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The Central Liturgy of Life

Blue Cheese.DavidFankhauserUCClermont

Dr. David Fankhauser, University of Cincinnati Clermont College.

The New York Times has a fantastic article today by Michael Pollan about the decline of cooking—fantastic in its wide range and the memories it conjures up. It’s called “Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch,” and discusses Julia Child, the current movie “Julia and Julie,” the rise of the Food Network and the decline of the American diet. I do a lot of scratch cooking, and the article makes me aware of the peculiarities of my personal history, current lifestyle (counter cultural)—and of something he doesn’t mention but all Episcopalians know, the rise in importance since 1979 of the Holy Eucharist, the shared Christian meal, as the central act of worship. Read the article here.

Pollan’s observations help me know what to do with my writing; namely to incorporate more recipes in my fiction and my blogs.

Some of you know that I have struggled for years to produce a sequel to “Murder at Willow Slough.” Novel-writing is usually hard work (though my “University” series came to me in a nine-month ecstasy). In “Slough” I created two men who groove on each other; it ends when they finally get together. But what next?

They fuck, they work, they eat and they sleep. Just like your life, though not necessarily in that order.

The point of the next book is to describe the making of a Gay Christian marriage. One character is secretly in love with God but seldom goes to church, while the other character goes every Sunday but doesn’t have a clue.

What they have in common is The Meal, at home and in the sanctuary.

Do The Meal often enough, and it comes to occupy a central place in your life. As Kent might say, “Ain’t nothin’ better than a good supper.”

Christianity astonishes me in its perfection. Jesus was the smartest guy ever.

“Take, eat, do this in remembrance of me.”

I miss having friends on my porch this summer as I grill out. For the past few years, two of them came every few days; we’d cook and eat and have a great time. But last winter they broke up and we’re all suffering as a result. They are such good guys, but they couldn’t get along, so the breakup was right, but I sure do miss them.

A year or so ago at their house—they’re also good cooks—Scott made a blue cheese spread for our steaks. It was delicious, and I wrote down his recipe. Three nights ago I made my own version of it for a ribeye I cooked all alone. It tasted great but I missed my guys.

In fiction, Jamie can make this for Kent:

Blue Cheese Spread

3 T cream cheese
1 scallion, minced
1 1/2 T blue cheese
1 t lemon juice
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, minced

Mix all but the blue cheese in a small bowl with a fork. Then add the cheese and stir with a spoon, incorporating but not mashing the blue crumbles. Spread on a medium-rare steak and Enjoy!

In the fictional version Kent’s so sexy that Jamie lets him do whatever he wants. But Kent is smart enough to realize that outside the bedroom, Jamie’s the one who knows how to live. They come up with a very nice way to balance their power, so that no one is diminished and each of them serves the other. That’s how they make their marriage.

Or, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Jamie’s so good in the kitchen that Kent will follow him anywhere, do anything, for any reason.

A cop and a blondboy, a match made in heaven. But pray I can finally pull it off.++


One Response

  1. Never doubt, of course you can pull it off.
    I know of several recipes, in your yellow box and hand-written recipe book, you could mix with the story.

    I’ll have try with the Blue Cheese Spread too.

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