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
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.
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.
People around the country and in the nearby towns muttered a great deal among themselves, but said very little to the outer world. They had talked about dying and half-deserted Innsmouth for nearly a century, and nothing new could be wilder or more hideous than what they had whispered and hinted years before. Many things … Continue reading Cooking Fish With H.P. Lovecraft
Apicius’ eponymous cookbook dates from the first century to the fifth century CE as determined by the scholars who have translated and supplied a critical introduction to this 2006 CE edition of one of the ancient world’s great tomes of recipes. Quite a range of time–from let’s say Claudius, without forgetting Caligula, of course, onto … Continue reading What Happens When A Dead Roman Cook Meets A Dead Gulf Coast Red Snapper? Let’s Find Out. Happy New Year!
Jules-Alexandre Grün knew how to paint a dinner party. All the light, all the wealth, all the joy. Such a beautiful nineteen hundred and eleven, what could go wrong? I think of the word hospitality. Here’s a Walter Arnold photograph of the old Marine Hospital in the French Fort area of Memphis, Tennessee. … Continue reading The Dinner Party: Do I Amputate, Change Out, Or Kill The Guests?
Jon Harvey introduced me to Adán Medrano after a performance of my most recent play Rome, which featured horrible people talking about horrible things, which they may have or may have not done. Adán loved the play, admitted he also loved Scotch, and also revealed he’s a chef with a new book coming out called Truly … Continue reading Adán Medrano and Truly Texas Mexican
“In a hole in the ground lived a hobbit.” Such an understated opening sentence and the centerpiece of our Memorial Day. How to remember? What food fits our remembrance? My father served in the National Guard in the early sixties and narrowly missed going to Vietnam. Living in Houston means a rich heritage of Vietnamese … Continue reading Memorial Day with Canh Bún, Saké and The Hobbit.