Friday, August 01, 2008

And The Major Project Is...

I may have a foot in the grave, but that won't stop me from embarking on a major project. Are you familiar with bloggers who cook their way through entire cookbooks? There's a woman doing The French Laundry At Home cookbook, which must be insanely difficult and expensive. Anyway, I'd love to do something similar but I'm afraid it would be impossible as I'd eventually run into veal or pork or lobster or something else I can't bring myself to cook. Yes, I know-I lived ten years in Boston and never ate lobster, a fact that is a great source of amusement to people. I'm sorry, I just can't. I'm not judging anyone that does, but I can't. You see where it would be difficult to cook my way through something along the lines of La Cuisine. Then I started thinking, "Why does it need to be a cookbook?"

Remember when I did Home Baking With Counterpunch? I became rather skilled with a pastry bag decorating all those Chomsky and Nader cookies. Why couldn't I cook my way through a book chapter by chapter in decorated cookies? Why not indeed! But which book?

I had a long list of rejected books:

Naked Lunch (obvious reasons)

Beowulf (too many friggin' oars on a Viking ship to do on a cookie. I am tempted to do it in Danishes though just to make the joke about Grendel's Mama getting a hankering in the middle of the night for a Dane(ish)).

Juliet (You know, my whole life I've been hearing about how filthy the book is, and I start randomly flipping through it and there's all these impossibly long boring passages about the political situation in France. I can't express that in sugar cookies. That de Sade was such a long-winded bore. The only one being violated is the poor reader that has to endure all that dull commentary. I'm not baking my way through that).

Nightwood (I just don't think I could depict that last scene in cookies. Besides, I'm pretty sure it was intended as metaphor).

A Distant Episode And Other Stories (If I tried doing these in sugar cookies I'd probably be locked up)

So finally I settled on baking my way through the Bullfinch Mythology. Yeah, I'm serious. The advantage is the background sets can be re-used for all the Greeks, Romans and Norse stories. I made a sort of triptych out of cardboard where felt pieces can be stuck on for mountains, oceans, and trees. A few Ionic columns here and there and I can probably re-use quite a bit as I go. I was surprised at how easily it was coming together-until I started making the cookie templates. You wouldn't think depicting a man's liver being torn out by a vulture would be that difficult on a cookie! Anyway, some posts are probably going to be better than others.

Even if I do a story a week it will take years to get through. I think it will be an interesting way to approach teaching mythology. I suppose it could be a fine teaching tool in other areas but would have limitations say, if you're reading Euclid, though not impossible now that I think of it…well, you see all the potential here. Looking at that last sentence you're probably thinking, "Hey, how about baking your way through Strunk and White? You might learn how to punctuate."

Anyway, that's the project, and if you're interested in taking part, the more the merrier. I wouldn't limit it to cookies, if you're a creative type that likes to sculpt from pate or the like. I expect to get the first few posts up in the next week or so. Any suggestions or helpful pointers are most welcome.

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