Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking: a step by step guide to the world’s best cooking, 1980
Once I learned of the existence of the party elephant, it was hard to imagine how I had managed to survive without it for so long. Suddenly past dinners and parties seemed dull – gloomy even – and glaringly lacking in oil-soaked elephants.
For anyone unfamiliar with a party elephant, it is described in the book as being “an amusing centrepiece for a buffet table”, and it looks like this:
To make it, you chill a loaf of bread, cut bits off it into the shape of an elephant and then deep fry your animal.
A glace cherry then represents an eye, a capsicum represents a saddle and skewered grapes and cheese sticking into its back represent… I don’t know… Animal cruelty?
Unfortunately I’m going to have to make a confession at this point – and that is *hangs head* – that we ate the elephant. It was only later that I noticed the warning in the recipe: “Remember that the elephant is only for decoration – you cannot eat it.”
But we did, and it tasted like cold oily bread.
It was probably the best thing we’ve made.