Friday, November 7, 2014

A Pox on Both Your Houses



I'm not a scientist, but my opponent...
I just can't care about American politics anymore.

The process has become so farcical it is painful to watch: Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum running around pummeling each other on a sinking shop, arguing about whether the deck chairs should be red or blue. Or purple.

I cried the first time I saw Titanic, not because Leonardo DiCaprio was so cute before he got all hairy and paunchy and middle-aged, but because I saw the film as this big sappy metaphor for what was happening to the United States.

Here we are, seventeen years later (is that even possible?), and the nose of the ship is pointing almost straight up, and most of us are floating around in the ice water thinking, "Wow, this is some serious bullshit," and what do we get from our fearless leaders?

Don't ask. It isn't funny anymore.

I did learn some good stuff this week though, stuff that might turn out to be helpful at some point. Like, did you know that you can make bread out of wood?

You can!

Start with a type of wood that doesn't have tannin in it, like beech. Most woods that are heavy in tannin are conifers, but I confess I am not well-versed (yet) in the best-tasting types of wood for bread making. I suppose it depends on what kind of bread you are making.

Anyway, chop the wood into the tiniest little slivers you possibly can, then boil it for a long time, then boil it again, then boil it again. Oh hell, boil it one more time.

Now, let it dry a bit, and then spread the chips on a baking sheet at bake at 275 degrees or so for a long time, like, until they are bone dry.

Take the baked woodchips out, let them cool, then pulverize them with a meat grinder, a food processor, a coffee grinder, or whatever you can lay your hands on until you have a fine powder, or at least a coarse meal.

Now, make your bread out of that.

You can also eat acorns, which are high in protein and not bad tasting if you know what to do with them. You have to either peel and boil them for 45 minutes, or soak them in fresh water for a week, changing the water every day.

That gets the tannin out, which is bitter and nasty. It also smokes out any bugs.

Once you've soaked your acorns you can toast them in the oven or grind them into meal and add them to your wood bread to give it some actual nutritional value.

And here's the important thing:

Once you've gone to the trouble of making bread out of wood and acorns so you don't fucking starve, share it with your neighbors, because you don't want to pull a Little Red Hen on everyone.

But your Congressperson?

That guy can go suck a rock.