26 February 2010

spam jam

A look into my spam box has revealed a higher than usual number of messages; this had happened before, and the trickle of emails had become a flood, in a long-deleted email account. This time, most are extremely boring emails, alerting me to PHARMACY DISCOUNT! or kindly informing me that I have received a present. Some of them are intriguing, and the juxtaposition of improbable names and badly worded first sentences makes for something nearly poetic, like Alease Aenerud -  be in vanguard of loving mastery.
I am not the only one to find some strange charm to those:  Lizzie Hunter doesn't just delete the messages; she reclaims them, and makes art with spam one-liners. I like it...

02 February 2010

Eggs, flour and milk

What do eggs, flour and milk have to do with religion? Quite a lot, it seems. Today, February 2nd is the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. Few people know that. In France, very few people know that, and yet, everyone from Paris to Marseille and from Lyon to Bordeaux will be celebrating by making crepes for la Chandeleur.

February 16th  will then be Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, and pancakes will be eaten in Ireland and the UK.  The cultures are different, the religions not necessarily exactly the same, but the recipes are very very close. The French crepe recipe calls for  sugar  to be added to the batter, as well as a flavouring, either orange water or some type of brandy. It is also thinner than its Irish cousin, and is served with sugar. Irish and UK pancakes are rolled, but crepes are often folded in four, in the shape of a triangle.

We will eat crepes for the Chandeleur, pancakes for pancake Tuesday, and maybe also the smaller and thicker American pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast.