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Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’

Eating together is an act of communal worship. It is–or should be–a celebration of one of the fundamental human experiences, of something intimately connected with life and death. We kill to eat, we eat to live. Hunting, farming, and agriculture are intimarely bound with life, sex, and death. They cannot meaningfully be separated. We eat at funerals, we feast to celebrate major life events. We eat, or refrain from eating, all the time in religious contexts.

Sources of food are sacred. The growing, raising, harvesting, preparation, and ultimate consumption of food are sacramental acts. We are sick because we have forgotten this and we have disassociated ourselves too much from a basic aspect of human existence. We are less human because of it. This is why we are unhealthy; this is why we are crazy.

Eating is holy. Food is holy. hunting, gathering, and growing are holy. To do these things we have to go out and interact with the earth, getting caught up intimately in the web of life, sex, death, and eating that interweaves the living earth in a way that is impossible when we just go to the supermarket to pick up our groceries.

We are fat because of our blasphemy. I am overweight because I have failed to appreciate the holiness of eating. I have become less human because I have learned to be casual about something that is sacred because it is so closely bound up with what it means to be human.

Eat mindfully, and you will have no problem making time for spirituality, because the most spiritual things are also the most mundane, the very things we do all the time for survival. They are sacred precisely because they are done for survival. If we can stop being casual about sacred things–and stop being mindless about eating–then our lives can be saturated with spirituality. We can live closer tot he quick, closer to what it means to really be living.

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For the last few days, my beautiful and sexy wife and I have been watching Sabrina, an old Audrey Hepburn movie from the 1950’s.  In one scene, Hepburn’s character makes a failed soufflé at a cooking school in Paris.  The next day I woke up, filled with the urge to cook a soufflé myself.  In particular, chocolate.  In particular, to impress said beautiful and sexy wife, whoc like most beautiful and sexy wives, loves chocolate.

Unfortunately, it took me several days to gather the requisite ingredients and equipment (finding a soufflé dish is trickier than you might imagine, especially if you’re not interested in paying a bajillion dollars for one at a specialty cooking shop), but this morning I baked a lovely chocolate soufflé which we ate for brunch.  It was light, fluffy, and sinfully delicious.  I was so impressed with myself (and the product of my endeavors), that now I want to bake another one, perhaps cheese.  Thus, the title of this post.  It has bitten me.

Incidentally, I am a devoted Audrey Hepburn fan, and currently own twelve of her movies on DVD.  I intend to own them all.  We also have a large picture of her in our kitchen, which I got from a guy who was moving out of his apartment here in the building.  The picture belonged to his girlfriend, and he personally hated it, and when I commented on it, he proposed to give it to me and tell her that it was destroyed accidentally in the move.  I went home happy.

Also incidentally, the movie amuses me because of the obvious early 1950’s portrayal of capitalism and business as virtuous and beneficial, which is interesting to me because we have been discussing the Red Scare and its effect on Hollywood in one of my seminar classes at law school.

By the way, here’s the recipe I used.  It was easy; you should try it.

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