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What We Talk About When We Talk About Sandwiches

Posted on June 24th, 2013

There’s a midnight sidewalk and someone is saying that making food is asking someone to like you, even a small amount. We are cooks and we do this sometimes. This sentence is like being seen. Walking to the car is like pulling all of your clothes on again, in a hurry.   The street lamp is a yolk. And this falls apart when you see the insects lifting towards it, in the light. The night isn’t bread. It is full of smoke, drifting in from some further house. Some unseen cooking fire. But the point is that there aren’t two neat halves wrapping the lamp so that it will fit down the cat-mouth of the evening—the lamp just hangs there. And the moths rise…

Daily and Supersubstantial

Posted on June 24th, 2013

“Cult” and “Culture”–the words share a root, the Latin cultus which, loosely, means “to aid, cultivate, and care for”. The modern usage of “culture” is essentially an agricultural metaphor, in which men and women are likened to plants that must be raised with care and patience so that they might produce healthy and nutritious fruit. It is a method of raising people in the way that agriculture is a method of raising crops. “Cult”, in antiquity, before it came to mean matching jumpsuits and cyanide punch, was the basic form of religious devotion, built on the idea that proper cultivation requires a patience and dedication that borders on worship. The argument implicit in both words is that people and gods, respectively, should be shown…


Posted on June 24th, 2013

I am very good at eating, and I don’t mean this in the joking sense of, “I eat a lot.” I neither want nor need to excuse my constant snacking, second helpings, or late night desserts. When I say that I am very good at eating I mean it in the traditional sense. Food – cooking and eating – is a part of my life that I devote time, skill, and artistry to; and I don’t go it alone. I have a pack of epicurious friends, a scullery support group, a guild of craft eaters: Tuesday Night Potluck. It began, as so many things do, with discontent. We were all busy, feeling isolated, and were looking for a way to be together more. “Let’s…

I Think I Can’t

Posted on June 24th, 2013

Home canning is a great way to preserve local seasonal produce and it seems to me that everyone is doing it. I can’t scroll down my facebook page without seeing an instagram photo of the various stages of home canning, from the copious amount of item x about to be cleaned, cooked, and canned to the American made glass jars filled with the culinary rainbow. I think it’s great, and even greater when they share their bounty with the likes of me. I myself am no stranger to the commitment of cleaning, storing, and finding creative ways to enjoy the seasonal vegetative bounty available in New England, so it would seem that I should be canning up a storm. I am not. I am…

Apprentice, Eating.

Posted on June 24th, 2013

I apprenticed in the furniture making shop of a surly old Swiss man with strong opinions and no desire to keep them from anybody. He would shape high finish masterpieces from rough slabs of lumber while telling dirty jokes and comparing the breasts of the women he had dated in his youth. He would pause in his work to belt opera and then, in the same breath, call the radio host the c-word for pronouncing the composer’s name incorrectly. He was quite a contradiction, but one thing that held steady in every aspect of his life was a fine attention to detail and a high level of pride in his work. I expected, of course, to learn more than my brain could retain about…

Paella For One

Posted on June 24th, 2013

Mary Searle is in motion, for the time being. Just another Sunday taken for granted, as the peach-colored rays of mid-afternoon cut sharply through half shut blinds into tepid indoor haze. This one got away from her. She heaves a light sigh, private and genuine, standing barefoot on the cool kitchen tile as she blinks away the clouds from her contact lenses. She opens the refrigerator door, looking for nothing in particular, taking in the scene as if it were a metric by which to judge the remainder of her day. Half full bottles of a dozen different condiments, part of a loaf of bread, four eggs left in the carton. A swallow’s worth of expired milk at the bottom of the gallon. Three…