Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A sentient winter squash

Mark Bittman is the Minimalist, and his prose is usually no-frills. Today's sweet potato swerve made me laugh:
For example, they are fine braised (with or without meat), gaining a texture that a sentient winter squash would envy.

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Blogger Katy on Wed Nov 19, 08:55:00 PM:
I really love Mark Bittman. Did you catch this post from earlier in the week with the wonderful picture of MB cooking in his tiny New York apartment kitchen while wearing a dorky dad outfit?
Blogger Katy on Thu Nov 20, 09:59:00 AM:
Apparently, I'm not the only one who noticed Mark Bittman's tiny kitchen.
Anonymous Alice's mom on Thu Nov 20, 10:18:00 AM:
Perhaps because at least one vegetarian (your Santa Fe cousin) is coming for Thanksgiving, the sentient-squash figure of speech caught my attention.

To attribute sentience to a vegetable is charming, until the background question of formerly sentient food arises. We don't want to think about that previously sentient lamb chop.

I also love and trust Bittman and am currently pondering his turkey recommendations against some of my long-term methods.

But I think he blundered here, and it brings up an inherent problem in food writing. Our experience of food is so sensual, so tied to life, that it is natural to look for life-associated metaphors to evoke that intensity.

Until that troubling death issue comes up.

I'm still cooking the turkey, however.

Our experience
Blogger Sophia on Mon Nov 24, 02:02:00 PM:
I used to be a veggie...

now i love a good rare steak. mmmmm.