Posts Tagged ‘Food’


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With turkey and pomegranate sauce on a cheezy biscuit and some Bar Harbor Blueberry ale

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They were not large carrots. And I have already eaten two of them, chewing thoroughly; they taste like home.

That is not a figurative statement. The dirt, the sun, the water… The town I grew up in fed these carrots; the dirt I excavated in inexplicable childhood projects and the water I drank for most of my first 20 years went into these carrots.

Of course I’ve eaten fruit from that garden before: grapes, currants, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, peas… I don’t know why I hadn’t sensed Home in those so strongly — maybe I didn’t have the vocabulary, maybe I usually ate them at that location, not hundreds of miles away. Maybe root vegetables concentrate earthiness and location more than other produce. I could understand that.

Or maybe the little carrots I typically eat these days are such overbred little hydroponic sugar crunchies that homegrown carrots, however small, shout their truth very loudly.

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3brothersbuckNot so long ago, I lived in a state where some school districts closed for the first day of hunting season. The first time I realized this, it was disconcerting: some of my freshmen were surprised that the University did not also observe this kind of holiday, as they had not planned on gracing my classroom with their presence for that occassion.

1brobuckBut as the years have worn on, I haven’t found it strange — although perhaps a little disappointing that no one could come and harvest the bounty that kept insisting on delicately tromping up and down the rockery: don’t they look lovely? That was two Januaries ago, looking out my bathroom window into the back yard. Majestic creatures wrought, however indirectly, by the hand of God, and oh-so-tasty with tart raspberry sauce and wild rice.

Elsinore has foxes, but not deer, as far as I know. Probably further west, towards the more baronial areas what have more the proper parkland there are quite a few. Further north a few clicks a University had some students in an uproar over a culling scheduled over winter break. I’m going to guess, if the acorns haven’t shown up in this area either, that there will be more starving animals and more calls for culling in the future. [sigh].

In any event, I wanted to direct your attention to a rolicking poem, courtesy of Writer’s Almanac, which brilliantly captures the chaos and unintended consequences of early December [we will speak of exams and grading some other time] — I give you ” A Deer in the Target” [read it out loud, it’s better!]

A Deer in the Target

by Robert Fanning

I only got a ten-second shot,
grainy footage of the huge deer
caught in the crosshairs
of a ceiling security camera, a scene
of utter chaos in a strip mall store,
shown on the late local news.
The beautiful beast clearly scared
to death in this fluorescent forest,
its once graceful legs giving out
on mopped floors, think Bambi
as a fawn its first time standing.
Seeing the scattering shoppers,
you’d think a demon had barged
into this temple of commerce,
as they sacrificed their merchandise,
stranded full carts and dove for cover.
And when the aisles were emptied
of these bargain hunters, who was left
but an army of brave red-shirted
team members, mobilized by
the store manager over the intercom
to drive this wild animal out.
I wager there’s nothing on this
in the How to Approach
an Unsatisfied Shopper

section in the Target employee handbook,
but there they were: the cashiers
and stockers, the Floor Supervisor,
the Assistant Floor Supervisor,
the Store Manager,
the Assistant Store Manager,
the District Associate Manager,
the District Supervisor,
the District Assistant Supervisor
and visiting members from
the Regional Corporate Office,
running after it, it running after
them, bull’s eye logos on their red golf shirts,
everyone frenzied and panting: razor hooves
clattering on the mirror-white floor tiles,
nostrils heaving, its rack clearing
off-season clothes from clearance racks.
All of them, in Target,
chasing the almighty buck.

“A Deer In The Target” by Robert Fanning. (buy now) Reprinted with permission of the author at Writer’s Almanac, and momentarily highjacked by me.

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Back before my Beloved and I were courting, I was house-sitting at a place where there were some fairly traumatized animals. Their people had gone away, and the first house-sitter turned out to be a bit [!] more flighty than had originally been anticipated….so the animals were lonely, neglected, having accidents, getting into fights with neighborhood bullies, and generally not coping well.

The first night I was taking over the task, I came to the house, and Word came along to share a meal — one that we’d prepare in the kitchen and eat in the dining room. It was a fairly mundane meal; I can’t exactly recall what we had. [There was certainly garlic involved!]

But the animals were very interested. People had not been using the kitchen for months. People had not come in at this time of day for a long time. So we were sniffed and strictly supervised. No begging, but lots of tail wagging, purring, and scampering from one room to the next, following us around.

People were in the kitchen, chopping and stirring, and moving through the rooms. People were stopping to praise and pet the animals. People were making sure there was water and food for the animals before serving themselves food.

I started a fire in the firebox and the animals soon curled up in their accustomed sleeping spots near the fireplace or on the couches. The message I got was: “You aren’t our people, but you are normal people!”

It was a rather restful evening for everyone, I think.

Tonight, I don’t think I’ll fire up the pellet stove [it needs to be cleaned out first, and checked by a sweep], but I might open the Beaujolais, and my Beloved and I can enjoy our meal [then I have to go grade papers…]

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