Jean Paul Sartre makes tuna casserole (and other things)

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Jean Paul Sartre makes tuna casserole (and other things)

Postby Jenise » Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:26 pm

The Jean-Paul Sartre Cookbook
by Marty Smith, Portland OR
from Free Agent March 1987 (a Portland Oregon alternative newspaper), Republished in the Utne Reader Nov./Dec. 1993


We have been lucky to discover several previously lost diaries of French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre stuck in between the cushions of our office sofa. These diaries reveal a young Sartre obsessed not with the void, but with food. Apparently Sartre, before discovering philosophy, had hoped to write "a cookbook that will put to rest all notions of flavor forever." The diaries are excerpted here for your perusal.


October 3
Spoke with Camus today about my cookbook. Though he has never actually eaten, he gave me much encouragement. I rushed home immediately to begin work. How excited I am! I have begun my formula for a Denver omelet.

October 4
Still working on the omelet. There have been stumbling blocks. I keep creating omelets one after another, like soldiers marching into the sea, but each one seems empty, hollow, like stone. I want to create an omelet that expresses the meaninglessness of existence, and instead they taste like cheese. I look at them on the plate, but they do not look back. Tried eating them with the lights off. It did not help. Malraux suggested paprika.

October 6
I have realized that the traditional omelet form (eggs and cheese) is bourgeois. Today I tried making one out of cigarette, some coffee, and four tiny stones. I fed it to Malraux, who puked. I am encouraged, but my journey is still long.

October 10
I find myself trying ever more radical interpretations of traditional dishes, in an effort to somehow express the void I feel so acutely. Today I tried this recipe:

Tuna Casserole
Ingredients: 1 large casserole dish

Place the casserole dish in a cold oven. Place a chair facing the oven and sit in it forever. Think about how hungry you are. When night falls, do not turn on the light.

While a void is expressed in this recipe, I am struck by its inapplicability to the bourgeois lifestyle. How can the eater recognize that the food denied him is a tuna casserole and not some other dish? I am becoming more and more frustated.


October 25
I have been forced to abandon the project of producing an entire cookbook. Rather, I now seek a single recipe which will, by itself, embody the plight of man in a world ruled by an unfeeling God, as well as providing the eater with at least one ingredient from each of the four basic food groups. To this end, I purchased six hundred pounds of foodstuffs from the corner grocery and locked myself in the kitchen, refusing to admit anyone. After several weeks of work, I produced a recipe calling for two eggs, half a cup of flour, four tons of beef, and a leek. While this is a start, I am afraid I still have much work ahead.

November 15
Today I made a Black Forest cake out of five pounds of cherries and a live beaver, challenging the very definition of the word cake. I was very pleased. Malraux said he admired it greatly, but could not stay for dessert. Still, I feel that this may be my most profound achievement yet, and have resolved to enter it in the Betty Crocker Bake-Off.

November 30
Today was the day of the Bake-Off. Alas, things did not go as I had hoped. During the judging, the beaver became agitated and bit Betty Crocker on the wrist. The beaver's powerful jaws are capable of felling blue spruce in less than ten minutes and proved, needless to say, more than a match for the tender limbs of America's favorite homemaker. I only got third place. Moreover, I am now the subject of a rather nasty lawsuit.

December 1
I have been gaining twenty-five pounds a week for two months, and I am now experiencing light tides. It is stupid to be so fat. My pain and ultimate solitude are still as authentic as they were when I was thin, but seem to impress girls far less. From now on, I will live on cigarettes and black coffee.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Jean Paul Sartre makes tuna casserole (and other things)

Postby Howie Hart » Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:37 pm

Hilarious! :lol:
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Re: Jean Paul Sartre makes tuna casserole (and other things)

Postby Bill Buitenhuys » Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:52 pm

Oh this is very good, Jenise. Cant wait to try the Black Forest cake recipe.

Things are entirely what they appear to be...
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Re: Jean Paul Sartre makes tuna casserole (and other things)

Postby ChefCarey » Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:14 am

December 1
I have been gaining twenty-five pounds a week for two months, and I am now experiencing light tides. It is stupid to be so fat. My pain and ultimate solitude are still as authentic as they were when I was thin, but seem to impress girls far less. From now on, I will live on cigarettes and black coffee.


Alas, the game is up. There seems to be no exit from my plight. I have a certain feeling of nausea as I search for a method to cure my troubled sleep. The words do not come easy as I search for a modern method to wash my dirty hands of the grime left in my kitchen by the respectful prostitiute who was here last night. I guess the reprieve is not going to be that easy.

So, another cup of coffee, another Gauloise, and it's back to work on my low-cal recipe for puree of being and nothingness soup - with croutons.
ChefCarey
 


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