Saturday, December 6, 2014

Le consommé

.. a man who from his earliest years
has said that the heavens and the earth are one,
.. and that the earth may mingle with the stars
as a field's subsoil with its topsoil, so that the heavens too
may bring forth wheat ..

Angelos Sikelianos
Selected Poems
Edmund Keeley and
  Philip Sherrard, translation
Princeton University Press, 1979©

Friday, December 5, 2014

Caches we've found wanting

 A visitor at a country    house with something to  hide is a good deal re-  stricted in his choice  of caches. He is, in-  deed, more or less    driven back to his bed-  room. And a bedroom, as  had been proved in the  case of Monty Bodkin, is  far from being a safe-  deposit.

P.G. Wodehouse
Heavy Weather
op. cit.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Preserved lemons iii

In another of the Council's more
spirited races, District 4, in
north central Austin, Greg Casar
and Laura Pressley beat out six
other candidates to advance to a
run-off. Pressley recently attack-
ed Casar, saying he was unfit to
represent the District because he
did not believe in God.

                I didn't have any money at the time, 
                and I didn't have a home or a kitch-
                en, but a rich Texan college mate of
                mine had both, so I borrowed his.

                I was very nervous to be cooking for
                Jim [Beard] with no professional back-
                up staff to make me look good, and up
                to the morning of the day of the din-
                ner, I still couldn't decide what to
                serve. I wandered around Chinatown in
                San Francisco, looking for my usual
                inspiration from the markets. When I
                saw several deep-sea urchins, each the
                size of a large grapefruit, I knew I
                must have them.

                Once I bought them, I was faced with
                the problem of what to do with them.
                From somewhere in the dark recesses
                of my mind (perhaps from one of my fa-
                vorite books, La Bonne Cuisine du Comte
                de Nice by Jacques Médecin, or Jean-
                Noel Escudier's La Véritable Cuisine
                Provençale et Niçoise) came a memory
                of a sea urchin sauce that could be
                used as a basis for a soufflé. Right,
                I thought, soufflés they will be. By
                the time all this occurred to me, it
                was too late to buy individual souf-
                flé dishes, so the shells would have
                to do.

                With Jim and the other guests wait-
                ing at the table, my heart was in my
                throat as I opened the oven door. But
                when I did, I saw .. the spines were
                intact, a wonderful ocean smell waft-
                ed into the kitchen, and best of all,
                the soufflé mixture had risen above
                the crater-like openings of shells,
                puffy, pink-beige, and beautiful. I
                rushed them to the table.

                Jim tried a spoonful. No word was
                said. He looked up slowly, fully a-
                ware of his massively theatrical ef-
                fect and, rolling his eyes slowly a-
                round the room, said: My God, that
                is the best thing I have ever tasted.

Edgar Walters and
  Christine Ayala
In Austin, City Council
  Run-Off Elections Big
  on Drama
The Texas Tribune©
December 3, 2014 

Jeremiah Tower
Donald Sultan, paintings
Jeremiah Tower Cooks
  250 Recipes from an
  American Master
op. cit.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Le vin bleu

   Does the frame shift or does
   the light, and where does it
   come from - where does eith-
   er come from? In yet another
   vigorous essay for The New
   York Review, we spy Jed Perl
   out chasing Picasso, seeming
   to refute frame after frame
   of consensus and bringing to
   light a coherency in 3 major
   exhibitions running in Paris
   and New York. It's my birth-
   day, I'm allowed to say what
   I want. I want to go asking.

You Can't Catch Picasso
The New York Review of Books
December 18, 2014©

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

One more rasher

    The problem with
    all one more res-
    olutions is they
    rashly value the
    the worth of the
    matter renounced.


Monday, December 1, 2014

How many, how long

    how dare

Restoration and its remedy

   Life has a way of taking
   over even the most un-
   promising places in New
   York, the critic consoles
   us, in concluding his ap-
   posite appraisal of the
   architecture at One World
   Trade Center. And this is
   true; we can wring some
   triumph for vitality, al-
   most anywhere. But why is
   this always a resistance,
   and a necessary defiance
   of the unyielding grid?

   One World Trade Center was
   bad enough; yet, it's back.

Michael Kimmelman
A Soaring Emblem of
  New York and its Upside
  Down Priorities
The New York Times
November 29, 2014©