Meat dreams

Not manmeat dreams, which I have all the time, usually quite pleasantly, my desires being inclined that way. But slabs-of-meat dreams, all through last night’s sleep. Not distressing, but inescapable: a continuing presentation of one piece of raw animal flesh after another, with titles out of Monty Python, things like:

#10, the breast of chicken; #45, the ham hock; #17, the pork loin; #99, the strip of bacon; #4, the leg of lamb; #57, the veal cutlet; #62, the porterhouse steak

I kept thinking: these are all really important, I’ve got to write them all down. But it was all in my head, where there’s no place to write things down. Frustrating.

When I eventually woke fully, at 1 am, I realized that my subconscious was sending me a message: IT’S TIME TO START EATING REAL MEAT. My subconscious was firmly convinced that my body had recovered sufficiently from my gall bladder surgery (almost 2 months ago) to cope with the full range of food. It was now shouting at me: GET ON WITH IT, DUDE!

I already had a 6 am grocery order to send out, so I just added some meaty stuff to it.

With the result that, at 8 am, I had for my mid-morning snack a pastrami and Swiss on rye. It was truly fabulous, a pastramic wonder, and my digestive system dealt with it just fine.

The dude is back, and soon he’ll have some Polish sausage with hot mustard. That would be the stand-in for the kosher hot dog he didn’t get on the Fourth of July, but using things that are actually already in the refrigerator.

Note the festival of beheadings in a pastrami and Swiss on rye: the whole thing has beheaded sandwichSwiss has beheaded cheese; and rye has beheaded bread. (Noted in earlier postings of mine on beheading, but here it is coming from Safeway.)

The background for my dream images. That would be the genre of cuts-of-meat diagrams, like this excellent chart from the Otto Grills site: “12 Beef Cuts You Should Know”:

(#1) The animal is schematic, presented in black, with thin white outlining; while the cuts are in vivid color

But about meat. From NOAD:

noun meat: 1 [a] the flesh of an animal (especially a mammal) as food: pieces of meat | place meat and poultry in the refrigerator immediately | [as modifier]: meat sandwiches

The meat still life. The Wikipedia entry is similar, but comes with a photograph that would serve well as a meat still life:

(#2) [Wikipedia caption:] A selection of uncooked red meat, pork and poultry

The meat still life is a real thing, with many examples from different artistic traditions. Surely the most famous example in European painting is Claude Monet’s Still Life with Meat (1862-63):

(#3) The painting has been copied and reproduced in many forms

One further example in an earlier style:

(#4) Pieter Aertsen’s Still Life with Meat and the Holy Family (also known as The Meat Stall or The Butcher’s Stall) (1551)

About Aertsen, from Wikipedia:

Pieter Aertsen (1508 – 2 June 1575), called Lange Piet (“Tall Pete”) because of his height, was a Dutch painter in the style of Northern Mannerism. He is credited with the invention of the monumental genre scene, which combines still life and genre painting and often also includes a biblical scene in the background. He was active in his native city Amsterdam but also worked for a long period in Antwerp, then the centre of artistic life in the Netherlands.

His genre scenes were influential on later Flemish Baroque painting, Dutch still life painting and also in Italy. His peasant scenes preceded by a few years the much better-known paintings produced in Antwerp by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

So this is were my meat dreams have led — to Dutch painting in the 16th century. Just crammed full of meat, in many forms.  #26, the little sausages.


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