I love having people visit me in Boulder. It's so great to get to share this spectacular place with people who can appreciate it.
A few weeks ago I was treated to a visit from my longtime friend, Brett Troia. Brett lives in Florida with his family; needless to say, running on the mountaneous, hilly trails were a MUST for Brett.
Despite coming from sea level, Troia kicked my butt. I was grateful he had to stop every 2 minutes to look at a view, snap a photo, jump on a huge rock, whatever. I would pant breathlessly - but always smile and look over at him, no hint of fatigue, as though it was an easy Sunday stroll. Can't let my boy think he's got the better of me! ha...
We ran for a bit, chatting it up and laughing - while I fantasized about our impending breakfast at Lucilles. Unlike people who are true athletes, I need food to motivate me.
Do you eat to run or do you run to eat?
Oh, I run to eat!!!!!!!!! :)
June 5, 2011
My friend Jenn was cooking us some pasta last week when a box of organs arrived: a plastic bag of hearts, brains, and even some balls. Her pasta sauce was simmering, and the house smelled of basil and sautéed garlic, beyond reproach, the way Eden must have smelled before God got pissed and Adam got hungry. The organs changed that. They had been shipped from a New York butcher who was either laying down some kind of gauntlet — eat this, omnivore — or figured anybody with a hunger for organs deserved no better treatment than the organs themselves. The box was cardboard, the kind you usually get mail-order apples in, but what I saw when we flipped open the flaps was nothing less than a biohazard: a big plastic bag full of lamb hearts, another full of lamb kidneys, and another full of lamb balls, as well as a half dozen little white cardboard boxes, two lamb brains to a box.
There was no ice, and the bags were not sealed, not even knotted, and as the frozen organs thawed, they'd begun to bleed, the kidneys in particular, since one of the peculiarities of eating organs is that while hearts aren't all that bloody, kidneys are inexhaustibly so, each one a little kidney-shaped artesian well of gore. They'd also begun to smell, for reasons that need no elaboration. Instantly, the house stopped smelling like a Sicilian dwelling and started smelling like a geriatric wing.
But the smell, sudden and encompassing as it was, wasn't even what freaked me out. Nor the kidneys themselves, nor the hearts, nor even the brains, because they at least behaved themselves, staying in the bloody bags and the tiny damp boxes.
The balls did not.
The balls were slippery, literally more than metaphorically. Two balls had already escaped from the ball bag when we opened the box, and they kept on escaping, like the runaway meatball song, until the box was teeming with the soft, silky, glistening things, each one of them about the size and shape of an ostrich egg and threaded with squiggly blue veins.
The veins are what freaked me out.
They are what introduced me to the uncomfortable intimacies of organ meats, otherwise known as offal. I have often heard people say that they draw the line at eating innards, with the explanation that it's akin to cannibalism. I have always shared their squeamishness albeit laden in hypocrisy. I mean, once you start killing animals built along the same bilateral lines as you are and are feasting on their flesh, it seems a little late for lines to be drawn. Really - why now? Why not just eat the core along with the rest of the apple?
But I recognized the blue veins winding their way through the forcibly disembodied sheep junk. I had never seen a liver or kidneys or a heart or a brain or a thymus gland, which would be sautéed as sweetbreads. I had, however, seen a man’s balls. (Shout out to my Dad: I’ve only seen them in a picture. And then I slammed the magazine shut. Umm, promise!! ??) Balls aren't innards; they're outards — and they looked just like these, allowing, of course, for discrepancies of scale. Indeed, the balls I recall bore about the same relation to these, size-wise, as the pitiable little lamb brains presumably bore to one’s own superior bean, which reminded me that all human hunger boils down to the same remorselessly evolved sense of license: if someone’s balls are bigger than his brains, we reserve the right to put both on our plates, along with everything else.