Archive for the ‘Language and food’ Category

The allusive shark shack

February 11, 2021

Today’s Zippy has Zippy and Claude strolling in a fantasy city not unlike San Francisco (note the analogue of the Transamerica Tower) and remarking on an advertising display, a shark fin extolling “Joe’s seafood shack [or possibly Joe’s Seafood Shack] on the waterfront”, a fantasy eating establishment:


Now, Zippy strips are often about/in specific diners (and motels and fast food restaurants and casual dining places and bowling alleys etc.), places that (with some work) can be tracked down (from their names and/or locations) and depicted (there’s a Page on this blog on my postings about these strips.

But #1 is different. Pretty clearly, it’s not about some actual seafood shack (or Seafood Shack) that advertises with a shark fin, but spins a little fantasy on such eating places as a type.

However, it might still be a (suggestive) allusion to one such specifc place, especially if there’s (just) one that’s well-known over a wide area. An allusion doesn’t have to be exact in detail; close will do.


Honey, egg white, toasted nuts — and chocolate

January 27, 2021

Some of the principal ingredients for chocolate torrone — for some years when Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky was a child, the standard dessert for her birthday, which is coming up next month. Then yesterday, under the header “Chocolate Torrone”, this innocent question from EDZ:

I don’t suppose you remember what cookbook the torrone I used to have for my birthday was in?

I didn’t, and it took me many hours of searching to discover the answer and find the actual, enormously detailed, recipe (which I will reproduce below); as a bonus, I unearthed an account of the very first time EDZ’s mother Ann made a chocolate torrone, back in 1970. (So: a moment of sweet nostalgia to go along with memories of delicious food.)


Two reflections on rats

January 18, 2021

Reflection 1: fury at the roof rats that have taken up residence on my patio and are now devastating the plants there.

Reflection 2: a recent Economist story about Cambodian farmers trapping rats to sell for food in Vietnam.

(Some may see a possible thematic connection between the two reflections.)


Flat on his back at the solstice

January 15, 2021

Today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, framed as an instance of the Psychiatrist cartoon meme:

(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

The patient is lying on the therapeutic couch, but he’s also flat on hs back suffering the affective disorder that comes to many with the winter solstice (Wayno’s title for the cartoon: “Bummer Solstice” — playing on summer solstice).

Then the title “Tropical Depression”, ordinarily referring to a meterological phenomenon, involving lowered atmospheric pressure (depression) arising in the tropics  (the geographical band surrounding the equator)[*see note after this paragraph]; but here referring to a mental condition (depression, characterized by lowered energy and affect), in this case, specifically, seasonal affective disorder (aka seasonal melancholy) triggered by the short, dark, cold days around the winter solstice — which the patient seems to be counteracting with cultural symbols  associated with the bright, hot, and humid tropics (Hawaii, to be specific): beachcomber hat, lei, coconut drink, ukulele, and Hawaiian beach shorts.

[*Note added 1/17: this account of the tropical in tropical depression is grossly oversimplified. For a more accurate statement — from an actual meteorologist — see Sim Aberson’s comment on this posting.]


In-vitro meat

December 14, 2020

(Another pre-hospital item on my desktop.)

The Zippy strip from 1/10/20, featuring Zippy and Shelf Life reflecting rather goofily on synthetic meat:

(#1) “Spork chops”, not to mention armpit swabs cultured into meat


Welcome back gifts

December 9, 2020

An assemblage of recent appreciative gifts, mostly collected in this photo:

(#1) Objects of appreciation (in front of a wall mostly devoted to William Haefeli gay-themed cartoons from the New Yorker)

I do not disguise the fact that this photo is in part a demonstration of my mastering (slowly but successfully) yet another skill in posting to my blog: taking photos with my iPad, sending them to my Stanford account, and editing them there for publication. (As an example of the photographer’s art, it’s not much, but the point is that I can do it at all.)


Fantasy food

November 5, 2020

For some time now, a suite of afflictions (I omit the very unpleasant details) has prevented me from handling any truly solid food. A couple days ago I prepared a standard comfort sickroom food, plain white rice. My first solid food in a long time. And it was good. I still have no taste for anything more complicated. So I look forward to Thanksgiving (just a few weeks from now), and my now-standard Thanksgiving meal — see below — and it just seems unimaginable to me now, like fantasy food, though I have dreams about it.


Halloween still lifes

October 30, 2020

A pair of still lifes — digital compositions — by Stephanie Shih for Halloween, with the customary flowers in vases, prominently supplemented by Halloween candy: a large lollipop on the left, a candy stick on the right:

(#1) Stephanie: “ode to childhood memories of Halloween candy”

(You might want to enlarge the images to examine the details.)


Three comforting presents

October 21, 2020

In very difficult times — my list of physical afflictions has expanded considerably (you don’t really want to hear the details), leaving me little time in the day to write postings on my blog — friends and family have given me presents to comfort me. Three recently (with an advance notice of a fourth to come in the mail in a surprise package).


Another Shih still life

October 17, 2020

On Facebook on the 12th, another of Stephanie Shih’s still lifes:


Artichoke flowers at the top, lots of oval imagery at the bottom.