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Sunday, December 1, 2013

A la Carte. By John von Daler

                     Now that you mention it, I probably am a little bit of a snob. I love strange and luxurious combinations. When the waiter lowers his voice and looks me in the eye while he describes the "lobster bisque with a pinch of saffron and a hint of Pernod, thickened with 38% sour cream and topped with fresh, wild, baby leaves of thyme", I lose all sense of proportion.

                What is it about the combining of elements that attracts me? Well, the Freudians would certainly say that the answer is obvious. But then again, that response could pertain to almost anyone. Where does the snobby part come from?
                Is it my musical background? What about Richard Strauss who combines the brass and the bass violins and cellos, the more the merrier, to make an incredible lush and masculine sound? Have I spent my youth listening too much to his extravagant tone poems?
                Was it that I learned at college that if you receive an exam question about Luther and of your own accord add Kierkegaard or Marx to your answer, your grades move up a notch?
                Or was it those pictures of Gaugain in Tahiti, mixing it up with the locals and painting beautiful pictures to boot?
                Or was it Garcia Marquez or Malamud or Blixen merging heaven and earth, god and man, natural and supernatural, even man and woman, without ever wincing, rolling them all into one as if strange bedfellows were the only natural way to describe our earth?
                Or is it just all that blood inside me of Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and probably your odd African, Egyptian or even possibly a Chinaman or two?
                Let's just say I think it is easier to love the world by trying to embrace quite a few of its elements at the same time, instead of shunning the one or the other. Brought up that way, I guess.

                So I am a connoisseur of diversity. Bring on the wild boar with a sprig of juniper marinated in Scotch whisky, floating in morels and a double cream sauce with a soupcon of dark, natural chocolate! Hopefully the Big Waiter in the Sky will look me in the eye and say, "Very good choice indeed!"   
            

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