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For Science

9 Nov

My first memories are of me being brought home by a little girl and her family. I was obtained from some sort of shelter in which they keep dogs to be distributed to families. She was so happy to bring me home but over time she stopped playing with me. Eventually, I learned to amuse myself by escaping from the back yard where they kept me. I would roam the streets and chase cars until my owners would realize I was missing, and only then would they search for me. After many months of roaming the streets and eating whatever I could find, a young woman took me to her house. From then on I have lived with this woman and her son. From what I can gather, my new owners took me from my old home, I can not establish whether or not I was traded for something.

To this day, I still eat whatever I find. My owners get very angry with me sometimes. Apparently, some of the things that I find delicious are quite important to my masters. On multiple occasions I have been yelled at for eating things like “money” and “phone chargers”. As of yet, I have not determined why these things are important to them. Through research, I intend to discover what role these items play in the lives of these confusing humans. I vow to eat, or at least chew, anything I find to better my knowledge of the humans. For the benefit of myself, and for science!

 

 

American Myths

19 Oct

Throughout American culture, there are thousands of stories that have been told through numerous mediums. In modern America, we pass stories via written word, visual interpretation, and word of mouth. One common thing that appears in almost all stories is food. In American stories, one food consistently show is turkey. It is involved in many ceremonial meals and is depicted as the most important part of the meal on many occasions. Turkey is certainly one of the most consistently seen foods in all of America’s folklore.

In many stories, turkey is the main course for large sit-down dinners. If a character is bringing over a future spouse, husband or wife, the major dinner confrontation always includes some large, extravagant meal. Many times, this meal is centered around a giant turkey. In some stories the turkey can actually be involved in major story altering events. An example of a story like this can be seen in many TV shows in which a character, often a mother figure, is preparing a large meal for family or friends and through some misfortune the turkey burns, causing the character to have an explosion of emotion, often breaking down. Additionally, turkey is almost always the main course for large dinners in holiday stories, specifically movies. Family meals are important in American culture, especially during holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. When these feasts are depicted, they often include turkey, the staple of American feasts.

American stories feature turkey because turkey is what the land originally provided to Americans. This can be seen in many other cultures, an example of which would be rice in Asian story telling. The presence of food in these stories is merely another piece of the setting of the story. It is just another factor used to indicate what the environment is really like.

Ordinary Ecstacy

27 Sep

Most people believe that magic is something supernatural or paranormal. Magic does not necessarily have to be an other-worldly, or even a rare occurrence. In Tanizaki’s writing, magic is depicted as a feeling, more so than it is an actual event. There are hundreds of vivid descriptions and context clues in Tanizaki’s writing referring to the raw pleasures derived from this particular experience. Though they happen to be highlighting the characteristics of a meal, the descriptions are as much about the senses and feelings of the narrator as they are about the decadence of the food itself. Although Chinese food happens to be the catalyst for magic in this story, it could be anything.

The narrator is feeling somewhat over-accomplished, as though he has drained every bit of excitement available to him. While he is out searching for a thrill, he stumbles upon a restaurant previously unknown to him. The food that they make captures all of his senses with force and ultimately, is exactly what he desired. The narrator is experiencing the ecstasy and satisfaction due to him finding exactly what he wanted, much like ending a journey. All people have journeys, goals, and ambitions and there is a special type of satisfaction one receives from successfully executing a plan. In this way, magic can result from any facet of life.

It could be assumed that if a Chinese man was eating average Chinese cuisine, he would receive less of a thrill than if he were to be experimenting with something foreign to him. The definition of excitement will always vary. Everyone experiences things in a different order, which means that we all experience magic at separate intervals, making it impossible to define the idea of magic. This story merely captures one adventurer’s specific moment in ecstasy.

Monday, September 27th 2010 : Garden Update

27 Sep

The garden looked like it was still making progress. It is incredibly hot today and it was obvious that the plants were in need of water. I tried to get it as saturated as possible before I left, as it is supposed to peak at around 113 degrees today. Make sure you all water it for a decent amount of time! The plants are going to roast otherwise!

Missing the Point

15 Sep

If Fukuoka were to cross paths with a modern-day, self-described “foodie”, he would not find much in common with that person. Fukuoka lived his life based around the notion that the human race belongs to nature like any other thing on the planet, that we as humans are not special. He would view people today as too self-involved to understand the true meaning of his ideas. Being a foodie today is a defined, cultural position. It is a stance on life, it is something you label yourself. This concept is a far cry from the beliefs of Fukuoka. He cherished the idea of simple, basic, living, doing only what is needed to survive. More importantly, he did this using the tools that nature provided.

Being a foodie today puts far too much emphasis on the food itself. A foodie would champion a local restaurant because of a particularly unique or tasty dish. Fukuoka was not concerned with flavors and exotic dishes. He viewed food as a way to survive, not a hobby. He was focused on existing as nature intended, without unnecessary complication. Fukuoka went about this by eating the foods that were available to him in his geographical region. He ate what could grow on his land and what was provided to him naturally, such as fish. This is especially noteworthy as this would be considered the exact opposite of a modern foodie’s intentions.

Fukuoka’s “do-nothing” farming style is viewed by others as a way for him to remove himself from what average people consider to be daily life. In reality, Fukuoka was minimizing his work by only doing what was necessary, instead of adding pointless steps. He makes it very clear in his writing that he believes nature is capable of sustaining itself without human interaction. In this way, Fukuoka’s way of living is in direct opposition of what we today consider the fundamentals of being a foodie.

At least I tried

3 Sep

To start this story, I would like to make it clear that I possess very little cooking expertise. The extent of my cooking ability is arguably non-existent. Boiling water and making grilled cheese is where I draw the line. However, my lack of skill does not interfere with my ability to love The Food Network. I was watching a show with a pretty Italian lady and she was making some sort of pasta salad that piqued my interests. I got inspired to make the one I saw on TV and set off to the grocery store. I had also decided at some point that I was too smart for her recipe and that I was just going to put whatever I wanted in to the salad. I took her basic idea of a light pasta salad and ran with it. Needless to say it did not turn out well.

I am one of those people who will eat nearly anything. I will even eat food mixed with other foods, like the Luther Burger or deep-fried Oreos. Sadly, what I created was hardly edible. Though it should be noted that I ate it anyway. I figured that because I liked both smoked Gouda and raspberry vinaigrette that they would work in a salad together. I vaguely remember adding sliced tomatoes and something from the nut family. This just goes to show that some delicious foods just are not meant to be mixed with one another.

On the positive side, making it was actually a lot of fun. I liked picking out the ingredients and the whole process is really creative. It is interesting to see how everything turns out. Cooking is much like a science project that you get to eat at the end. The best part is that even if you are bad, someone will probably eat it!