I've just added a friend of a friend at Facebook and discovered a luxurious website. The friend-of-a-friend is Jacoba Budden, who kept saying funny things in response to postings by South African cartoonist Jeremy Nell. With all the excitement over the World Cup, the comments on Jeremy's site became a little more universal, a little less based on local issues, and -- for some reason -- a little more often posted in English instead of Afrikaans, and I became curious about this witty woman.
So I "friended" her and discovered her website, Just Food Now, which is a combination of history, culture and recipes that I find fascinating. I told Jacoba, "Your site is a bit like Playboy for the middle aged -- sumptuous stuff that makes my mouth water even though I know the odds of, for instance, a roast suckling pig ever actually appearing on MY table. The difference being, of course, that your site tells exactly how you get your dishes to look like that, a subject Playboy tends to avoid."
She was amused enough to ask permission to quote me, but there is certainly more than a small ring of truth to it, at least in the sense that, no, I'm not going to make a roast suckling pig, which is the lead recipe in her fascinating roundup on German cuisine. (And wasn't she a genius to know they'd beat England and stay in the tournament even longer?)
On the other hand, it is a defendably intellectual fantasy. I like knowing how you roast a suckling pig, or make spaetzle, even if I'm never going to do it myself. In fact, one of my backburner projects is a story set in 16th century Germany, and so there may actually be a material benefit involved.
But it hardly matters. It's fun to just visit the site and see what she's got going on, or leaf through the archives and find other foods you've heard of but weren't 100 percent clear on.
Yes, I really do read the articles!