One year ago today on Round and Square (16 April 2011)—Endings: Civil Twilight
|[a] Inebriation RF|
That was more or less how things went with this little flurry of disparate materials. There are a few things I would probably not even notice today (such as the challenges of eating around bones with chopsticks. This does not mean that I shouldn't notice them today. In fact, that little reminder of how hard such things were for me back then gave me a whole new perspective on staying aware of my audience as I write. While condescension or writing about banalities is something to guard against, the greater danger usually lies in assuming too much. Push them with the analysis, I always tell myself. Tell a story with the details.
|[c] Paired RF|
"Drunken chicken" (醉雞).
"Stinky beancurd" (臭豆腐).
Hatton, North Dakota
Even the silly final references here probably got me thinking about neural pathways and cultural decision-making in ways that would prove useful down the road.
2 February 1986
While we waited for the duck (it takes thirty minutes to prepare) we tasted dishes of eel, cabbage in cream, and “stinky beancurd.” The latter is very popular here, like lefse and lutefisk are in Hatton, North Dakota. Some people can’t get enough of it. It is sold on most street corners throughout the city, and the fermentation is palpable. Again, for the non-native (and I am one who in my "native" land eats codfish soaked in lye), it is almost impossible to get a chunk past my nose. The olfactory advance guardsmen scream to stop, and I have only begun to learn how to re-route their signals.
I have eaten goat’s stomach, eggs with lead in them, and, now, fermented beancurd. What have I learned? That smell and taste are often in mortal culinary battle...and often for no particularly good reason.
|[d] Fermentation RF|