Culture vulture

A thing from the oceanic depths

A thing from the oceanic depths

Photo By C. Owsley Rain

Tyranny and mutation
For weeks Culture Vulture has been totally stoked on taking a trip to Oroville to see one of our favorite bands—heavy-metal pioneers and psychedelic science-fiction popsters Blue Oyster Cult. We rescheduled a performance by our own band just to be able to join the crowd at Feather Falls Casino for an evening of soaring into the aural cosmos of Buck Dharma’s immaculate guitar solos and Eric Bloom’s singing about “Seven screaming Diz-busters who live beside the road” and other mythical topics. The band’s big hits, such as “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” are better than the average radio-fodder but held very little attraction compared to the chance of seeing a live performance of “ME262” or “Then Came the Last Days of May.”

But, alas, it was not, as the fatalists say, meant to be.

Pedaling hurriedly home through the darkened streets and dashing into the house in anticipation of a hasty and joyful departure, my heart sank when the first sight I encountered was of my beloved I. Daphne St. Brie curled up on the couch beneath a pile of blankets, her head cradled on a pillow and a large orange cat snuggled in her arms. This was not the posture of a woman ready to pump her fist in the air and tilt her head back to howl ecstatically along with “Teen Archer.” This was the posture of a woman whose hypoglycemia-induced headache required the delicate ministrations of a kind and caring hand, a bowl of hardy miso soup and an evening of quiet companionship.

Culture Vulture is nothing if not adaptable. So, having assessed the situation, we bid our rock ‘n’ roll fantasy a fond if reluctant farewell, accepted treat requests and drove to the store with BOC’s Secret Treaties providing a soundtrack from the Echo’s CD player. No substitute for the real thing, but sometimes the real thing gets preempted by the real thing.

Like my old pal Lao Tzu said, “The sage stays behind, and thus he is ahead. He is detached, thus at one with all. Through selfless action, he attains fulfillment.”

And speaking of fulfillment
To continue with our account of the amazing fractal broccoli more properly known as romanesco cauliflower, we finally got up the nerve to cook the beautiful stuff. Preparation was simple enough; using a sharp knife I decapitated as many of the little spiral heads from the main body as it took to build a sufficient heap in a steamer in a big sauce pan. Then we steamed till the aroma filled the kitchen and the vegetable was firm but well cooked. While that was happening Daphie constructed a cheese sauce using several cheeses we’d bought on our recent expedition to the north coast.

The combination of this celestial sauce soaking into the interstices of the mathematically configured vegetable created a gustatory phenomenon unequalled in our culinary experience. To say it was sublime is to evoke a pale shadow of the experience.

So go forth, gentle reader, and search for romanesco. The hunt will be interesting, and the result, if you succeed in your quest, will provide sufficient reward for your efforts.