Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Bardic Dinner, 09-11-04.

The theme of this month’s bardic dinner was “Africa.” I enjoy a cooking challenge, and so had volunteered to be main-dish chef for the month. I decided to challenge the diners as well, and prepared stewed young goat. Goat was supplied by the nearby Hispanic market, a recipe form the library, and “goat spice mix” from the Spice House. Yes, they stock goat spice mix. Apparently, they had a request from some local mountaineers who were going on a months-long expedition to a region where the only locally available fresh meat was goat--. Young goat (or cabrito) is quite lean and, surprisingly, tastes more like veal than like either lamb or venison. This dish was very well received and enjoyed as were the accompaniments of yams, bean and peanut soup, a tabouleh-like wheat salad, and banana fritters for dessert. I also got pressed into reading, since the designated skald ended up with an unavoidable conflict: I started off the “pulp fiction” theme with Captain Spaulding’s Africa monolog, and followed with a couple of chapters from Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, wherein Tarzan fights and kills a lion with his knife, Vachel Lindsay’s poem “The Congo”; “Lukundoo” by Edward Lucas White; and a VERY condensed “good parts version” of King Solomon’s Mines. Note: I know the Lindsay poem is horridly racist and condescending to black people, but not that much more so than Burroughs or Haggard (who has the credulous savages believing that a white man with a monocle and false teeth is a spirit). On the other hand, the poem has a powerful, complex and compelling rhythm and vivid imagery that makes it a very effective piece of art. Delivered with an appropriate apologia, my audience enjoyed my reading of it, although I would no longer dare read it in any less friendly venue.
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