I Moved To Oaxaca

Thursday, November 06, 2003

People down here say that the spirits of the dead eat the essence of food on a family’s Day of the Dead altar. I believe that’s true, and I believe I’ll download a bread pudding recipe; otherwise, I’ll never use up all this dead-bread – the stuff the dead didn’t physically consume before they went home Monday afternoon. We ate two loaves with our morning coffees and mochas before they got too stale, but I’ve still got another five to go. I thought about making a load of stuffing, but dead-bread’s a little too sweet for that, so raisinless bread pudding it is!

Can you freeze dead-bread pudding?

We’ve been swapping magazines with Jonathan, one of the teachers at work. I think he’s even more left-wing than we are. Anyway, he gave us a handful of old Progressives and Mother Jones magazines – woefully out of date, but who’s picky?

I’ve been struggling with the whole happy-meat issue* – well, since I left the Bay Area, but more specifically I mean in Mexico, the land of carnivores. I have to say, I’ve let the issue slide in the interests of eating some damn good Mexican food. But one of the magazines had an article by Eric Schlosser; that’s right, Mister Fast Food Nation himself. So I’m back on the happy-meat bandwagon, only … I have some Issues. First is that, barring Miguel allowing me to keep a cow in the building courtyard, I cannot get happy milk in this city. Hell, I’m lucky that I usually have a choice between whole and light milk (when Pitico doesn’t run out of one or the other). And I really do not want to give up 1) coffee or 2) my breakfast. So I’m drinking the unhappy milk. I can get organic eggs, and when we leave the city happy meat’s not really a problem, as all the animals are running around in people’s yards. Okay, I just avoid meat while in Oaxaca, a bit difficult but not impossible. And there’s passable seafood. But the cheeses and oils … I know those are the products of unhappy animals. It’s real hard to avoid manteca – pig lard – in anything fried. I’ve seen that, but not vegetable shortening, for sale in supermarkets, so I don’t know what I’m going to do about pies.

Well, having written the above yesterday, I had awful dreams of slaughtering turkeys last night! I will spare you the details, and move on to a happier subject: cats. Yes, happy cat news! My friend Tom reports that Tyson is doing well in his San Francisco rooftop domain.

I now have a collection of bread pudding recipes courtesy of Google. Now to test 'em out!

*happy-meat: I think it’s okay and natural and desirable to eat meat; I don’t think it’s okay to treat animals like we do in our modern and efficient meat factories. So happy-meat to me is meat that comes from animals that lived like animals, not like line items in a spreadsheet, widgets in some Gran Bretanian supply chain, or temporary workers.


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