Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The New Recipe

(Another parable of Safed the Sage)

There was a morning when I rose from my bed, and looked at the sunrise, and thanked God that I was alive, even as I do each day. And I descended and came down, and ate my breakfast. And behold, upon the table there were Doughnuts. Now if there be Doughnuts, I eat of them, but they minish not in any wise the other things that I eat, for I eat of them last.

And I said unto Keturah, Hast thou bought Sinkers from the Market? For I had not smelled the cooking of them.

And she said, I have not; for I value my peace of mind and the good will of my husband. I made these. Yea, and I made them by a New Recipe.

And I said, Wherefore wilt thou try New Recipes when already thy Doughnuts are perfect?

And she said, It is not thus that thou dost preach, for thou dost ever exhort men to do better and better.

And I said, Thine aspiration to have things better and better is thine only fault. Thou dost even try to have it so with thy Husband.

And she said, Yea, and this far I have done very well in the matter of his improvement.

So I ate of the Doughnuts, and I said, Behold, these are just like all of thy Doughnuts.

And she said, I am glad thou dost think so. For they are so made that they absorb less Fat; therefore are they more Wholesome.

And I said, Go not too far with me in that Wholesome stunt; I do not want things too Wholesome; I can digest anything save it be Health Foods.

And she said, My lord, when I try a New Recipe, thus do I try it. I consider all the things that I have been wont to use that I know are good, and if I find in the New Recipe some other good thing, that also do I put in.

And I said, Keturah, thou hast the finest idea of Progress to be found in any cook on earth. For thou goest ahead, but thou playest not far from thy Base.

And I said, If all the reformers would learn of thee, then would the Millennium come sooner.

And she said, I am glad that thou dost like the new Doughnuts.

And I verily did like them. For they had one ingredient that changeth not, and that is Keturah.

For, believe me, her Doughnuts are Some Doughnuts.


At May 20, 2008 at 3:22:00 PM EDT, Blogger Chalicechick said...

And I read this post and the one previous to it, and I laughed with much pleasure, nodding now and again with his insights. For what my friend had written was good and most clever.

And yet I wondered, What the fuck? For my friend's wife, accomplished and skilled beyond measure and me, does not seem a fryer of doughnuts. Though were she a fryer of doughnuts, they would be most excellent I am certain, filled with compassion yet fried with logic.

And lo, I examined the comments on the previous post and found my friend was merely quoting the words of another doughnut-loving man with a wise wife.

Yea, the Jonesville of tubes has many clever men, and the wise among them are less distinguishable from one another than one might imagine. Particularly when they marry wisely and eat badly.

Chalice the Chick

At May 20, 2008 at 5:27:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Rev. Perpetua said...

And their pastor then asked, whence cometh my doughnuts, good people?
For you make my mouth to water with this fine tale, and must duly back that up if you are to live up to your good and righteous reputation.

We will expect to see thy names affixed to the sign up sheet to host social hour forthwith.

At May 22, 2008 at 6:17:00 AM EDT, Blogger fausto said...

But verily, Rev. P, the words are not mine, but those of the Rev. William E. Barton, who wrote them almost a century ago, so Keturah's doughnuts must be even older. The words may still make your mouth water, but as for the actual Doughnuts, Believe Me, you do not want to eat them.

Moreover, Fausto and Mrs. Fausto have long claimed an indulgence from hosting social hour. "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak," or "to everything there is a season: a time to host, and a time to refrain from hosting," or something along those lines. I know, we may be accused of the genuine (as opposed to popularly supposed) sin of Sodom, which involved not libertine sexuality but gluttony and withholding of hospitality. Nevertheless, in a clear epiphany of progressive revelation, St. Paul at 1 Corinthians 12:28 revealed that hospitality is not necessarily a duty of all believers, but rather is one of many diverse gifts that is distributed variously and in differing degrees among different members of the flock: "God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues." Verily, to drive home the point, he repeats it at Romans 12:6-8: "We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness".

Those with ears, let them hear. Hosting social hour is just not our gift. Make us ushers instead if we must.

In penance, we freely share this recipe, as well as this further parable of Safed (aka the Rev. Barton), which helps explain such empty places in our character:

Now I entered the Kitchen, and would have passed through. But Keturah was there; so I waited: and she cast Diverse Things in a Great Bowl, and did stir them with a Great Spoon.

And I asked her, saying, What hast thou in the Bowl?

And she said, Sugar and Spice, and all that’s nice.

And I said, that was what God used when He made thee.

And she took the Dough out of the Bowl, when she had stirred it, and she rolled it with a Rolling Pin; and she cut it into round cakes. And in the midst of every several cakes was there an Hole. And a great Cauldron hung above the Fire, and there was Fat therein and it boiled furiously.

And Keturah took the round Cakes of Dough, and cast them into the Cauldron; and she poked them with a Fork, and she turned them, and when they came forth, behold I knew what they were. And the smell of them was inviting, and the appearance of them was exceedingly good. And Keturah gave me one of the Doughnuts, and Believe Me, they were some Doughnuts.

And I said, To what purpose is the Hole? If the Doughnut be so good with part Punched Out, how much better had it been if the Hole also had been Doughnut!

And Keturah answered and said, Though speakest as a Foolish Man, who is never content with the goodness that is, but always complaineth against God for the lack of the Goodness which he thinketh is not. If there were no Hole in the Doughnut, then were it like unto Ephraim, a cake not turned. For, though the Cake were Fried till the Edges thereof were burn and hard as thy Philosopher’s Stone, yet would there be uncooked Dough in the middle. Yea, thou shouldest then break thy teeth on the outer rim of every Several Doughnut, and the middle thereof would be Raw Dough.

And I meditated much on what Keturah had told me. And I considered the Empty Spaces in Human life; and the Desolation of its Vacancies; and how men’s hearts break over its Blank Interstices. And I pondered in my soul whether God doth not know that save for these our lives would be like unto Ephraim.

And I spake of these things to Keturah, and she said, My lord, I know not the secret of these mysteries. Yea, mine own heart acheth over some of the Empty Places. But say unto the sons of men that he who useth not the good things which he hath but complaineth against his God for those he lacketh, is like unto a man who rejecteth a Doughnut because he Knoweth not the Mystery of the Hole.


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