Some Advice on Cookery for Our British Friends

The nice thing about food in England is that the English really do seem to be trying. Hooray for you, our cultural cousins. And the cold meat pies are wonderful, as is the ale. Tea (the beverage, not the meal) is still disappointing; please do listen to your countryman

Christopher Hitchens

about that. Here are a few more easy things you can work on:

• Meatballs. When you’re making meatballs, be gentle. This goes for anything involving ground meat, really. If you squeeze it too hard, it comes out dense and unpleasant. Pat and roll it very gently, instead—just firmly enough to shape it. It’s a little more difficult at first, but you’ll get the hang of it quickly, and you’ll be rewarded with tender results. Give it a try!

• Sandwiches. Bread and butter: a great combination, but not a mandatory one. Sometimes it’s better to use bread all by itself, especially if you’re making a sandwich with something inherently moist, like egg salad or tuna salad. The mayonnaise wants to get together with the bread, and the butter is just a layer of waterproofing that prevents the sandwich from really becoming a sandwich.

• Sausage. This goes a little further up the supply chain. Yes, sausage is a way of getting flavor and nutrition out of the little bits of the animal that aren’t otherwise eaten. You might enjoy it better, though, if you didn’t include the bones among the spare parts. You do grind them up very fine; one barely notices most of the grit. But the bigger lumps are still jarring, especially at breakfast. Why not make mornings more soothing by going boneless entirely? The Italians might be able to show you how to do it.

Just some suggestions! Keep up the good work, overall.