Dispatch From The Mundane 004
In editing this I listened to D’Angelo’s Black Messiah while cooking figs and sugar into a compote which is a touch more jovial, sensual than when I wrote this and I think you should listen to that and specifically “Real Love” and if you stop reading after this and spend the rest of your night deep conditioning whatever needs to soften! I simply don’t blame you. I blame me.
Are you good? Perhaps it’s not a question of how you’re doing today but what is your moral leaning? Are you trying to be good? Do you want to be good? The email you’ve got drafted shifts entirely if you open with a moral investigation and not a situational one. I’m tired of the how and I’m fixated on the origins of my soul. I know it’s there like the light in the fridge, like the floating mother in the apple cider vinegar. I hope this finds you good. I am presumptive. Perhaps you are chaos and I have poked a sleeping bear. Devour me.
On Earth feasts can be inane, celebratory and funereal. I imagine that even seraphs and demons binge eat while watching Rock Of Love reruns on their respective planes. I asked y’all for some ingredients in your fridge and this week I’ll attach some recipes.
Beans - Nadia Gilbert is a cooking juggernaut.
Super firm tofu - Someone sent me this on IG. I’m a sag and this is my kinda adventure.
Frozen potatoes - I think any food dot com is a good launch pad. You could grate broccoli for a unique take on a chowder classic in a pancake form.
On a few:
I will say that in all foods I try to consume I want something that even if it burns I’ll still eat it. I never use a spice that I could hate and I’m always in a pursuit of salvation. There’s something in my star chart about being horny for martyrdom and so in my pursuits I’ve read and thought a lot of what I would be eating as a New Testament himbo. There is an extraordinary and simple fava bean dish that persists today known as ful mudammas and winner, winner, pop the chianti, have dinner. I linked a video because Nadia is divine and mentions onions soaked in olive oil as a serving vehicle and it is in my sacrilegious opinion godly.
I cook very rarely with fennel because I often drink it. Post ovary death surgery I found myself impossibly nauseous and unable to stomach ginger (it irritated my stomach, too spicy!) and someone recommended I boil fennel / fennel seeds and drink the broth. I see fennel and I feel a sort of comfort because it was one of the few things that eased something that was all-together terrible. To that end though, I have roasted the bulb with sweet potatoes and apples and served it with cous-cous. Consider.
Lavender: Make your own herbes de Provence and roast some scored eggplants in tomato sauce and serve over grain of your choice. Ina Garten whomst?
Tahini. I have been adding tahini to everything lately. Oatmeal, cookie dough, salad dressing. A go-to dinner earlier this year was eyeballing tahini + sugar + garlic + chili sauce + soy sauce and sesame oil + hot water. I throw that on a noodle and add a protein. Treat it like you would peanut butter but if the slight bitterness is rough -- bring out the sweetness with fresh fruit. My friend Farrah suggested that I plate some fresh figs on top of chunky peanut butter with flaky sea salt. I will likely use tahini and honey. I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow.
A lot has happened and we’ve been blindsided by it. Maybe you’re a doomsday prepper and you always see misfortune coming. I always feel like I’m a day too late on a take that will bear any weight on a consciousness overloaded by constant takes. I am often at work and I learn things sometimes with a clipped headline popping up on my phone and then I stand for four hours at a register nervously knowing the news will come with a customer and I wonder how it’ll be announced. A customer is hurried and angry and slams her heavy canvas tote bags on the belt and says “I hate this country.”
When do we grieve the last year? Like is there a funeral I can go to? I’m just trying to sit and talk naively about the memory of dreaming without my stomach turning to jelly with fear and despair. How do I grieve the now? We promise to find rest and hydration and self-care in memes and infographics while extinguishing our internal pilot lights with a deluge of bad news and disappointments.
It’s the guilt. It’s sorrow. Holding on by a thread and you can’t tell me the gas doesn’t seem like it’s gone up or that a new fee feels daunting. Everyday I see a home inside a dumpster. There’s a moving truck and my beloved neighbor who always checked on me during the pandemic is moving. She thanks me for saying hello and goodbye everyday during a time she didn’t see many people. Her daughter comes and says “hey, thanks for being kind to my mom. I really appreciate it.”
Just as I thought “this is my new normal.” Now it’s over and I miss her. My friend comes to visit and I’ve collected cat food cans to feed the cats all the elders aren’t here to feed anymore. Everyone’s losing and it’s sudden and then I’m supposed to keep doing and doing and pretend there’s nothing to see.
How do you grieve an idea? The bald eagle has been a symbol for freedom, liberty and yet it was endangered much of my life. I thought I’d never see one and then one day, a friend stops the car somewhere near the Susquehanna and says, get out and be quick. They point and say “look, it’s an eagles nest. It’s on the least concern list now. People fought to protect them, isn’t that cool.” It is cool to know that we can decide we believe something has the right to live on the only place its only known. We can choose when it’s valuable for something to die to be a currency, a symbol.
It’s all brutal and yet every decision forces people to ask how much their life is worth after they’re born. I read once that a new car begins to depreciate immediately after purchase and I think that’s life. Life is always bartered and battered and so what does it really mean to be for life? Are you even really living? Are you even good?