I know what’s happening in Japan right now (after what happened in NZ, after what happened in Haiti, after what happened in China, after what happened in Indonesia, etc.) is awful beyond imagining. I have no words to express how deeply the tragedy hits me, so I hope that anyone who has suffered during those horrible events knows I am sending out prayers and good thoughts for them and their loved ones.
In the mean time, I’ve not been writing much. And it’s not just because moving to this blog and the subsequent correspondence has overwhelmed me. It’s not because I’ve been coughing for months now and people at work are being to suspect I’m bulimic either. But I will get to it….bear with me, kinksters.
I have been reading a book I’d bought months ago and put off all this time — the novel that spawned the movie I asked about above. If you did see the film, were you struck as I was at how much more interesting the story about Julia Child (Meryl Streep) was compared to the parallel one about Julie Powell (Amy Adams)? After a few chapters of this novel, I’m beginning to wonder if it was because of the actors involved, or if Nora Ephron turned the story around completely in her screenplay. Because, my friends, the story about the real Julie Powell is hilarious!
She’s completely irreverent and earthy and a Texan with a potty mouth. And her adventures in cooking make me wish I was sitting in her kitchen watching. Well, except for when she killed all those lobsters. And perhaps when she had to garnish a steak with bone marrow. I don’t like the taste of blood, but it was more the description of the extraction process that got to me: How, lacking a proper cleaver to split the cow’s leg bone, she was reduced to “clawing the stuff out bit by painful pink bit,” until her knife was sunk in past the hilt.
It made dreadful scraping noises, she writes, I felt like I could feel it in my bones…..Very wet. Not liquid, but not really solid, either — gluey clots of stuff that plopped down onto the cutting board with a sickening sound.
Her husband looked on, mesmerized. “Someday,” Eric said, swallowing hard, “our ship is going to come in. We are going to move out of New York, and we are going to have our house in the country, like we’ve always wanted.”
I thought he was just trying to talk me into my happy place, Julie continues, but he had a point, and when he finished swallowing his bile, he made it.
“When this happens, we need to get ourselves a rescue cow. We will buy it from the slaughterhouse. And then we will treat it very well.”
But she forges ahead, muttering “Shake it off, goddammit,” to herself and proceeds to saute the steaks, mix the marrow with some parsley into the buttery pan juices, and dollop a spoonful of the sauce onto each steak. And then she tastes it.
If I had thought the beef marrow might be a hell of a lot of work for not much difference, I needn’t have worried. The taste of marrow is rich, meaty, intense in a nearly too-much way. In my increasingly depraved state, I could think of nothing at first but that it tasted like really good sex. But there was more than that, even. (Though who could ask for more than that? I could make my first million selling dirty-sex steak.) What it really tastes like is life, well lived. Of course the cow I got the marrow from had a fairly crappy life — lots of crowds and overmedication and bland food that might or might not have been a relative. But deep in his or her bones, there was the capacity for feral joy. I could taste it.
Live your lives well, sweeties. With a capacity for feral joy deep in your bones. And any time you can sample something that tastes like really good sex, grab it with both hands. And take a bite for me. 🙂