Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Sublime and the Ridiculous

Sublime is the meat from a bull that we butchered today and ridiculous is the bread. Both can be seen in the slideshow below.

The last time I saw anything the color of this meat was in 1980. It was in a small church in the Ticino of Switzerland whose apse was fronted by Doric columns whose shafts were made from marble that I'm guessing was from the Levant. The marble matrix was the color of coagulated oxblood interspersed with brown globs of what I assume was calcareous mud. Although I'd studied geology in college and had learned to expect miracles like this, I was blown away by the esoteric luxuriousness of the stone, made all the more poignant, I suppose, because of their presence in a church that was pretty much of Podunk.

Anyway the meat is from Devon bull from the farm that was slaughtered last week. Unless you hunt or work with meat all the time, or you work in a context similar to mine, you probably have never seen anything like this. There is almost no inter or intra-muscular fat. I cannot describe the aroma without going hyperbolic (So I won't.) and the color well, it is what it is. All of it together is sublime.

The bread is another story altogether.

This bread should have been brilliant. It was made over a period of a week by me and baked on Wednesday (yesterday). As it turned out, it's a mess because after it finished its oven spring and reached it's maximum height in the oven, I backed the temperature down from 500 to 450 degrees, went back to the computer to work on a document and forgot about it.

I'm not sure there is anything profound about the congruence of these images. I'm not even sure why I put them up for any reason other than that they feel like good examples of complementary opposites.

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