This is Mike’s Facebook post from earlier today.
Home again Home again.
Beautiful weather lovely lawns fragrant flowers — the pastures of heaven – or so Steinbeck had it.
A slow dawn walk reveals the perfect food.
A sugar cookie.
I gave Dale four this morning.
I can hear the rustling of the anti-sugar faction and the anti-gluten faction and the anti-butter faction – I have also seen recipes that include cream of tartar and a little vanilla and some almond flavoring – and I suppose there is a faction somewhere for or against each of those.
I appreciate everyone’s concern but ever since Joanne did not win the Pulitzer I have started to treat most of these concerns as a matter of opinion and look elsewhere for Principle.
My opinion is that the sugar cookie is one of nature’s perfect foods. Better even than an avocado which is clearly one of nature’s greats. Or the tomato – now redeemed from its long dark night as a toxin.
There are some among us who taste soap for cilantro and some who cannot eat meat or nuts or shellfish. I feel their pain. There are probably some things I cannot eat — I have not found them – but I can imagine it would be a drag to perceive something good as forbidden.
I am – to my everlasting joy — an omnivore which gives me a huge advantage on the road. Just the variations from burger to burger are minute but non-trivial.
The only barrier I have to food is the process of eating. Turning it from a wonderful thing to see and smell into a wonderful thing to taste and feel.
Food ergonomics are an enormous problem for me– especially on the road.
Paul and I went to the Carnegie in NYC and the two toothpicks in his sliced sandwich were almost twelve inches long. He had bratwurst – or maybe it was liverwurst – that came in a tower on the plate that was so high it wiggled when the server set it down. Hence the foot long tooth picks. It was hard to get on the table in one piece and impossible to eat by hand. The Earl of Sandwich would have been seriously honked off.
Paul tried to eat it with a fork.
I looked up from my Rueben a couple of times to see how he was doing – and he was muddling through with the help of tools – but the Rueben had me in a food ergonomics head lock so confusing that I couldn’t pay too much attention to Paul’s sandwich battle.
The Rueben was a messy mass of edibles that looked like a lake on my plate. The melted cheese had bonded all the ingredients in a clump and any rye bread was lost underneath a mountain of pastrami, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing — or in this case Billion Island dressing. (I ordered a Pastrami Rueben just for a little variation.)
I had to use a knife and fork and spoon and both hands and twelve napkins – more to defend myself than to beat the Rueben into submission. Finally the Rueben won. I only ate about a third of it – which is to say about four pounds. It cost 30 dollars.
Back here in my sylvan glen I gaze out upon nature’s order with refreshed eyes and a new appreciation for the simple and profound. As far as I know there are no car chases going on or sirens or lockdowns, threats or panic in these quiet woods — the awful stuff of opinion and struggle.
It is simple here.
Birds sing songs. Stinks eats Toots food she leaves in the bowl. Toots eats the sugar cookies I buy at the Safeway.
There is truth in nature. It is simple and ever present. It calms me. She provides things I can eat with one hand and one or two bites. She gives me ingredients and gentle persuasions about how to combine them. A little of this and a little of that — then taste it – eat it or don’t. It is always up to me and it is always a gift from the natural order.
Like sugar cookies.
I truly loved being on the road and meeting people and playing for them. I loved the people I was on the road with — Sam and Brock and Jessica and Tori and Boh and Paul and Joe and Chris and Cowboy — all traveling together in our merry caravan exploring the countryside and its friendly folks.
And now I am glad to be home. The place I live.