If you can’t take the heat…
…then, you know the drill, “get out of the kitchen.” I recently devoured the book Heat by Bill Buford, writer for the New Yorker magazine. He recounted his experiences as a “slave,” then line cook, then pasta maker in the kitchen of celebrity chef Mario Batali. Frankly, Mario Batali always looked a bit unkempt and unappetizing to me, and after reading Buford’s book, I think I like him even less. No matter, the book is a great read. Just wait till you get to the part where Buford heads off to Tuscany to learn how to slaughter pigs and, once that is accomplished, cattle too. The mindset of the Tuscans as far as butchering animals is concerned is not for everyone—it hovers somewhere between The Great Earth Ancestor and Conan the Barbarian. Best part: Buford schlepping a pig carcass up the elevator in his New York City apartment in order to prepare it right on his dining room table. Alrighty, then…
Heat did get me thinking of a food-related line in an old Paul Simon song. The tune is called Allergies, and the line is “Where do allergies go when it’s after the show and you want to get something to eat?” And that in turn reminded me of the Billy Joel song, Where’s the Orchestra?, in which life is compared to a play bereft of music.
At least I understand
All the innuendo and the irony
And I appreciate
The roles the actors played
The point the author made
And after the closing lines
And after the curtain calls
The curtain falls
On empty chairs
Where’s the orchestra?
Or, to put it another way, after the show called life…is there anything to eat?
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.
That’s from John’s gospel, chapter 6, verse 35. And then:
And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
That one is Revelation 5:9.
So there is music and something to eat after the show, too. (Among celebrity chefs, only Emeril has both music and food, though you really can’t taste anything from this side of a TV screen.) Hey, come to the party.
Scholar in Residence, Missionary
Rich Robinson is a veteran missionary and senior researcher at the San Francisco headquarters of Jews for Jesus. Rich has written several books on Jewishness and Jesus, and he received his Ph.D. in biblical studies and hermeneutics from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1993.