Peanuts, Moonshine, and a Table in New Orleans

The back of the card above is printed with the words ‘Harvest Time in the South Land’

Reverse this card and more information is provided. ‘Highway 58 is the best road up Lookout Mountain to Rock City. You don’t need a guide.’

No of course I don’t. I do want to go to Rock City! And I realize that all I have to do is keep a sharp eye out for the elves who are calling out to me . . .

I’ve never met a bombardier – have you???


Blaming it All on Castaneda and Dreaming of a Burger or Two

(continued from previous post)

The rabbit was expanding and contracting like the throat of a mating frog, in and out, larger and smaller. The ants hidden in the tree were making little screeches hik hik hik. And Hiram saw the toes of his cowboy boots stretch up towards his chin, sharp and pointy and now each one with a flirtatiously blinking eye centered halfway down, near his knees.

“Peyote,” was the last word Hiram actually heard sounded as a word in his reeling brain. He’d taken the wrong kind of cactus out of his pocket, stunned by the fall from the tree, thirsty. Why hadn’t he wrapped the thing up differently??!

He reached out towards the rabbit, hanging onto it, weeping, ineptly banging the knife against it. He was hungry. And it was his peyote crop failure that had brought him to this. There had been plenty to eat while the crop grew strong and green, ready for market. He was the source. Man! He wanted some pasta arrabiata! Shit! He wanted some mochi ice cream! God damn it all why had that crop failed??? But no, it had not failed, it came to his mind. He had eaten it all. It was Castaneda’s fault, really. Ruining the marketplace with his failed authenticity!!! But who cared. What mattered was that this little local rabbit stew was seriously not where it was at!

His arms seemed to be filling with the jack rabbit. It was growing again. The fur was becoming coarser, strange smelling, and it began to snort. Round it twisted, snorting, knocking Hiram sideways to fall back against the ant-singing tree. He lay back on the knotted roots and squinted at the mystery which had once been a rabbit.

It had become something different, something magnificent, something . . . . meaty. Meaty meaty meaty lipsmacking meaty noises were streaming from the stinky beasts nose. Hiram smiled, panted slightly, and waited his chance.

Dear Folks

Well we are on the boat it is about 9 o clock Had a nice time at Lucy. she certainly used us fine just us up a fine lunch and seen Wills folks will write and tell you all about it when we get home. xxx Mae

(to be continued)

In Texas the Hassenpfeffer is Huge

It hadn’t been easy for Hiram to tie that jack rabbit to the tree. It was sweltering, close to a hundred ten degrees even in the tiny bits of shade and the damn rabbit was bigger than he was from head to toe. But he was hungry, so he’d tied the hare to his back and climbed the tree, gasping and swearing as his boots slid and the heavy leather chaps slapped against the coarse umber bark of the tree. It seemed to him that the tree was reaching out to him, pulling him down, refusing to allow him ascent.

But he’d made it, tied the animals hind feet, secured the rope to the bough and let the burden fall with a swinging whoosh as the smell of hot fur and musk rose in the air.

“Damn it,” he swore with the little breath he could gather after falling down the tree trunk, landing on his back rattled and dripping with sweat, narrowly avoiding a boot spur to his upper leg as his right leg twisted underneath him. “I’m so sick and tired of hassenpfeffer.”

The image arose of endless stews filled with the enormous cuts of the jack rabbit so common in these parts, swimming juices filled with wild carrot, spring onion, coarse chicory, handfuls of wild oregano . . . and his throat closed in disgust. He’d had enough rabbit stew. But there really was no choice. It was rabbit stew or nothing.

It hadn’t always been this way. There had been a time, a better time, for Hiram. His hand lazily pulled out a piece of cactus from his pocket and as he peeled it of the coarse outer green skin, memories rose like a white haze, a bitter scent, a rose petal of pink softness aching at the edges. His past had been anything but simple, but there’d been so much more in it than these damn rabbits.

Tears of shame rose and close to spilled out, tears of shame at his lost past. And he’d come close to deciding to take a stand, a real stand, when everything went awry with a sharp resonance before his very eyes.

(to be continued)

The (Beach) Plum Survives Its Poems

Beach plum jams and jellies are known the world over – and always associated with Cape Cod. Experiments are now in progress which may elevate the purple-hued beach plum to the commercial status of the Cape Cod cranberry.

This postcard appears to be from the 1960’s. It is now close to fifty years later and the beach plum’s struggle is apparently still on – people want to make it a commercially viable fruit, and it seems to still be refusing to cooperate.

In 2007, with the help of the USDA, several universities, and some cooperative extensions, a bumper crop of 800 pounds was gathered by this group. Of course, it wasn’t Cape Cod so maybe that was the problem. The card claims that beach plums are always associated with Cape Cod.

The beach plum has a most romantic sound to it. Both beachy and plummy it floats along, unattainable to the common person unlucky enough to not be foraging along the beach at the right time and right place . . . and the recipes which beach plums are now going into also have the right stuff to maintain this romance!

A Recipe For Romance
1 part romantic fruit (beach plum, pomegranate, quince, persimmon)
1 part goat cheese
1 part bacon
1 part greens

It’s a bit odd how the beach plum seems to be refusing the promise of ‘becoming elevated to the status of the cranberry’. In 1948 a Beach Plum Grower’s Association was started, but after ten years it mysteriously disbanded, with no word as to ‘why’.

Maybe the beach plum wants to stay small. Maybe it doesn’t really care if the foodies in other places feel the need to know it. Could it be that (as Wallace Stevens wrote) ‘the plum survives its poems’. (?)