Plucking a few bay leaves from my tree yesterday, I was struck by the similarity – almost identical, really – to laurel leaves. Deadly poisonous, are laurel leaves, full of cyanide! Imagine then that I had (innocently, of course) plucked the wrong leaf to simmer in my marinade of white wine and chicken stock? And that I had added this marinade to my steaming casserole of stuffed cabbage rolls and vegetables? And that I had served this fragrant dish to cantankerous Uncle Victor (enormous fortune; no apparent heirs) at lunch yesterday?
As a purely academic exercise, I went to look up the top ten poisons used in crime throughout history. Alas, or luckily for some, it seems poison has waned in popularity as a means of killing people; this in the face of ever-increasingly clever forensics.
4. Snake venom
7. The venom of the pufferfish
8. Violin spider venom
10. Castor beans
Perhaps I should just give Uncle Vic a voucher for a bungee jumping adventure?
(All the above is tongue-in-cheek; I don’t even have an Uncle Victor; but we did have stuffed cabbage for lunch, rather delicious).