Monday, February 18, 2008

The carnality of food

As I wrote, the Valentine's Day dinner at Cafe Juanita was amazing. What I didn't write about was the carnality of the experience. That food can be sensual and erotic is practically a cliche. But Cafe Juanita... They served a Roman orgy of a meal, a lover's paradise of a banquet, a repast of gender emblems.
Take the citrus salad with hearts of palm. A half avocado sliced lengthwise reclines beneath ovarian grapefruit and blood orange, topped with a frisee of hearts of palm and thin-sliced marinated red onion. The local spot prawns served in their carapaces, which sequester a cornucopia of roe spilling out when the shell is pulled away. The raviolo, a deceptive disk that explodes with a fireworks of hidden flavors when bitten into. The steak covered with a layer foie gras that goes down like meat butter. All of which set up the dessert -- a chocolate souffle than one opens carefully and spills vanilla creme into. Get the picture?

Amy Denio writes from Ireland: "On the way out of the cemetery [of Ballintubber Abbey near Westport), I noticed a grave of a man who had died at age 50 about 5 years ago, and at the bottom it was written 'there are so many songs to sing' with RIP right below that, and ‘always loved’ at the bottom, which I found incredibly sad. At first I thought 'that's what I want on my gravestone...' But seeing that triggered some wierd deep sadness about a musician dying young, I could almost see the fellow singing joyously, friends all around. In fact, as I started driving away, I found myself racked with sobs. It really touched a nerve, seeing ‘there are so many songs to sing’ on a gravestone. I’m almost finished writing a song with that title. It was a very strong experience."

Now, you can listen to the song, "Ballintubber Abbey," here. It's a beauty, and I bet you can hear it in the pubs of Mayo before long.

Speaking of beautiful music, is there a prettier American song than "Shenandoah"? Listen to Englishman Richard Thompson's stunning version here.

The Seattle P-I has this troubling story about the rape of a Kirkland servicewoman while in the Army. Veteran's Administration statistics show that 19% of their female patients were diagnosed as victims of military sexual trauma. (And we all know that the numbers are greater than that because many rape victims choose not to seek treatment or report it at all.) While this has been an ongoing problem in the military, one wonders whether the lowering of recruiting standards has exacerbated it.

Call me a charter member of the I Detest Joe Lieberman Club. I haven't liked Holy Joe since 1998 when he lectured Bill Clinton from the Senate floor. Now he's cavorting with John McCain even though he promised the voters of Connecticut that he'd support the party nominee in 2008. A great reason in and of itself to pick up a half dozen Senate seats would be to kick that s------------- out of the caucus. (I don't use profanities in this blog, but if there was ever an exception to the rule...)

Meanwhile, don't miss this inspirational video of his playmate.


Scrumpy's Baker said...

Wow, I needed a shower after reading about that Valentine's meal! Hubby and I went to a movie and ate fried pickle spears. I suppose that's got some sort of sexual connotation, but I don't think they'll be writing poetry about it.

K. said...

Premium T. says that fried pickle spears are among the wonders of the south.