27 May 2011

Added Value

Saw dead frog crushed on sidewalk on way to work, took photos of it every morning for about three weeks. Ended up with a series of photos, from fresh crushed to completely disappeared, reflecting the endless cycle of change, of life, death, and decomposition leading to our ultimate nonexistence.

What I could not photograph was that frog's soul. Where is that frog's soul?

This is a classic case of what we in the industry call added value. From a dead frog, I have created a work of art potentially worth tens of hundreds of thousands, and I have created these dollars without taking from or injuring anyone. Admittedly I owe a debt to the family of the deceased frog, and I have in that event set up a trust in their name with the First Union Bank of the Pacific, located in the Marianas Trench behind the five and dime. Even should the trust remain unclaimed, I will rest a little easier knowing I have given meaning to and immortalized the existence of their relative, that this noble amphibian did not die in vain, that it was not for nothing pancaked.

But the reader is sure to ask, where does this value that I claim to have created actually reside? While no doubt one may spend many delightful hours thoughtfully dissecting the wide-ranging philosophical implications of the whole mess, speculating as to the meaning of existence (why oh why did that frog have to die? why was it ever born?) and the role of fate (why was it hopping by at precisely that instant?), the nature of art (what kind of moron takes photos of dead frogs?), and so forth, it must be admitted that in a pinch this epic photo series (which at this point, having been conceived but not actually executed, remains in point of fact a mere theoretical construct) --

The Plain People of Piscataway, New Jersey: Theoretical construct? Pipe down, we're watching the game here.
Myself: I do beg your forbearance. I avoid the big words in conversation but occasionally the pen does get carried away.
The Plain People of Piscataway, New Jersey: Sure whatever, just put a cork in it until halftime there, squirrel-boy.

-- would not be worth the proverbial paper it was printed on. Nonetheless, it may be safely ventured that, at auction, during good times, the photo series is apt to fetch significantly more than the crushed dead frog carcass. Ipso facto, added value.

But is art to be valued merely for the price it can fetch? Have not many of our finest artists been spurned in their lifetimes, barely scraping by while producing masterpieces now taught in the schools?

These and related questions will be explored exhaustively, during halftime. (Go Coogs!)

06 May 2011

Spray-on Foam Ham

Cooking Show, Episode 7: Spray-on Foam Ham with verdigris-encrusted baby shallots in a plutonium gravy, oh and country vegetables infused with slimy vermicelli on a bed of sopped oats. And ... action!

Greetings fellow frying-panomaniacs, get down your crockpots and wax those spatulas, today we're gonna do another spray-on foam ham, for those of you who bunked it up last week we'll give you another go at it, and let's dive right in. Everything's already chopped and ready over here so let's take a look at our ingredients:

  • 1 pound of mustard-based andalusian sausage marmalade (if you can't find marmalade pomenade will do, so long as it's mustard-based)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped in the Finnish style and then meticulously reassembled with modeling glue, lightly toasted on one side and run through a food processor, pureed and whipped into a petulant frenzy
  • 1 crumpled up paper bag, brushed lightly with olive oil and left on the back porch for 2 days
  • 6 large butter beans, peeled and halved
  • Several heaping handfuls of finest quality saffron (for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup essence of oregano (must be pure essence, i.e. contain 0% physical oregano)
  • Foam ham (2 pounds per person, sprayable)
  • Pinch of salt
First let's butter up a greased baking dish, set it firmly on top of the crumpled up paper bag and coat with bread crumbs, then set that aside to cool, preferably somewhere well-ventilated and unfamiliar to cockroaches.

Now in your main pot toss half of your butter beans together with the essence of oregano, just a smidgin of the whale blubber, dip it in your gutbucket like that, and as that's sizzling away add your onion and the andalusian marmalade, being careful not to firmly press your hand palm-down onto the frying pan surface. Rinse carefully and pat dry.

Using your modern stove, heat the pureed ham with 1/2 cup of bubble bath and simmer for 20 minutes a side, until it's nice and foamy in the middle and just ever so slightly chartreuse on both ends. Fold the ends over, add your bay leaf, and stir clockwise with the left hand for five minutes and then counterclockwise with the right for another five (don't ask, it's part of your training). You should now have a nice mess of smooth, richly balanced foam ham.

Next we apply the foam ham generously to our bone base. Go ahead and spray it on liberally, it should be light and foamy and clinging to the bone, there we go, just like that, mmm and that's gonna be absolutely delicious, nothing like fresh-sprayed-on foam ham right off the bone.

All right, let's have a look at our side dish over here, this is our clammy endives in a pinkish aubergine sauce, and that looks just absolutely ... well words fail me, let's just plate that, sprig of mayo and a big smile, pretend it doesn't smell like the inside of a rotting sea beast.

While your guests are enjoying all that delicious foam ham let's get to work on dessert. We've got some Ben and Jerry's over here, this is Bleu Cheese Olive Explosion, and we're gonna add just a splash of this ridiculously hard to find liqueur and some of this chocolate roumalade I spent two days making, a little bit of fresh mint right from Madonna's garden, and what could be better?

Now it's time to do the dishes so I wanna show you a little trick here that anyone can do. First put a little dishwashing soap in one of your pans and add some hot water, let that soak for a bit, then apply your sponge or scrubbing brush to remove the gunk, rinse it off and set it in the dishrack to dry, then do the same thing for the nine hundred other bowls and utensils we've soiled here today.

OK that's all the time we have for this week, hope you haven't bunked it up again but if you did, best give up, it's not good for you to come within three feet of a foam ham more than once a year. Next week I'll be making my famous ultra-mini-tacos, they're super tiny, soooo cute, and we've got special equipment on loan from a semiconductor foundry so we can put a nice little nano-dollop of sour cream next to every one.

Good night, happy pigging out, and don't forget to hug your oven for me.

02 May 2011

The Story So Far

When Austerity Measures were implemented, and when the Massive Layoff Stimulus Package was passed, we were among the only reliable news sources covering these important social developments.

Months before DADT was finally repealed, we were the first to reveal the policy that replaced it: Hush, Don't Speak.

When a Bananarama Mishap nearly wiped out humanity we broke that story, which passed largely unnoticed by the docile, corporate-controlled mainstream media.

Political chicanery and age-old internecine conflicts (whatever that means) bubbled to the surface and left a sticky residue that scuppered the hopes for unificationalism in The Europe.

Global warming continued to accelerate well into the Fall, when it seems to have died down for another year, at least in the northern hemisphere. This was among the only blogs covering the Shave the Earth Bald plan, and also offered some handy hints how individuals on all sides of the debate can take immediate action to prevent global climate change warming (or not).

We skewered the spambots (someone had to!) in The Spam Review.

Day Savings Time has proven a huge success and has improved the quality of life for millions of lazy slobs across this great nation of yours, mine, and ours.

Okay, enough. The Proverbial Bejesus remains dedicated to providing news and commentary free to the public in the coming set of months. But if I'm not making six figures off this by the end of next summer then to hell with it, why bother right, I can always go back to stuffing cannolis or canaries or whatever.