At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


It seems to attract the ants, and it's probably not a very healthy breakfast. But, being American-born, and having tastes formed by being brought up in San Francisco, with not nearly enough exposure to her ancestral culture, the kouign amann has almost automatically become one of her favourite 'start-the-day' items. Not surprising, really. None of us eat now what our grandparents or great-grandparents ate. I believe my greats sometimes had kidneys, and seldom had coffee. Hers probably had rice-gruel (粥 'juk') with a bit of dried fish (柴魚 'chaai yü'.

Rice gruel with a bit of dried fish, and some fried peanuts, is actually very tasty, but makes a better light lunch. The coffee, however, is essential irrespective. I only have coffee in the morning.

While my apartment mate's great-grandparents were rooting around in the mud of Toishan, mine were leading very staid upper-crustian Anglo lives in New York City and somewhere in the Midwest. In between exploiting the defenseless working classes and possible disenfranchising people.
With kidneys, but almost certainly without coffee.
It was a calmer and nastier age.
No coffee.

Coffee is the great American drink, but it for a long time it was neither universal nor essential. And people did unspeakable things with it.

We now do unspeakable things with other things.

We hardly ever fry kidneys.

I believe that a warm beverage of choice is customary when consuming a kouign amann. A product about which I did not know a blessed thing at all until I noticed the ants.

Tomorrow morning, while I am still asleep, my apartment mate will leave her room and toddle into the kitchen, and discover the ants. Whereupon she will exit the kitchen in high dudgeon, enter my room, and accusatorily wake me up to tell me that we have ants. Which is naturally not her fault (despite the package of kouignoù amann).
She's never done anything at all to encourage ants.
Whereas I am white, and, well, you know.
It somehow HAS to be my fault.

Look, I have coffee for breakfast. Ants abjure coffee. It's too exciting. They probably also don't enjoy salt fish or rice porridge either, and therefore, quod erat demonstrandum, 柴魚花生粥 and coffee must be the chosen breakfast, fit for kings, breakfast of champions.

They're your buttery pastries, sweetie, not mine. You've never even shared 'em with me. So I am going back to sleep, it's my day off, and I'll deal with your ants later, when I arise.

"Good morning ants, have you eaten?"

Tiny little voices, hardly audible at all, will pipe back "why yes we have, thank you for asking, it was very good!"

"I am so glad you liked it."

"Kouign amann."


I shall probably get up at nine thirty, nearly two hours after she has left for work. Coffee, conversation with the ants, perhaps asking them politely to be more discreet, then a bath, and off to Chinatown for a haircut and some lunch. Amble under the awnings smoking a pipe.

I really have nothing else planned.

I shall be a vegetable.

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