Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saturday commute lxxxvii: to the unimagined, all at once

The war had ended. He was
eighteen. The shock was

No one had warned him he
might after all find him-
self with his life to
live out: with sixty
years still to spend,
perhaps, instead of
the bare six months
he thought was all
he had in his

Peace was a condition un-
known to him and scarce-
ly imaginable.

The whole real-seeming
world in which he had
grown to manhood had
melted round him.

Perhaps then the key 
to much that seems 
strange about that 
generation is just 
this: their night-
mare had been so 
vivid. They might 
think they had now 
forgotten it, but 
the harmless orig-
inals of many of 
its worst metamor-
phoses were still
charged for them 
with a nameless 

Richard Hughes
The Fox in the Attic
New York Review Books, 2000©

Brenn Diephuis
Kevin Rijnders, photograph

Friday, August 16, 2013

Suppose it were Friday lxxv: Grille the beach

  But, please:
  don't try to
  persuade me,
  cumin can be
  part of this.

  Is the epidemiology of
  contemporary cuisine
  going to identify as
  Patient Zero, the pro-
  miscuous proliferation
  of restaurants by Jean-
  Georges Vongerichten,
  witty apostle of this
  impertinent herb as
  the touchstone of chic
  consumption? Who knew,
  or who forgot, that it
  was possible to make a
  contribution to viti-
  cultural history, by im-
  porting phylloxera to
  the Old World (annihil-
  ating millions of acres
  of vines) - what fun
  might think it ravish-
  ingly bright to pair
  cumin with crab.

      Thus, can you stand it, 
      sauce for the goose is
      no longer great merely
      with the gander, but
      "perfect," with a crab
      salad already torn be-
      tween basil and mango,
      tomato and sherry, and
      with "any light appe-
      tizer." You and I may
      be excused, I hope, if
      an Elizabethan auto da
      might hold more ap-
      peal, and certainly as
      an Introit for any well
      structured repast.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten
Mark Bittman
  Cooking at Home with
  a Four-Star Chef
Broadway Books, 1998©

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Got a nice long note


   I was glad to hear
   from a reader-cor-
   respondent, saying
   he enjoys the page
   for the pictures
   and liked what it
   published about
   Les enfants du par-
   adis. I sensed my
   sneakers, turning
   almost orange with
   delight. Now, he's
   off to Maine. And
   that is a compli-
   ent to live for.