“Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit…”

kitchen-confidentialAfter hearing the sad news of Anthony Bourdain‘s suicide earlier this summer, I decided I should finally read Kitchen Confidential, the book that got him noticed. Y’all, that man could write. He was flawed, for sure, but so very vibrant and passionate about food and cooking and the people he worked with. And he was a straight-shooter, which I appreciate. Somehow I’ve ended up reading more than a few food-related books this year, and I really enjoyed this one.

Here are a few bits and bobs I highlighted as I read:

Cooking is a craft, I like to think, and a good cook is a craftsman — not an artist. There’s nothing wrong with that: the great cathedrals of Europe were built by craftsmen — though not designed by them. Practicing your craft in expert fashion is noble, honorable and satisfying. And I’ll generally take a standup mercenary who takes pride in his professionalism over an artist any day. When I hear ‘artist’, I think of someone who doesn’t think it necessary to show up at work on time.

~~~~~~

No one understands and appreciates the American Dream of hard work leading to material rewards better than a non-American.

~~~~~~

Somebody who wakes up with a scratchy throat and slight fever and thinks it’s okay to call in sick is not what I’m looking for.

~~~~~~

Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food.

~~~~~~

Bigfoot [one of his bosses] understood — as I came to understand — that character is far more important than skills or employment history.

~~~~~~

Skills can be taught. Character you either have or don’t have. Bigfoot understood that there are two types of people in the world: those who do what they say they’re going to do — and everyone else.

~~~~~~
Given how his story ended, this was particularly poignant:

That was never my problem. When they’re yanking a fender out of my chest cavity, I will decidedly not be regretting missed opportunities for a good time. My regrets will be more along the lines of a sad list of people hurt, people let down, assets wasted and advantages squandered. I’m still here. And I’m surprised by that. Every day.

*Big sigh.*

If you’re into food writing and haven’t yet read this one, check it out.

crowds

From Jonah Goldberg:

I don’t like crowds, personally or philosophically. I don’t care if they are right-wing or left-wing, young or old. They are the idea of “strength in numbers” made flesh. Like any other kind of show of force, they can be good or bad depending on the cause that animates them. But I start from the premise that they are to be viewed skeptically.

and here:

I guess my point is that I don’t like crowds. I don’t trust them. Good things rarely come from them. Not all crowds are mobs, but all mobs start as crowds, and I’m a little allergic to the vibrations within in them. The heroic unit in the American political tradition is the individual, not the mob. The crowd is what makes the cult of personality a thing. Without the crowd, it’s just a person.

Yep.

“…since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world …”

mere christianityApropos of just about everything these days, here is C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity:

If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth “thrown in”: aim at earth and you will get neither. It seems a strange rule, but something like it can be seen at work in other matters. Health is a great blessing, but the moment you make health one of your main, direct objects you start becoming a crank and imagining there is something wrong with you. You are only likely to get health provided you want other things more — food, games, work, fun, open air. In the same way, we shall never save civilization as long as civilization is our main object. We must learn to want something else even more.

in which i get political

I’ve always enjoyed politics, and it used to be the topic of many of my posts at my old, now defunct, blog. I’ve often thought I should have studied political science and done something with my interest. But I have to say that I am currently utterly, completely, and thoroughly disgusted with the political climate in the United States of America, and that’s why I don’t bring it up in this space often, other than the occasional link that makes me think. Too much of American life is politicized — you can’t even watch a sporting event on ESPN or a Hollywood awards show without being subjected to political commentary. My Facebook timeline is filled with links and commentary (often angry) all day long. No one is shy about venturing an opinion. Mine follows this paragraph, but don’t worry — this will not be a regular thing around here (is anything regular around here, you might ask? 😉 )

Dennis Prager often says that he’s a member of the stupid party (Republican), and as I lifelong Republican, I totally agree. They have squandered opportunity after opportunity, and the fruit of that is upon us. And while I understand the anger of Trump fans (fanatics?), I think it’s shortsighted and destructive. It’s easy to burn it all down, and much, much harder to build something good in its place. [Note: I wrote this paragraph before Trump was the presumptive Republican nominee, but I still believe what I wrote then.]

The destruction of the Republican party is here, and that may not be a bad thing. But I’m so discouraged because I cannot, under any circumstances, be a Democrat. I’m also not a Libertarian. Where does that leave me?

I know that many Republicans say that anyone who doesn’t cast a vote for Trump is really voting for Hillary. I’m not persuaded by that argument. If Hillary wins (and I think she probably will), I blame everyone who voted for Donald Trump in the primaries. They’re the ones who put us in this predicament. We actually had more than a couple decent choices, and we’re stuck with him.

I’ve read articles pro and con regarding voting for Donald Trump (some theological, some pragmatic), and I’ve listened to people I very much respect differ on him. I’ve heard the “lesser of two evils” argument ad nauseum, and I’ve read the arguments of the #NeverTrump crowd.

I totally understand those who will hold their noses and cast a vote for Trump in November. (That may well be me, as well.)  What really has me baffled (and icked out) are the folks who were not pro-Trump during the primaries but who are all rah-rah now and defend his every outrageous, undisciplined, foolish comment.

I’m now in a position that’s very new for me: undecided. There are still many days and news cycles between now and Election Day, and at this moment I don’t know whom I will choose. I’m 100% certain that I will never vote for Hillary Clinton. But I’m not 100% sure I’ll vote for Donald Trump.

So that’s where I am politically these days. And that’s also why I’ve been reading more for pleasure lately. 🙂

signature

 

 

 

 

 

a few things

~ Months ago I lost a favorite earring – one of a pair I bought in Hong Kong over fifteen years ago. They were my go-to silver loops. I almost tossed the remaining one recently, but last night I found its mate in a tote bag I haven’t used in ages. Hurray!

~ I’m a Florida voter, and although our primary is on March 15th, I voted early today:

vote

I’ll share more of my election thoughts soon, but for now I’ll just let you know that I voted for Marco Rubio.

~ It looks like our house hunt is finally over. We just have to wait for the builders to finish it. Meanwhile, I’m purging like crazy. I only want to put what we need and enjoy into our new home.

~ I recently cast on a new knitting project – Ridged Wrap. Here’s what the finished project should look like, and I chose yarn in a shade very close to that pictured:

ridgedwrap

~ Just like I have multiple books in progress, I have many knitting projects in various states of completion. Tonight I’m going to cast on for a gift for my granddaughter who is due to arrive this summer.

I hope your week is going well,

signature

monday miscellany

cottonA few links I’ve collected here and there:

~ One of my favorite John Newton hymns

~ Don’t mess with Tama Starr: The Ugly art of Trump’s deals

~ Tim Challies’ 2016 Reading Challenge update

~ A Plea to the Mission Minded

~ Deep-frying vegetables make them more nutritious.

~ The most important ingredient to improve your marriage

Happy Monday, y’all!

signature

 

 

a brief vocabulary lesson

Sometimes I simply can’t help it; the teacher in me cannot be suppressed. I think some people (actually, probably not my readers) need a little vocabulary refresher:

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 11.10.12 AM

That’s a decent definition of the word hate. Please note that hate is not synonymous with disagreement.

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 11.24.08 AM

I am beyond tired of hearing people throw the word hate around without using it correctly. If I disagree with you or your ideas, it does not necessarily mean that I hate you or your ideas. Yes, there are some truly bad, disgusting, even evil ideas out there.

And when someone comes along and points that out, they may just be pointing that out without hating on you.

(I wrote a little about hatred here a couple of years ago.)

Edited to add: Will is on the same wavelength.

Lesson (rant?) over. Carry on.

signature

what’s going on

The blog has been quiet for several reasons these days:

~ I was away all week for work, adding Indiana to the states-I’ve-visited list. Here’s a sunrise in Muncie:

munsunrise

~ I’ve been doing the “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything” thing. I’ve been discouraged by politics and Auburn football and current events and have tried to avoid ranting about ungrateful, cowardly, spoiled college students.

~ Much of my downtime has been spent knitting or surfing Ravelry. I’ve got four works-in-progress at the moment. Here’s one of them:

stripedscarf

~ Even though I compose blog posts in my head on my commute or in the shower or as I toss and turn at 2 a.m., I haven’t felt like sitting down to my laptop and actually typing them up. Just call me lazy.

~ I indulged in some Netflix binging on Call the Midwife recently. Now I’m all caught up. Any recommendations for another series I can watch while knitting?

I hope to get back in the blogging groove, but I’m not making any promises. Thanks for sticking around.

signature

monday miscellany

An abbreviated collection of links:

~ I love historical fiction, so A Week in the Life of A Roman Centurion is going on my wish list.

~ 3 documentaries I’d like to watch: Culinary Cinema. (I actually started watching Chef’s Table this weekend.)

~ Why intellectuals hate capitalism. You’ll probably be surprised when you find out who is making that claim.

~ If you’re looking for a good Bible study book, I recently finished Let’s Study Ephesians by Sinclair B. Ferguson and can recommend it. Next up is Kathleen Nielson’s Psalms study – Volume 2.

~ An introverted Christian.

That’s it for today. Happy Monday!

signature