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James

home*economics writes, "Seeing as one of the main points of this enterprise is to serve as a sort of eating and cooking scrapbook--to combat the continually dismaying dissolution of one day into the next--I am as ever a bit disappointed in myself. But I'll try to be plucky"

Everyday experiments in philosophy, many involving food/kitchen, in Roger-Pol Driot's _Astonish Yourself!_ aim to "provoke tiny moments of awareness... a systematic discrepancy, a step to one side, a change of viewpoint--perhaps a very slight one to being with--which can reveal the landscape under a quite different angle." Here are some other culinary exercises to combat that dissolution.

17) Peal an apple in your head
Duration: 20-30 minutes; Effect: concentrating
30) Eat a nameless substance
Duration: a few minutes; Effect: troubling
33) Overeat
Duration: 2-3 hours; Effect: dyspeptic
45) Light a fire in the hearth
Duration: 15-20 minutes; Effect: primitive
59) Get used to eating something you don't like
Duration: a few years; Effect: civilizing
64) Look for a blue food
Duration: indefinite; Effect: imprecise
79) Believe in the existence of a smell
Duration: btwn epsilon and infinity; Eff: canine
86) Vanish at a pavement cafe
Duration: 30 to 40 minutes; Effect: diaphanous

Each of these comes with a description. E.g. About looking for a blue food:

"Seen from space, we inhabit the blue planet. It's true that there is, on earth, a phenomenal amount of blue. The sky in daytime, when unclouded; the oceans. We are ceaselessly immersed in blue, we see and breathe it. But we cannot eat it. Blue is inedible. It escapes our devouring.
"This is a very straightforward and yet a very considerable mystery. Food exists in all colors. Almost all of them can whet our appetite. But nothing blue can be eaten, and the presence of a pale blue food, or even one in ultramarine, runs a good chance of looking repulsive. the sight of royal blue icing sugar gives one the impression not only of extreme artificiality, but can also provoke a kind of indefinable malaise.
"A few very rare exceptions exist. They are not especially convincing. Stilton or Roquefort frequently shades into green or black. Blue Curacao belongs among those sad, fake-tropical, lagoonlike cocktails. The liqueur known as Lorraine Thistle has fallen into a discreet desuetude. The Vosges "Blue Line," and old French speciality, is almost entirely forgotten. In any case, it was only ever consumed by the eyes.
"So, you can always go on looking. There is nothing blue to eat. Or at any rate, not commonly and with appetite. Not like green, red, yellow, orange, even black or white, which are all copiously ingested. What are we to make of this? That we can't digest the sky, the ocean, the planet itself? Need one recall that blue is also associated with royalty and with death? Mysteries, nothing but mysteries!"

Mysteries, indeed. But a step to one side in the kitchen, and some of the mystery is revealed.

GoonymowTob

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