Archive for January, 2014


21 Recipes, Infinite WTF

So, let’s start with one fun fact: 21 recipes. 6 of those do NOT have gelatin(e) in them. 6. And that’s including the EXTREMELY QUESTIONABLE final recipe whose original text is lost in the bowels of the intertubes, which I am counting as “does not contain gelatin(e)” because I cannot prove that it does, and I hesitate to level such a serious accusation as containing gelatin(e) without ROCK SOLID PROOF. So my first question is: how much gelatin(e) is one person supposed to eat in a day? Because, frankly, this seems a little excessive.

Secondly: the list of ingredients that one is expected to mix with, blend with, mold with, arrange with, layer with, and/or garnish with gelatin(e) is even more suspect than the ubiquitous gelatin(e) itself. VERY SUSPECT INDEED. Not to be trifled with. But if you want to suet with it, by all means… In any event, here are some highlights:

Uhhh… What? (Bronze Medal of WTF, automatic admission to the next round of competition): These unexpected ingredients were listed 3 times each, proving plucky in their determination to pair with such a surprising bedfellow as gelatin(e).

  • Cream
  • Pepper
  • Pimiento
  • Stuffed olives
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Sugar (notable in its achievement of being listed ONLY 3 times in the entire list)
  • Green pepper (as distinct from “pepper,” above, which is presumably dried, ground black pepper powder)

No, Really, What? (Silver Medal of WTF, desktop printed Certificate of Achievement, automatic admission to the next round of competition): These dedicated contenders stayed the course and shone through to a place of ignominious distinction, being listed 5 times each.

  • Vinegar (I’m not making this up)
  • Onion (we’re just getting started)
  • Celery (wait for it, seriously, it’s about to get weird)

You’re Just Fucking With Me Now (Gold Medal of WTF, lifetime supply of WTF-brand car wax and 30 lbs untreated feedstock, automatic admission to the next round of competition): They’re here. They’re there. They’re everywhere. They’re in everything. They’re never gonna give you up, gelatin(e). They’re the most commonly listed components in this stunning and memorable list of recipes.

  • Lemon juice (8)
  • Salt (9)
  • MAYONNAISE (10 YES YOU HEARD ME 10 FUCKING TIMES WHAT IN THE SWEET SHITFRIED TURKEY SAMMICH IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE HOW MUCH MAYONNAISE DO YOU REALLY NEED IN YOUR FUCKING JELLO SERIOUSLY THERE WAS ONE RECIPE WHERE IT WAS LISTED 3 SEPARATE TIMES AND NOW I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO FORGET THAT “JELLIED MAYONNAISE” IS A FUCKING THING DAMN YOU ALL)

(DIS)Honorable Mentions (Congratulatory Post-it written in crayon, lifetime supply of air, lifetime supply of I’m Judging You For This): Though most of these are listed once, or at most twice (oh thank sweet fuck there is mercy in the universe), they are notable for their sheer audacity and nerve at bellying up to the bar with gelatin(e). Mad props to them for being fierce and unafraid to horrify my (hypothetical) palate.

  • Tomato juice/sauce
  • “Seafood salad” (Please don’t explain this.  Just don’t.  I don’t want to know.)
  • Lard
  • Canned cherries (stoned) (Yes, that’s really what it says, and I’m actually a little sad I only saw this one once)
  • Cabbage
  • Bologna (When it tells you to hollow out the center of a bologna loaf and fill it with salty gelatin(e) slurry, just run. Just fucking run.)
  • Bananas (Okay, yeah… if this hadn’t appeared in the same recipe with FUCKING MAYONNAISE I wouldn’t give a shit.)
  • Boiled ham
  • Lobster meat
  • Shrimp
  • Canned tuna
  • Cooked mashed peas
  • Shredded “ATORA” (“The Good Beef Suet!” …I give up.)
  • Liverwurst (Yes, you read that right, liverwurst. As in, “Liver Sausage Pineapple”. They made a goddamn fake pineapple out of liverwurst and gelatin(e). I swear to you I am not making this up.)

 

LAST MINUTE ADDITION:

I found the mystery dish! It’s called Salmon-Avocado Mold (how apt) and it’s got a plethora of charming features! It’s got:

  • Gelatin(e)!
  • Mayonnaise!
  • Canned Salmon!
  • Olives!
  • And So Much More!

For fuck’s sake. I may never cook again. So, final tally:

  • Recipes: 21
  • Gelatin(e): 16
  • Mayonnaise: 11
  • Questionable “meat products”: 5
  • Fucks now given: -7

It comes on slowly, creeping up like crackling frost fingers blooming in slow motion across a windowpane. Just a few careful skeletal fronds at first, adding a pleasant accent to the view outside. White dancing patterns frame the bare branches of the trees outside, just barely brushing against the depth of the field and woods disappearing over the hill. Moonlight makes those fingers glow, and lures you into believing that they’re an addition, not a mask.

The hours pass. The fingers curl around more and more of the glass, deliberately and unstoppably greedy. They begin to caress the larger branches, crawling up and over the grass stubble at the bottom of the window, a measured crackle that whispers “mine, mine, mine” as it encroaches. The clear glass in the center gets smaller and smaller, all the fringes being nibbled away one “mine” at a time.

As the fingernail sliver of moon rises over the ridgeline, there’s more and more hard silver glitter making the whole outside world look different – ethereal, unreal and hyperreal, and all of it covered in “mine, mine, mine.” After a while, it’s easy to hear the things you can no longer see, because they’re all joining in the whispers of possession. It’s a rising susurration of desire and ownership. It claims as it clutches, and it throttles as it loves.

It’s beautiful, still. It will always be beautiful, even as it strangles. It is a thrilling, fascinating death.

You would never know anything had ever been any other way, coming in when the window is all covered over with greedy beautiful fingers and fronds. The only thing to be seen is the glow of the moon – you would never know there is a field out there, and woods, and a ridge. The only thing left is the glow, refracting off the prisms of clutching frost fingers, making shards and slivers of what used to be a lush, warm landscape.

It’s beautiful. It’s fascinating. It’s death, one “mine” at a time.

It bears no resemblance to what it was, what it could be. In the fallow season, the ice changes everything, even how the land breathes underneath its cold mask. It kills as it hides. It destroys an inch at a time, and it doesn’t understand how to regret the destruction it wreaks.

Eventually, the fronds and fractals will cover even the moon’s glow. Watch long enough, and you can see it move. It’s a beautiful death, fascinating even as it cloaks.

You will never know which was the first inch, where the first “mine” was whispered, hungry in the silver glow. If you’re very, very lucky, you may be able to see which one was the last.

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