter; I believe they also have a script, though we haven't seen it yet. Obviously they have the cash, but TV commissioning is a curious business, dependent on schedulers: few slots, and many bids to fill them. Don't hold your breath. And the new one, the current fun one, is Don the recent graduate who wants to make a short film of How She Dances, one of my 'Daniel Fox' short stories. He's working on the script as we speak; updates as and when.
And so to lunch. Pipérade, my own variation: slice a small onion finely, and soften slowly in butter and olive oil. I usually add a chopped chilli at this point, but I like my eggs hot; it's certainly not canonical. When the onion is soft and sweet (let it take its time, don't try to rush it), add a crushed clove of garlic, then a sliced red pepper. Sizzle for a minute, add a couple of chopped-up ripe tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Stew gently until the tomatoes have amalgamated and most of the juice has cooked out, then break in a couple of eggs and scramble to taste (but not too stiff, please; soft is best). Serve on toast, with or without a couple of rashers of bacon, garlic mushrooms, fresh tomatoes...
© Chaz Brenchley 2002
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.