On Food



Alas! What various tastes in food
Divide the human brotherhood!
Birds in their little nests agree
With Chinamen, but not with me.
Colonials like their oysters hot,
Their omelettes heavy—I do not.
The French are fond of slugs and frogs,
The Siamese eat puppy dogs.
The nobles at the brilliant court
Of Muscovy consumed a sort
Of candles held and eaten thus,
As though they were asparagus.
The Spaniard, I have heard it said,
Eats garlic, by itself on bread:
Now just suppose a friend or dun
Dropped in to lunch at half-past one
And you were jovially to say,
“Here’s bread and garlic! Peg away!”
I doubt if you would gain your end
Or soothe the dun, or please the friend.
In Italy the traveler notes
With great disgust the flesh of goats
Appearing on the table d’hôtes;
And even this the natives spoil
By frying it in rancid oil.
In Maryland they charge like sin
For nasty stuff called terrapin;
And when they ask you out to dine
At Washington, instead of wine,
They give you water from the spring
With lumps of ice for flavoring,
That sometimes kill and always freeze
The high plenipotentiaries.
In Massachusetts all the way
From Boston down to Buzzards Bay
They feed you till you want to die
On rhubarb pie and pumpkin pie,
And horrible huckleberry pie,
And when you summon strength to cry,
“What is there else that I can try?”
They stare at you in mild surprise
And serve you other kinds of pies.
And I with these mine eyes have seen
A dreadful stuff called margarine
Consumed by men in Bethnal Green.
But I myself that here complain
Confess restriction quite in vain.
I feel my native courage fail
To see a Gascon eat a snail;
I dare not ask abroad for tea;
No cannibal can dine with me;
And all the world is torn and rent
By varying views on nutriment.
And yet upon the other hand,
De gustibus non disputand

Hilaire Belloc                          



Yesterday I was feeling antsy so I decided to drive to the Painted Hills, a small park in the deserts of central Oregon that features some beautiful geology. It’s about a 4-5 hour drive from Portland, depending on traffic, but well worth the trip, especially if you’re a fan of deserts and history. My GPS showed me two routes: the main route down 26, and the back way up the Gorge and down through the desert.

I, of course, took the back way. I’ve never been one to do things the easy way, and when you stick to the road more traveled you miss all manner of wonders and adventures. Admittedly, during the last half of the journey I was beginning to wonder if my GPS had finally had enough and decided to just do away with me, send me plummeting down some mountain in a whirling ball of fire…

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Summertime is a time of joy,

A time to harvest the grain and soy.

A time to enjoy the delightful weather,

A time to hear the birds chirp together .

It only last for three months or so,

Then it is time for it to go.

This season is the warmest of all,

But soon after comes the several hued fall.

But when winter spreads it’s white land down,

The longing of summer fills the town.