Bacon and eggs have a significant place in the novel of The Spy Who Loved Me (1962). The word ‘bacon’ appears nine times, while eggs, often in association with the bacon, are mentioned fourteen times. What’s more, all the main character eat the items.
Stopping at the Dreamy Pines Motor Court, ten miles west of Lake George in the Adirondacks, Vivienne Michel asks proprietor Mr Jed Phancey for a couple of fried eggs and bacon. Later, having been persuaded to take a receptionist job for the final two weeks of the season and all alone in the motel, Vivienne begins to prepare a meal of three eggs and six slices of bacon. She’s interrupted by the arrival of villains Sluggsy and Horror, who beat her after she tries to escape. She’s sick and ready to die, but hunger pangs confirm a desire to live and she makes herself some scrambled eggs, bacon and hot buttered toast, which restore her will to survive. Earlier in the novel, Vivienne recalls that she ate scrambled eggs with boyfried Derek at the Thatched House in Eton.
Sluggsy and Horror, sent to the motel by Jed Phancey to burn the building down in an insurance scam, demand ‘some chow’ from Vivienne. Sluggsy likes his eggs scrambled, nice and wet, like Mother makes (and, incidentally, how Ian Fleming liked them). Horror likes his bacon crispy.
James Bond, who happens to be passing and arrives at the motel in the nick of time, is looking for a bite to eat as well. He asks Vivienne whether there’s any chance of eggs, bacon and coffee and offers to cook them himself, showing that he isn’t entirely unfamiliar with the kitchen. We’re not told how James has his eggs on this occasion. They’re presumably scrambled, but James doesn’t always have his eggs this way.
We learn that the bacon is hickory smoked and that Vivienne cooks the eggs by putting some butter in a saucepan, seasoning the whisked eggs with salt and pepper, pouring the eggs into the pan and stirring.
No doubt the bacon and eggs had been supplied locally. Recently, I was very kindly sent some hickory smoked bacon from the Adirondacks by Frieda Toth, local resident and James Bond scholar (read her fantastic articles on Bond at Artistic Licence Renewed and follow her on Twitter). The bacon came from Oscar’s Smoke House, which was established in c 1946 and located just north of Lake George on Route 9. According to the packet, the bacon was cured with salt, sugar and honey powder. It looked rather like the streaky bacon we have in the UK, but seemed thicker, longer and narrower (there’s a metaphor in there somewhere).
I couldn’t wait to try the bacon and enjoy the authentic taste of the food offered in the Dreamy Pines Motor Court. I fried some of the bacon, cooked up some scrambled eggs (with plenty of butter) and ate imagining the sounds of Station WOKO in the background. Delicious.