West Africa parades Benin, Burkina Faso, the island nation of Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the island of Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Príncipe and Togo. West Africa remembers the empires of Ghana, Mali, Oyo, and Benin. West Africa cooks Yassa, Maafe, and Fufu. In The … Continue reading Prolegomena To Any Future Gumbo.
A maid and a cavalier look out at us from a 17th century kitchen in Pieter Cornelisz van Ryck’s A large kitchen still life with a maid and a gentleman. She’s scaling a fish and he’s pouring back some water or wine. Practices of a day and time, very much like today, though the clothes … Continue reading House Of Kitchens To Doctor Omelette: Cooking Strategies And Tactics.
Such a sacred tableau in Pablo Picasso’s 1902 painting La Soupe. There’s a graceful, reverential bow on the part of the mother as she offers a bowl of soup to her daughter, who springs forward, ready to receive sustenance, ready to receive a gift. I love cooking soup. A small, crafted merging of nature and … Continue reading A Few Thoughts On Soup
There it is, the sea, the most unintelligible of non-human existences. And here is the woman, standing on the beach, the most unintelligible of living beings. As a human being she once posed a question about herself, becoming the most unintelligible of living beings. She and the sea. (401) The moment of consciousness, of self-awareness … Continue reading Reading And Eating Clarice Lispector’s Story “As Águas Do Mundo.”
We’ve shopped at the farmer’s market, so now it’s time to cook. Let’s take a look at my beloved fish, meu namorado. Oh, he’s quite a catch. Scaled, gutted and cleaned. Let’s take a look at the shrimp. Lovely. I cut the namorado into thick steaks, saving head and tail for a stock. I remove … Continue reading When In Rio, Cook Like A Carioca.
Tuesday morning which means we’re off to the farmers’ market in Praça General Osorio, Ipanema. I love going to markets whenever I travel, markets in Dublin, Madrid, Stockholm, Thessaloniki and of course, Rio de Janeiro. I’m planning on cooking with local fish and have my sights set on Namorado. Namorado in its dictionary form means boyfriend … Continue reading Market Day In Rio
Saturnalibus, optimo dierum! (Catullus) And so it is. A time of honoring agricultural deities, gathering to brave darkness, exchanging tokens of friendship, banquet-style eating of copious amounts of the gods’ riches, and drinking . . . drinking and drinking. For twenty years I’ve started Saturnalia celebrations with the seasonal Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale, 2016 … Continue reading A Southern Saturnalia
In 1900, for just twenty-five cents, a freshly published copy of the “compendium of our local culinary science . . . an authentic and complete account of the Creole kitchen” could be obtained from any New Orleans newsstand. (10) So opens Rien T. Fertel’s essay “Everyone Seemed Willing to Help” The Picayune Creole Cook Book … Continue reading The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book
Sometimes they arrive without an invitation. As in Edward Gorey’s masterful The Doubtful Guest, having a door exposes you to knocks and bells beginning a doubtful process of hospitality. Maybe you had sent an invitation but then forgotten you had, and now as you’ve settled in for a quiet evening with a bowl of leek, … Continue reading The Dinner Guest
A dissolute aristocrat dreams Don Quixote who dreams Miguel Cervantes writing his novel Don Quixote who dreams Pablo Picasso painting two lonely figures on a hill. Our narrator dreams the Knight of La Mancha dreaming an inn as a castle, prostitutes as maidens, and stockfish as trout. I read of Castile and Alcalá de Henares … Continue reading Dreams Of Mustard Greens, Pigs And Shrimp.