But enough. The amateur is vindicated; let me proceed with my other qualifications.
For the second one, put down that I like food. As a child, I disliked fish, eggs, and oatmeal, but when I became a man, I put away childish things. My tastes are now catholic, if not omnivorous. My children call me the walking garbage pail. (On my own terms, of course, I refuse the epithet: All that I take is stored lovingly in an ample home — it becomes not waste, but waist. On their meaning, however, I let it stand: I am willing to try anything more than once.)
Admittedly, there are some delicacies that give me pause — prairie oysters, for example, or the eye of the calf in a tete de veau. But since I have never tasted them, my apprehension may be only the disenchantment wrought by distance. Even the surf is frightening when you lie in bed and think about it. In any case, it is part of my creed that there are almost no foods which, given the right cook, cannot be found delectable. Just so long as they are not corrupt — no, that is too sweeping: It will cost me pheasant and venison — just so long as they are not gracelessly corrupt, there is, somewhere in the world, an eye that can conceive them in loveliness, and a recipe that can deliver the goods. I am convinced that even shoe tongues, if cooked provencale or a la mode de Caen, would be more than sufferable.
I hated eggs, too, as a child. I hated most breakfast foods, to be honest. I’d eat lunch for breakfast, if I could. And I have done so when pregnant, when you could justify every out-of-the-ordinary choice under the general heading, “craving.”
And meatloaf. I still hate meatloaf.
Grant hates ranch anything, pastrami, and baked chicken. My oldest hates broccoli. My youngest hates . . . I haven’t met anything that he hates yet.
But I’m not a gourmand. I am not an adventurous eater. Yet I have had goat, squirrel, rabbit, venison, pheasant, and dove. I liked the pheasant the best, but I’m told the squirrel is nearly a Missouri delicacy. One I’ll never fully appreciate, I don’t think.
Yes, when it comes to food, I’d rather stay in my yankee-pot-roast or moo-goo-gai-pan suburban provincialism. I know I could never pass the food challenge in Survivor, and I’m perfectly happy in my rut.
But Capon gives us more here than just how to prepare a shoe leather sandwich. He’s relishing that all things are lawful. All things are edible. All things are pure to the pure in heart. It doesn’t matter what the movie means really or what the menu item contains actually. God’s mercy doesn’t depend on what sin we committed technically.
Grace finds beauty in every thing!