The kitty isn’t even wearing green.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Why is there a picture of a cat on a food blog on St. Patrick’s Day? Moreover (if you’re the type of person who uses the word ‘moreover,’ which I’m not, except just now), why does the picture include an oxalis plant which isn’t even a real shamrock?”

Irish catGood questions. First, note that the cat is a redhead, a sure sign of Irish blood, if I ever saw one. You can’t tell from this picture, but he has green eyes too, and they’re a smilin’. Second, I’ve always loved the dainty oxalis plant and the shimmery purple undersides of the triangular leaves. The little white flowers constantly bloom, never failing to add pleasure to my day. Aside from the counter where my cobalt blue Artisan KitchenAid mixer sits, it’s the brightest spot in my home.

Imagine my shock when I came home one day to an overturned pot and a pile of dirt. Not one leaf, flower, or stem remained. My cats had eaten the entire plant, including the roots. Oxalis, it turns out, is not just a pretty flowering houseplant, it’s THE GREATEST CAT SALAD OF ALL TIME.

See? That’s food-related.

The best time to buy an oxalis is starting tomorrow, when stores slash the prices after the holiday. Keep them in a crowded pot and they’ll multiply like crazy. The more light they receive, the deeper the purple hue under the leaves will be. Oh, and either hang them up far away from your cats or provide a nice anchovy vinaigrette on the side. It wouldn’t hurt to keep a vacuum cleaner nearby either.

Whaddya mean we have to change our clocks this weekend?

I passed by a display of fresh asparagus at my grocery store yesterday. “Bah,” I said with contempt (as opposed to saying “Bah” with reverence). “Vegetables out of season taste awful.”

Then I remembered that it was March. Asparagus season.

“Holy crap,” I said. “When did it become asparagus season?”

It’s a tough winter when I can’t even remember that it’s asparagus time. I may be moving to parts unknown, to careers unknown, to foods unknown. It’s all unknowable and I don’t really know. But one solid decision I’ve made is that I have to shift away from my initial vision for this place.

My stats tells me I have 271 people who subscribe to Bon Appegeek just so they can read it when I update. Your faith in me is remarkable, matched only by my remarkable failure to deliver. I’ve let you down. I’ve let myself down. I’ve let the asparagus down.

It’s not that I don’t want to post, it’s that I painted myself into a corner with my initial vision for the blog. Back when I started it, I wanted every post to have nice photos and thoughtful posts, or at at least as nice and as thoughtful as I could manage with my limited talent. I hoped to improve my photography and have time to research interesting foods. Life has pulled me away from these goals, and I don’t think Life will let me get back to them anytime soon either.

So I’ve decided that the blog will now feature bad photos and thoughtless posts. Kidding. I’ve decided that I don’t have to post a photo every time and that every post doesn’t have to be read 90 times before publishing (I’m a little obsessive-compulsive). If that 271 number drops as a result, that’s okay. Even 71 subscribers is something. I know lots of people who don’t even have one subscriber. Isn’t that awful? It’s probably because they don’t have blogs or know what blogs are, but still. Sad.

I hope the 71 who stick with me still like what I offer. If not, I won’t be hurt if you leave, not even if it’s you, subscriber number 148 on Lincoln Drive in Des Moines, or you, subscriber 201 on West Elm Boulevard in Walla Walla. That’s right, I know where every single one of you live. Don’t let that the fact that I also have compromising photos of 92% of you affect your decision.

Food schmood.

A large Buddha sat serenely in the clearance section of a local home decorating store. A distant echoing voice seemed to shout, Zen for your home, marked down from $499.95 to only $99.95! The path to spiritual enlightenment has never been more affordable! Get it while supplies last! Buddha didn’t even blink.

I suppose I shouldn’t be critical, especially since I’m not Buddhist. However, I do wish they hadn’t set him so close to all the severely discounted December holiday merchandise. Then again it was one of the few times the market could humiliate baby Jesus, the Star of David, and Buddha side by side. With that kind of religious equality we may have a chance at world peace yet.

FlowersFasting is an integral part of almost every major religion and culture. It’s a common practice in Korea (at least among the older generation) where Buddhism and Shamanism thrived for so long. Christianity’s arrival added to the already ample fasting traditions. Once a year my mother does a three-day fast that she breaks with cooked ground pine nut gruel and bitter boiled medicines. She believes, as many Asians do, that fasting is a physical and spiritual cleanse. Most fasts among Koreans last three days or seven days, during which you can drink optional medicines and take fiber supplements. Some Christian Koreans even attempt 40-day fasts. My mother insists that after a fast her body feels lighter, she has more energy, and her voice becomes more powerful. I believe that fasting lowers your metabolism, wastes precious muscle mass, and encourages abdominal fat. Which it probably does.

But I also take modern medicine with a grain of salt. Those countless cultures and religions that have engaged in fasting rituals have survived without much apparent harm and still continue to fast regularly. Perhaps my mother feels better because of a placebo effect, but perhaps she feels better because, well, she feels better. I have never fasted in my life, even when I was ill. I have never been so poor that I couldn’t afford food. I have never been so busy that I couldn’t eat for 24 straight hours. I have never been anorexic. I am surrounded by almost obscene plenty in my home with its full cupboards and two refrigerators. I don’t know what hunger is.

As a food blogger, it’s obvious that I adore food. It’s because I adore food that I wonder what would happen if I not only removed food from my life for one day but removed all expectation of food from my life for one day. Of course, fasting won’t teach me what real hunger and poverty are like, but it will focus my mind and satisfy my curiosity about my body and my tolerance. If it cleanses me too, bonus! I never object to a good incidental cleansing.

February 14 could be the day I finally try it. Why Valentine’s Day? Well I’m single at the moment and—here’s the devious part of my plan—on the 15th I’m breaking my fast and buying flowers…on sale. On clearance! While education and enlightenment should never come cheap, it doesn’t hurt when flowers do. That plan may backfire if it turns out that flower prices go up due to post-Valentine’s Day “OH CRAP I FORGOT VALENTINE’S DAY!” bouquets with pre-printed cards that say:

Dear rocket hot _____,

You are so so so beautiful / handsome and your ass is so not too big / penis is so big. I’m dirt. Forgive me. Here are some extremely expensive flowers and a _____-studded scepter / _____-studded PlayStation 3.

With all my love,
_____

I’ll take my chances. Don’t worry, I’ll have a nice food post for Valentine’s Day ready in advance. There’s no reason why you should go without too. Gluttony is still tied for my favorite vice.