To cook, to eat, to kill. An animal’s life taken, body split open, applied to fire and torn between teeth. What are the aesthetic and ethics? Dan Barber argues that good taste necessitates sustainable farming to table. Tayyib and Halal mean the animal has been raised in a “good” environment–think ethically sourced and sustainable–and then … Continue reading Brains and Balls.
Cheek, ear, liver and spleen, if there’s a pig part Fergus Henderson has a recipe for it. My favorite piece of anatomy is the pig head and Chef Henderson knows quite a few ways to turn a skull into a fanatic meal, so tonight I’m making a Warm Pig’s Head Salad from his The Complete Nose … Continue reading Warm Pig’s Head Salad
My morning thoughts do not immediately turn to blood, but then I read an article by Katie Macleod which offers a wonderful observation of blood sausage and what we will eat when we’re young and what we will not in Blood for Breakfast is Wasted on the Young. And then, all my thoughts turn bloody. … Continue reading Blood In The Kitchen.
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
White to rose to crimson this cow tongue’s muscle, fat, cartilage, and bone draws our attention more as anatomy than food, but food it is . . . simmer for hours, smoke for hours, roast, sautée, stew. Why paint such a raw scene? Gustave Caillebotte’s Calf’s Head and Ox Tongue (1882) exemplifies an everyday reality … Continue reading Transforming Tongue: The Alchemy of Cooking (“True Detective” Style).
All of the pig, that’s the idea. As in this 17th century Dutch still life with head, sausage and trotters, nose to tail eating utilizes the whole animal. A still life focuses our eyes upon the things of this world we value, that to a great extent, make our world. Movement and time slow down, … Continue reading An Interlude With A Pig’s Head.
It’s a dinner party. Wine passed down the table. Angels have appeared at Abraham and Sarah’s door, and as good hosts the old couple provide food and drink. And the LORD appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; and he lifted … Continue reading Night Thoughts For North Carolina
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
Ah, the brain. Fergus Henderson devotes an entire section of his Nose to Tail cookbook to Lamb’s Brains. Why lamb’s brains? When brains were available, lamb’s were cheap compared to the calf’s, but still delicious, creamy and rich, and no other ingredient offers you better possibilities of the gentle give and crunch combination. (58) Thank … Continue reading The Anatomical Theater: The Brain (part 2)
It’s November 8, 1895, late at night, and Wilhelm Röntgen, Professor of Physics in Worzburg, Bavaria sits in a dark room. He’s enclosed a discharge tube in a sealed, thick, black carton. He lifts a paper plate covered on one side with barium platinocyanide in front of the discharge tube and the plate turns fluorescent. … Continue reading The Anatomical Theater: Bones