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Fast, Fest, and Ferias!

Let us fast, then — whenever we see fit, and as strenuously as we should. But having gotten that exercise out of the way, let us eat. Festally, first, for life without occasions is not worth living. But ferially, too, for life is so much more than occasions, and its grand ordinariness must never go with a conscience formed by considerations of excellence, not by fear of Ghosts. If this book has any culinary point to make, it is that the feral cuisine must once more be exalted among us. Between the dietmongers and the prepared-food hawkers, we are in danger of losing the greater part of our heritage.

Robert Farrar Capon

Eat. Or don’t. But when you do, make it food. Not cheesecakes and surf and turf at every meal. Save those for a well-timed savor. But always, eat food.

And for me, it takes a near-fast to jar me into realizing what real food is. A kind of regular shake-up from the reverie of faux-food. That’s why fasting is a discipline.

Above all, give us grace to live as true men — to fast till we come to a refreshed sense of what we have and then to dine gratefully on all that comes to hand. Drive far from us, O Most Bountiful, all creatures of air and darkness; cast out the demons that possess us; deliver us from the fear of calories and the bondage of nutrition; and set us free once more in our own land, where we shall serve thee as thou hast blessed us–with the dew of heaven, the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine. Amen.

1 thought on “Fast, Fest, and Ferias!

  1. I love this. Capon is back on my desk this month; I was telling my middle son about some of Capon’s thoughts on hosting a dinner party.

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