« suddenly, fiction | Main | fromage! »

blame james lileks if i suddenly join peta

A generous reader sent me a copy of The Gallery of Regrettable Food, by the world famous James Lileks. Sure, I've been through the Institute and read through the Gallery online, but it's not the same as having it there, right in front of you, in full washed-out, retro color.

So I read the book last night, laughing at James's sarcasm and wit, making disgusted faces at the pictures of meals that I wouldn't feed my enemies, let alone my family.

The book is a great addition to any library and highly recommend it. Just don't read it right before going to bed. Like any good book of horror and fright, it will give you nightmares.

I dreamed about lamb shanks, even though I'm not really sure what a lamb shank is. In this particular dream, they looked like meat stuffed marrow. Think Combos, but with a hollowed out bone and raw ground beef.

I was serving them to my family (a dream family, because last time I checked I only had two kids, not five, and my husband isn't a Latino man resembling Erik Estrada in his younger years).

But there they were, this ramshackle family of mine, sitting at a table made of....lettuce? Yes, the whole table was like one big garnish. That lettuce with the ruffly edges that are meant more for decoration than for eating. A few well placed sprigs of parsely. And my family of six (seven including myself) sitting around this roughage like it was completely normal.

I was wearing an apron and pearls, ala June Cleaver. In fact, I think one of my sons was named Beaver. Or Wally.

The dream was going along just fine, me and my little 50's Stepford Family, smiling and laughing and drinking huge glasses of pure white milk to wash down that bone marrow, when it took a sudden turn.

My Erik Estrada-Ward Cleaver husband started leaking blood out of all of his orifices. And there I was with my Bounty Paper towels, singing the quicker-picker upper like the old jingle, wiping blood from Erik/Wards's eyes and ears. Smiling. And the whole time, Erik/Ward is just reading the newspaper and saying things like Hey, kids, want to go fly a kite later?

And the kids had lost all their perfect little manners and were eating like Vikings, grabbing huge chicken legs and bowls of stuffed cabbage and some kind of jello mold with a turkey inside of it, and stuffing their faces, drooling all over the lettuce tables. There was meat everywhere. Raw meat, cooked meat, meat shaped like bunny rabbits and meat molded into a statue that had hot dogs for ears.

I woke up cursing James Lileks. And thinking of becoming of vegetarian.


sounds like dinner @ my house. my bunny-rabbit meatloaf my always a big hit :)

btw, what ever you do, don't go here.


see I told you.

After reading that site, I was inspired to run to our used book store and pick up the "Sunset Barbeque Cook Book" from 1957. The photos aren't as funny, but the recipes are intriguing ...

Eeeeer .... so I guess when Dr. Evil said he used to make meat helmets as a child, he wasn't lying ...

Michelle, you are looking at this the wrong way. I believe your dream was based on a few repressed reactions. The blood coming from your dream-husbands ears represents the repressed rage at PETA shared by you and your loved one. The kids playing with all the meat represents your desire to defy PETA and disgust them with over-indulgence and carnage.

See. It's all happy happy in the end. :)

I'll bill you later. ;)

"Oh then feed him eggs and marrow-bones
and make him suck them all
It won't be so very long after
that he won't see you at all..."

Heh. Go here:

Hey! I ate meat before, during, and after the book project. If I can remain a carnivore, you've no excuse.

Lamb shanks are the lower leg of the lamb, I believe. The calf-equivalent, no pun intended.

They're cheap and fairly delicious, too.

I suggest browning them in a little oil, adding some onions, maybe an inch of water, and doing a pot-roast kind of thing until the water cooks down into near-gravy. Remove lamb and onions, reduce gravy, pour over lamb and onions, eat.