Saturday, June 03, 2006

Cook Fast! Cook In One Pot!


When I was engaged many years ago, I received a number of presents to prepare me for my life as a young wife. For a woman who spent most of her time worshipping at the altar of feminism and urban sophistication that I couldn't even imagine properly much less emulate, marriage at such a young age seemed ill-advised and never so ill-advised as when I received two cookbooks from one of my mother's friends, Glenda. One was Cook Fast! Cook in One Pot! (I kind of liked the suggestion of the title that implied one might be too busy to find another pot or even own more than one pot and that it was important to cook fast in order to go, say, find the cure for cancer or something) and The Ground Meat Cookbook, an uninspired tome about all the ways one could doll up ground beef for your beloved since it was cheap and practical.

Had gotten myself into a lot of shit, I could see already. Had bitten off more than I could chew, namely my own hand. When I was a little girl, Glenda had taken me for picnics in cemeteries when I as a child and even though she scared me a little (she was huge and loud, an outrageous liar, and a bit of a sauce monster, hitting the vodka early in the day -- all the makings of a frustrated writer), but the gifts terrified me more than any tour of buried Confederate soldiers could -- her favorite cemetery since it was seldom visited. I remember looking up the word confederate as a child for its meanings not related to the Civil War and most of the meanings have to do with relationships that are not condoned by law, affiliations that are not sanctioned, partners in crime, matters of a dark nature. It was like the relationship I had with myself, one in which little was confessed and much was hidden, and all of it was far too complicated to cook fast, let alone in one pot.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"What I know is Texas. And in Texas, you're on your own." Blood Simple

Texas Twister

one shot of tequilla (silver)
one drop of hot sauce
one slice of jalepeno pepper

Benedictions and Maledictions

Thanks for all the questions! I'm going to continue the question and answer for a couple more days and then return to poetry.

In answer to John from yesterday's comment board:

Q: for you, what is the most interesting aspect of being a Catholic woman?

I became a Catholic after doing the rosary for many years so the Virgin Mary is responsible for my conversion. As a child, I heard terrible things about Catholics -- they worshipped saints, they worshipped (gasp!) the Virgin Mary, they believed in confession to an earthly father, not the real one. It was my nature as a rebellious woman that brought me in large part to the faith.

I'll say that being a Catholic convert is interesting in all aspects. I wasn't pressured to convert by parents or marriage and in fact, received lots of grief about it from strangers. People feel free to say things like, How can any intelligent person have such views? (This was from a rich housewife on Mercer Island who described her idea of God as a benevolent force of cells that helps you when things get tough, much like her husband and his enormous bank account, I suppose.) Thomas Merton writes that God looks at you the way you look at God. If this is true, then I see God as a demanding paradox, which the Catholic religion embraces. While I disagree with most of the political tenants of the Church, I do love the central mystery that embodies every part of mass. Catholics are the only religion that believes the wine and crackers really become the body and blood of Christ. Flannery O'Connor said that if the euchrist wasn't real, then to hell with it. Now there's a Catholic woman I wish I could be. If she wasn't dead and all.

7 comments:

John said...

Dear Michelle,

Marvelous post, filled with complexity and wonder. Bravo! And thanks be to Mary for everything. Thanks for answering -- so enchanting, spellbinding.

Fiction Writer in New Mexico said...

Dear Michelle,
I, too, love today's post, and am just in awe of the flexibility of your imagination and mind, how you're able to follow a thread of thought through to its most lovely and surprising conclusion.

Cindy said...

Dear Michelle,
I loved this one. It may be the best yet! Perfect! Captures everything and anything!

Question: Do you believe in gay/lesbian marriage?

xo
Cindy

Paul said...

Oh man, Mighty Isis with a pistol!
Holy cow -- awesome! Tigers are up 2-1 and hope those hoops dudes can pull it out for ya. Sorry I've been out of it lately, back in it again lately.

Peace out,

R2 C2!

Cheri said...

I'm looking forward to seeing you around campus soon! I've missed your stories in person! =D

JR's Thumbprints said...

Michelle,
Be careful of what you cook. Jim

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