We animals are passionate about food, especially when we don’t really need it, like the stuffed animals pictured on our cover: abandoned and lovelorn playthings, looting a refrigerator and struggling over a mess of condiments that they don’t truly want, and which they could never quite eat, being as they are mostly mouthless and overstuffed.
What you see there is a scene of pure gluttony: and is punished in Hell.
(See in this issue Chaucer’s classic tale of gross gluttony, to which Cornell Professor Emeritus Pete Wetherbee has graciously provided an introduction.)
Plato joked with his discussion group in Athens once that humans can be defined as “featherless bipeds”; so the next day his quick friend Dyogines showed up with a plucked chicken to challenge the claim.
But, no joke, having lived among chickens for fifteen or twenty years I have learned that in just about every way, especially in regard to food issues, chickens are pretty much us, despite or because of our being the ruling species. We have bred them in our own image.
Of course there is at least a cultural difference between us and our chicken counterparts.
The late twentieth-century, French anthropologist Claude Levi Strauss, in his pungent book: THE RAW AND THE COOKED, suggested that what made humans HUMAN, was not standing upright, not inventing religion, art, or rock and roll; and it was certainly not politics (in which we MOST resemble chickens). It was COOKING that set us apart from them and the other animals.
If this issue of the Metaphysical Times were all about recipes, I would offer mine for the most nourishing, fueling, comforting, hydrating, and medicating of all foods, which just happens to be CHICKEN SOUP. And I would suggest that you add the left-over whey from your cheese making, and a lot of garlic freshly ground from dehydrated slices. Even chickens benefit from the garlic, and they eat the soup eagerly, whether or not they know it is chicken soup. But of course, the old cannibal joke is that “long Pig” tastes a lot like chicken.
This issue of the magazine concerns not just chickens, recipes, or cooking, but food in general. Because it is not exclusively cooking (in the sense of putting meat to the heat) that makes for domesticated food: We the people tamed bacteria and yeasts before we began roasting worms or birds. Eve crushed the apple beneath her heel, so pretty soon she discovered hard cider … and then came yeasty bread and before long the wondrous bacterial world of cheese. Chickens like it very stinky, but stinky is only a word and I eat no words.
Davey Weathercock is a roving weatherman and free-lance Dog Herder who reported on storms and climatic events for the TinyTownTimes until the unfortunate crash in this close-to-final episode:
Tiny Town Times Times: Davey Wethercock "The Crash"
Davey Weathercock & Dot crowing
I’d always had a sweet tooth, but about twenty-six years ago I suddenly developed absolutely insane cravings for desserts. I’d mix double batches of chocolate-chip cookie dough and eat half the batter raw. Then, I’d eat a bunch of mouth-singeing cookies minutes after taking them out of the oven. Harley was lucky if there were a few cookies left for him.
When I went grocery shopping in Wegmans, I’d fill a small bag with cookies and chocolates from the bulk food section, pay for my groceries and devour everything in the bag before I got home. Sometimes I managed to resist and didn’t buy any crap in Wegmans. But then, on the way home my cravings would overtake me and I’d stop at the little store where I usually bought gas. I’d buy myself horrible things like stale cookies, or cup cakes with gross icing on top and goopy-crap inside them, and eat all of it before I pulled into our driveway.
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EatingWith the Ancestors
by Nancy Vieira Couto
Those milk bottles, with a generous amount of cream at the top, reminded me of the milk of my childhood, but I should say right from the start that milk and I have always had a difficult relationship. I remember that we had three kinds of milk in our tenement: chocolate milk, coffee milk, and plain milk. Chocolate milk had some sort of cocoa powder stirred into it, while coffee milk was made with Silmo Coffee Syrup, a long-gone product that was once a staple in the New Bedford area. Of the three, plain milk was the one I liked the least, although it was the simplest to prepare. My mother would remove the orange cellophane from the top of the milk bottle, rinse the top of the cardboard cap, and give the bottle a vigorous shake. Then she would remove the cap, pour some milk into a saucepan, and start warming it up. Of course when my mother poured the warm plain milk over my breakfast Cheerioats, they immediately turned to mush. Truth is, I didn't like Cheerioats much either, and changing the name to Cheerios didn't make them any less mushy. I didn't know then, and didn't learn until I was in college, that other people enjoyed their cereal with cold milk.
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Where Food Goes
by David S. Warren
So we bought a fruit crusher and new, larger press to use on our pears when they ripened last summer: a mixture of sweet and tart, mostly Asian pears. Some of the cider was consumed when still fresh and sweet, and most is now in the later stages of fermentation.
Meanwhile we had realized that a cider press is about the same thing as a cheese press. Being big cheese eaters,we ordered the basic tools, the coagulants and the fermentation cultures to make most any cheese.
Of course cheese making doesn’t always require a press, or need to be a lot more complicated than letting raw milk go sour. I heard on the radio that in prison, where improvisation is necessary, determined cheese-addicts use Real Lemon concentrated juice to coagulate non-dairy creamer. And there it is: easy cheesy.
We have now read so many recipes for cheese making that we are dazed and confused or maybe confused and dazed. The biggest cheesiest site on the internet has hundreds a recipes - new ones all the time, including some for mozzarella, one of which claims to be an easy thirty minute mozzarella, perfect for kids.
Don’t be fooled. The thirty minute mozzarella took a day and a half; we nearly scalded our hands in the process and never got the stuff to be stretchy as pizza dough, like it is supposed to be. So we don’t suggest you make it your first cheese.
You might want to begin with the prison cheese version, or better than that: try making the simple Portuguese kitchen cheese that Nancy Vieira Couto writes about in this issue of the magazine.
(read the beginning of this article)
Dull Ny Thinger
by Gabreal Orgrease
“Hey, sonny doy, dull ny thinger.”
“I’m not yer Granda ya little tord. Now dull ny thinger.”
Aubergine Bawcutt, the talking eggplant, is the infamous Catskill ventriloquist Lorne Surlingham’s most famous dummy. Which is not saying a whole lot for dummies or back alley ventriloquists. A fat purple eggplant poked onto the top end of a broomstick, fastened with brass thumbtacks -- white eyes of radish slices with red peel rings, a petite carrot nose and a thin white-green slice for a mouth. The Chef’s Dummy they used to call her in the good old days on the underground circuit. A sort of Ubu Roi take-off in the vegetable and janitorial kingdom that never translated well to television but was a backstage hit at a thousand and twenty-three catered birthday parties.
“Oh man, grandpa, do you really have to do that? It isn’t funny any more.”
(read this story in its entirety)
by Sue-Ryn Burns
One Saturday shortly after July 4th, when it was fairly quiet and we had released most of the first-litter squirrels and had most of the waterfowl in outside pens, the phone rang. In what can only be considered a moment of temporary insanity, I agreed to take 11 baby Opossums, rescued from a very busy roadside after their mother was killed by a car.
I was of course immediately charmed by the cute little babies. They look like they're wearing opera gloves and their tails are like a fifth hand. Their big pink scalloped ears have black stripes. They each had a widow's peak! They seem to be always in some kind of physical contact with each other – piled up to sleep, sitting on each other, holding paws, or keeping their tails entwined.
(read this entire story here) _______________________
Sharing food with family and friends, while appreciating life’s blessings, can be a form of mindfulness that allows us to receive more energy from our food.
While enjoying food with Reiki practitioners, it’s not unusual to see people holding their hands above their food to fill it with Reiki before they eat. Most people seem to have the right attitude that this is a blessing and an enhancement of the food. But it’s clear that some are worried that the food might have negative energy within it.
When we experience fear, worry or anger, we cannot practice mindfulness. These feelings disconnect us and take us out of the Now. We feel unloved and unsupported. “Be Grateful,” the third Reiki Principle taught by Usui Sensei, serves as advice to help us become centered. Being grateful means nourishing gratitude in your heart, for no specific reason. It means being grateful for the gift of existence. Gratitude brings you here, into the present moment. When you are present, you are connected with all of life, with all of creation. And all is well.
All is as it should be.
(read this entire article here)
Helium Dogs (go to)
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