It’s autumn time now, and the leaves falling from the trees in my backyard remind me of my fictional Jewish Grandmother, the way they yellow and wilt in the waning sunlight. Oh how I miss my Bubbeh and her amazing cooking! How it takes me back to the days of yore when I lived with her in her fictional wood cabin back in her homeland of Poland.
In those cooling autumnal evenings, she would regale me with fictional stories of survival from her fictional time spent in concentration camps when the ingredients were sparse yet always fresh. Fennel culled from the local cemetery, orange blossoms stolen from the burning orchards and succulent pieces of boot leather salvaged from the newly dead. Once such recipe was her famous chicken, leek, and mushroom pot pie. Yummo. The way the pastry would dissolve in your mouth like the many Jewish lives that were lost in such camps. Pieces of tender chicken melting in gravy, cooked in their own sauce and in the arms of Grandfather Time, time that would freeze whenever the few who attempted escape were caught in the German prison guards’ spotlight, preserved in that eternal moment forever, much like the spiced vinegar that preserved my Bubbeh’s famous homemade dill pickles.
Sometimes I think fondly of my fictional Jewish Grandmother’s sloppy kisses and overbearing emotional blackmail when I’m looking for specific recipes on the internet, but instead of hearing her voice berate me on how much of a useless schmuck I am and how much she hates my guts as she rains PTSD-inspired blows upon my African face, I find myself on a food blog that spends several hundred paragraphs talking pointlessly about the background behind the dish in question, its philosophy, how the chickens were ethically raised and the eggs organically harvested, rather than just getting to the recipe itself.
I scroll down for several pages, bypassing the author’s inane diatribe, usually written in some down-home style vernacular as they wax lyrical about how the recipe in question was something their dead grandmother used to make back when they were a child and the world was a less frightening place. But the world is a more frightening place now, and maybe that’s why we need to eat my fictional grandmother’s chicken, leek and mushroom pot pie right at this moment. So we can hide like rabbits from the world, as the growing shadow of evil stretches its filthy tendrils across our children’s faces at night while we masticate poultry encased in puff pastry with blank stares on our stupid fat faces. And what will you tell the empty bed where your children’s dreams once slept, before they were stolen in the middle of the night because you were too busy stuffing your stupid fat faces with nice tasting things because you didn’t have the courage to face up to the darkness that threatened to molest their Disney cream puff world?
What will you tell them? What will you say to their stupid fat useless spoilt post-millennial evolutionarily-defunct faces?
“Sorry Son, I was too busy eating your fictional great-grandmother’s chicken, leek, and mushroom pot pie to care about your stupid fat-doomed future.”
“Sorry Daughter, I was too obsessed with creating pleasurable mouth sensations with your fictional Palestinian Auntie’s shakshuka to really give a shit about the fact that there are no more Pyrenean ibex in the wild, now go play in the fires of hell where your stupid fat-doomed future burns.”
But I digress, and these digressions are the mere seasonings to my fictional grandmothers delicious chicken, leek, and mushroom pot pie, baking on the ashes of your children’s dreams.
Often punctuating these streaks of gastro-blog diarrhea are pornographic pictures of the food dish in question, taken from every conceivable angle, against a classy backdrop more reminiscent of a high-class bordello than a kitchen. Beads of sugared moisture dripping off tight, voluptuous carbohydrates. Hot flakes of pastry unsheathed in wanton desire, phalluses of hot meat protein penetrating candied vegetable orifices. Filthy, dirty sauces spurting over the post-coital slut remains of some slave-owning gourmand’s radical reimagining of an old family favourite.
Invariably, the food blogger will then begin blathering on about their precious children and how they too like this recipe, even though they’re not supposed to like the kinds of food involved in the recipe at their age, and even though at some point in the near future they may reminisce about a time when they could choose what they wanted to eat instead of being left with a choice between dirt porridge or scum gruel, the blogger then ending their pointless meanderings with some pithy reflection about their middle-class experience of the world.
Then finally, like death coming to take my fictional Palestinian Jewish grand aunty-mother home, after the food blogger has blathered on about their precious children and how they too like this recipe, there arrives the recipe, which is usually the tiniest yet most important fraction of the food blogger’s word count and the sole reason why I am immersed in their tedious online gastro word torture in the first place.
I don’t know why these long-winded food blogs make me so angry. I guess I have a problem with expressing anger and often tend to pin it onto someone who is insignificant to me, like a food blogger or a person who listens to bad music loudly at a crowded beach, when I’m actually probably only really angry at my primary caregivers, society and/or myself. But honestly, sometimes I really do think it’s because I just want to know how make your fictional gay uncle’s Maryland peach pie, but instead I’m being emotionally blackmailed into reading your mindless drivel about their childhood and how Maryland peach pie tastes like memories of innocent times before your gay mother died prematurely of lupus and your father began to violently abusing you.
I don’t mean to be rude, dear food blogger, but I don’t really want to hear about your fictional dead Grandmother, even if she was a Holocaust survivor, and how this chicken, leek, and mushroom pot pie is a symbolic reminder of her life pre-Nazi persecution and how every year you would celebrate Kristallnacht by eating a piece of Grandma’s pie in silence and weeping for the dead. It’s not appropriate to reference the Holocaust in any piece of food writing. If I really wanted to hear about your Grandma’s life in the concentration camp, I would just go read literature directly about the Holocaust. I wouldn’t be reading your food blog to get the goss on Auschwitz. I’m reading your food blog because I want to know how to bake an organic gluten-free vegan chicken pie for my stupid meat-eating vegan imaginary torture victim friends which won’t bring back memories of the Holocaust that were never mine to remember. I mean this is a food blog, why are you even mentioning the Holocaust so much? You’re not even Jewish! Who are you even talking to anyway? Is it the imaginary men in white behind your left shoulder, reading every word you write while you await execution for crimes that you never even committed?
Then I started thinking, there must actually be people out there who read this drivel just as much as for the recipe itself. Perhaps they don’t even plan to make the recipe at all. Perhaps they just read food blogs all day for perverted reasons known only to their deepest, most hidden demons. Who are these sickos? What are they running from? Why is everyone so obsessed with food these days? What are these temporary mouth sensations that stop thought in their tracks? And why do I think of the Holocaust every time I go to the supermarket with a list of ingredients clutched in my sweaty, shaking mitts?
I believe in time travel and mind control because when I go into a supermarket an hour of my life disappears and I’m left standing with products in my basket that I never intended to buy. I go in to get eggs, milk, a steak, and yoghurt, and I come out with some weird sprouted oat bars and a bottle of chocolate berry flavoured shampoo that I mistook for ice cream sauce due to all the ingredients in shampoos now sounding like desert flavours. I mean when did this start? Who started putting coconut, figs, and strawberry syrup in shampoos? Hair care is not meant to be this decadent!
It’s not natural to be surrounded by this much food, it’s incongruent with our evolutionary standards. If any indigenous people who’ve spent their lives hunting game on the plains of Africa went into a western supermarket, their heads would explode. They would lose their shit, I’m sure of it. But instead here I am, wandering around the aisles like a lost amnesiac searching for something he’s long forgotten, backlit by the harsh light of the bright packaging colours closing in on him.
“We cannot eat our pain away!” I yell in the supermarket aisle, shaking my pastry-clutching fist in the air. The other shoppers refuse to look at me, cowed by my unbridled display of personal power.
“Stupid fat-doomed idiots! It remains there still, beneath our swollen bellies, aching and masturbating… turning slowly into demons of self-hate!”
I slap a bag of discounted brioche buns out of the hands of a passing pregnant lady. She shrieks in surprise, recoiling in an awe thinly disguised as disgust.
“Foul hungry ghosts! Don’t you realise we are dead men eating? Filling out empty bellies with tasty things to avoid having to face the void within? And yet our necks are too thin to ever allow any lasting satisfaction from our futile search!”
The security guard comes to escort me to the door.
“The revolution will come! Viva la France! We shouldn’t be able to buy Mexican taco kits at the same place we can buy frozen Tasmanian scallops… it’s against God!” I scream.
Heavy hands grip my shoulders.
“How much longer can this consumerist wet dream exist? Why are we marketing foods to spiritually starved slaves that have no nutritional value? I may be a drone, but even drones need calories!” I decry as they drag me out of the door.
“Auschwitz will fall! Down with Hitler!” I yell, fastening my grip onto one of the trolleys to slow my expulsion from the consumerist K-Hole.
“No! I came here to buy ingredients for a recipe for beef bourguignon that I found in a food blog written by a suicidally depressed housewife! It’s for a dinner party I’m organising for people that I despise but must appease, in order to maintain my social standing amongst those I hate! Death to the petty beef bourgeois!”
“SHUT UP OR I’LL SMASH YOUR FUCKEN HEAD IN, CUNT,” says the security guard, unimpressed with my tirade.
“No! I will not be silenced by some steroidal muttonhead! The police state is upon us already comrades! What hopes do we have to rise when we are all in a collective food coma? Put down your slop bibs and—”
My calls for revolution are cut short by a hefty fist through my mouth, alas, the very same mouth that I once chewed my fictional dead grandmother’s fictional chicken, leek, and mushroom pot pie that I’d never made from the fictional internet food blog I’d never written and that I’d always hated reading.
GRANDMA’S RECIPE FOR TOTAL SYSTEM COLLAPSE
Serves 7.6 billion people
- Ruling elite that may or may not exist, who may or may not be into satanic, ritualised child torture.
- Nine countries that own nuclear weapons.
- Nine countries that own nuclear weapons that are trusted by no one, least of all each other.
- A growing sense of distrust in government institutions.
- Looming threat of climate collapse.
- Destruction of the information economy.
- Destruction of the importance of facts.
- Increased polarisation.
- Historical amnesia.
- One teaspoon of salt.
- Add all the ingredients to the Internet.
- Stir constantly until the mixture explodes and everyone dies.
- Point to little dying people everywhere and shout, “I told you idiots this would happen, but you didn’t listen to me, did you? Well, look who’s sorry now!”
- Discard mixture in the bin.
- Set fire to the bin.
- Go online and look up how to make “holocaust surviving grandma’s chicken, leek, and mushroom pot pie.”
- Make pie.
- Eat pie in the silent darkness, crying and masturbating.
- Go online and write a very long blog about it.
- Add salt.