Sunday, March 16, 2008
What's Cooking For Easter?
Easter is coming and I am really conflicted.
Not because I'm an atheistic ex-Catholic who left the church of Rome 32 years ago (& all other belief systems that involve omniscient, omnipotent invisible Cranks who get their rocks off by seeing how much havoc Their little jokes wreak).
My own fallout with Great Almighty Powers That Be occurred as a result of the Archdiocese of N.Y. rejecting my petition to be an altar girl at St. Lucy's.
That I would have been the first altar girl in the history of the Roman Catholic Church seemed irrelevant to me at the time.
The important thing was that I was brutally rebuffed by several levels of the Church hierarchy (as a 10 year old girl with great aspirations growing up in East Harlem, "no" was a word I took to mean, "Try harder" not "Stop, you annoying pipsqueak!"). Needless to say, it took many rounds to knock me out; when they finally did, I vowed never to step into that ring again.
Exit devout Saint-worshipping Catholic school girl. Enter, cynical iconoclastic Atheist who took every opportunity to ask during our neverending catechism classes, why Jesus didn't have a girlfriend.
I was a Mary Magdelene freak. You know, the proverbial whore with a heart of gold who quit doing tricks to wash Christ's feet. I chose her name for my confirmation.
Lori Ann Magdelene G__.
There's a future Pulitzer Prize-winning name, if ever I saw one.
I figured MM & the Savior were probably getting jiggy with it. He was a man after all, even if He was a god incarnate. Sometime between turning the water to wine and curing lepers, I figured he needed to release some tension and let his hair down. It's not easy being the son of God. The father-son talks alone would be enough to raise your cortisol levels!
But I digress... yes, my conflict is not caused by the age old question of the existence of God or the legitimacy of Jesus the Nazarene as His only son; I don't care about any of that.
Nope, my real dilemma is what to serve for the Easter spread.
While some might think it odd or hypocritical that I still celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, I say that I am enlightened & open-minded besides I'll never let a little thing like religious dogma get in the way of a good foodfest.
No, I just flat out love to cook & Easter gives me as good a reason as any to celebrate the rites of Spring. I could say, I suppose, that I'm celebrating the rebirth of the Goddess or some such other fib; and, though that may garner me many fans here in Baghdad by the Bay where the only openly accepted Catholics are Our Lady of Perpetual Indulgence, paganism doesn't excite me either even with its promise of drunken orgies (or is that only in the movies?). I'm not Marxist but I think all organized religions are nothing more than opiate for the masses and I prefer my opiates to be of the fermented phenolic variety enjoyed in the sanctity of my home ( or the other places of worship, the Three Star Michelin variety, a truly holy trinity to us, the worshippers of the Divine Dish).
I'll leave now while I ponder the virtues of grilled racks of lamb over braised shoulder or roasted leg. Or the purity of asparagus tarts over asparagus sformato. Yes, there are profound questions to be asked.
However will I find the answers?
(Now, I know why people pray.)
All and any ideas are always welcome.