Friday, April 18, 2008


From the Archives (21 November 2006) Voltaire’s birthday and snow flurries are falling this AM. The air is brisk and electric and cold and here we are on the cusp of a five day holiday.

Danishgrrrl and her kids and I are excited about cooking for and entertaining 12 this Thanksgiving.

I’ve always enjoyed planning and preparing (and eating) big meals and look forward to getting busy in the kitchen despite the fact that I currently have four blisters and 2 sensitive fingertips on my dominant hand because I stupidly grabbed the handle of a hot pan with my bare hands.

So yeah. I’ve been flipping through cookbooks and foodie magazines for weeks now, cutting out recipes and gathering centerpiece ideas and salivating happily.

(Yeah yeah. I know I don’t seem like a Martha Stewart type, but I do love to cook and, hey, I think it’s cool that I now know how to cut a sunburst into the top of an orange and make the thing into a votive holder that will look great surrounded by bay leaves … which are surrounded by garlic mashed potatoes and barbecued turkey and sugar-glazed ham and dried-cherry-and-sage-and-apple-and-pecan stuffing and green beans with pomegranate seed/mustard sauce and baked winter squash and homemade pound cake and apple pie and… well, maybe this IS the best of all possible worlds . . .

Garrison Keillor described Voltaire’s world on the Writer’s Almanac today, and I was struck by the similarities between his France and today’s America—a landscape in which the country’s leader (Louis XIV/King George the Lesser) persecutes people who worship differently (Protestants/Muslims/atheists/iberal Christians) and turns the country into a “ferociously intolerant society, with little freedom of speech or religion”—a place where torturing and imprisoning people who challenge these strictures (in Bastille/Gitmo … black houses … your own home) … is accepted and intolerant citizens report Muslim clerics who are seated on a plane together as possible terrorists …

… not that I believe that others should forced into silent participation in someone else’s religious rituals just because we happen to share the same public space.

I object when my coworkers pray to their mythological god before a common work meal and I object when a guy on a plane makes me listen to his prayers that he can say to his own damn self and leave me out of it.

Anyway it’s still icy cold outside but I gotta get back to work now so Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

No comments: