The first thing you notice about Pieter Aretsen’s painting A Meat Stall With The Holy Family Giving Alms (1551) is all the meat–an ox head with eyes staring at us, pig trotters on a cabbage leaf, whole side of a slaughtered pig split cleanly down the spine, a large ham shank, sausage, smoked fish, herring; … Continue reading Thinking About Who’s Sitting Down To Dinner In North Carolina
Looking through the ground-breaking, original four-volume series The Image of the Black in Western Art, the myriad of interpretive decisions highlight problems and struggles with the representation of people of African descent in Western art. A project started by John and Dominique de Menil in the 1960’s as a response to segregation in America, the … Continue reading Further Thoughts Toward A Lecture In North Carolina: Lowcountry Seafood Boil.
The old stories tell of a bride . . . and then a war, and as always, banquet after banquet. Remember Helen? Daughter of Zeus and Leda. In this Peter Paul Rubens’ version (there are two) Leda and the Swan (aka Zeus) may share a kiss or you could also interpret that she’s asleep, either … Continue reading Thoughts Toward A Lecture In North Carolina: A Swan, Bride, And Fatal Banquet.
I’m working on two lectures I’ll give next week on Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel, Frankenstein. Much to offer. I could focus upon the sublime views of nature such as Victor Frankenstein contemplates just before he meets his creation high in the Alps. I resolved to go alone to the summit of Montanvert. I remembered the … Continue reading The Anatomical Theater: The Anatomist And The Butcher.
Look at it. So beautiful. Firm, bright color, everything you would want. Consider Harold McGee’s view of skin in On Food and Cooking. Usually cooks don’t welcome large amounts of toughening connective tissue in meat. But taken on their own, animal skin, cartilage, and bones are valuable exactly because they’re mostly connective tissue and therefor … Continue reading The Anatomical Theater: Skin And Flesh
The year begins with champagne, Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party (circa 1880-81) and new dietary guidelines. Well, something like that. Marion Nestle at Food Politics offers a review of the impregnable document: The 2015 Dietary Guidelines, At Long Last, while Mother Jones points out that climate goes missing in the document: There’s A Huge … Continue reading A Week Thinking About What We Eat
Yes, Cochon de Lait stuffed and roasted for six hours on Christmas Day; all deep brown and crisp with a fat-rich world inside waiting to pour out onto our plates. Let’s back up a moment, how did this come about? I prepped my mind for two days so I would approach the pig with the … Continue reading Cochon De Lait, Day Three With The Family, Andrei Rublev, László Krasznahorkai, August Escoffier, Julia Child, Montezuma, Demeter, Ian McKellen, Robert Fagles, Uncle Tupelo, James Joyce, Bob Dylan and The Band, Flannery O’Connor, And Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds.