Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Deep Thought

This past week I had to surrender my laptop for much needed work (the curse of the curious insertion point). It turned out to be an opportunity to think, read and write notes on legal pads in long hand sans the toggle on/off effect of Facebook and God help us, Twitter.

I spent my mornings studying and my afternoons cooking. Not disagreeable.

I turned to the work of deep thinkers Keller and Adria. Ferran Adria's books read like string theory as interpreted by Antonio Gaudi and Jacques Derrida. Amazing, eyeopening stuff. I won't be cooking from Adria soon but I have cooked and will continue to cook from Keller.

I also seanced with Julia Child. I think of Julia child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" as akin to the Old Testament. I own both volumes and they are shelved with the respect they deserve---or at least deserved in 1961. I read from them often but I seldom cook from them now. I do enjoy the part where Rachael Ray is cast into hell to be tormented by James "Beelzabub" Beard.

The New Testament begins with the gospel of Alice Waters---another American Girl in France. I think it may end with the Apocalypse. Surely it wont end with Keller---per se.

Pig has resumed its properly place among the heavenly bodies. Soon it will have its own constellation in deep space. No longer outcast as "the other white meat."
Real pork is back and it tastes good. Supermarkets are carrying real vegetables. And for those of you who are thrill seekers, your supermarket possibly has a sushi counter.

Another faint glimmer on the horizon is that young people are training to be real artisan butchers, breaking down carcasses and not just running primals through a band saw and sticking them in foam packages. The rock star icon of this movement is the Tuscan, Dante quoting butcher Dario Cecchini. He's not likely to be handing your kid a slice of bologna. Now this dream is still just that little bit of pinkish light in the early morning sky. But...

Things are not so good in the oceans. Believe in sustainable fishing? It's a joke. There's no miracle of loaves and fishes happening here. Learn to love anchovies and squid. Bigger fish which can attain great age are being taken before they can reproduce, hence dwindling stocks. Orange roughy aka slime head comes to mind. If you consume farm raised salmon you are committing crimes against nature and against yourself. So stop now.

I guess this is where I stopped thinking.

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