I discover Edna Lewis in the pages of the New York Times. Edna Lewis and the Black Roots of American Cooking by Francis Lam casts me into the world of Freetown, Virginia where people lived close to the land, cooking their harvest in wood stoves, using wells and streams to keep food cool. Lam carefully chooses … Continue reading Edna Lewis And Kidney Bean Soup
Look at it. Three pounds of Mangalitsa/Berkshire goodness. Oh, the marble-like fat, smooth and wet to the touch. The Mangalitsa certainly has its share of attention these days, with an appearance recently in the Slow Food 2014 Almanac, which highlights its taste profile, “the fat of Mangalica pigs has been shown to be better for … Continue reading Another Day With The Appalachian Book Of The Dead, While Brining Pork Belly And Pouring Woodford Reserve Double Oaked With Johnny Cash And The Civil Wars. (Part Two)
The “Weighing of the Heart” in The Egyptian Book of the Dead offers a moment we may live any day or minute on earth, and one we may believe judges all our actions and thoughts after we die. This particular Book of the Dead presents Ani, a royal scribe, descending to the underworld–a descent which transforms … Continue reading The Appalachian Book Of The Dead, Woodford Reserve, And How To Smoke A Pork Belly On Your Son’s Birthday (Part 1).
Apparently, Miss Piggy is a Mangalitsa pig, which means Kermit needs to overcome his trepidations about marriage because she is delicious. I ordered three pounds of pork belly from Revival Market earlier in the week, and to my delight was told it would be from a Mangalitsa pig. Oh, amazing delight! Let me explain. This … Continue reading The Glory Of Mangalitsa Pork Belly With Help From Miss Piggy, Laphroaig, And The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald
Above our heads in the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo offers us a calm, High Renaissance view of mass extinction; whereas, The Flood (1588) by Kaspar the Elder Memberger has a darker tone. Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, with all your household, for you alone have I found righteous before Me in … Continue reading The Ark Of Corn, Uncle Tupelo, And Red Wattle Pigs.
Our third president farmed, and failed in quite a spectacular and yet illuminating way, as Modern Farmer’s Thomas Jefferson”s Farming Failures reveals–“When it comes to agriculture, few have persevered more in their failures than Thomas Jefferson.” His was a philosopher’s wonder as he walked the fields and forests of Monticello. In a letter to Lafayette on April … Continue reading Thomas Jefferson And La Fruta Del Diablo: The Promise And Problems Of Harvesting Food
Most of the artwork through this post is by Joe Jones (1909-1963) who painted midwestern wheat fields, segregation in the south, and the effects of The Great Depression on American farmers. The above painting The American Farm (1936) captures the stark ruin of soil and crops and the precarious struggle for life in rural America. … Continue reading Body and Soul: “our demands upon the earth are determined by our ways of living with one another.”
“Energy,” said William Blake, “is Eternal Delight.” And the scientific prognosticators of our time have begun to speak of the eventual opening, for human use, of “infinite” sources of energy. In speaking of the use of energy, then, we are speaking of an issue of religion, whether we like it or not. For Wendell Berry, … Continue reading The Eternal Delight Of Decay
I’m in the beer section of a market, what to have? What to have? Ah, Dogfish Head, yes they have some rather . . . oh, an almost three-thousand year old beer recipe from Italy. I’ll take it. Birra Etrusca Bronze: drinking vessels in 2,800 -year-old Etruscan tombs. I taste wine? Sauturne? Fermented pomegranate? A … Continue reading Rome: Porridge or Pig Stomach?
Much has been said and written about children fleeing Honduras for the United States, and yesterday the New York Times reported that our government seeks a remedy to the crisis by interviewing young adults and minors in Honduras to see if they may apply for refugee status on emergency humanitarian grounds. Now might be a … Continue reading The Violence Swirling Around Palm Oil: Roads and Kingdoms Travels To Honduras.