Movie Clip Wednesday

“Best death” the boxer saied.
This entry for Movie Clip Wednesday comes late, but death comes never too early. Dr. B. was near the onehundred when he died some weeks ago, my friends Ralf, Ruth and JEanne were in their forties when cancer killed them, year after year. Cancer killed my mother in the early nineties, she was 56 years old, it was terrible. My father died from an heart attack, they told me he would have been dead before he hit the floor, I want to believe it. He survived a severe attack while he was caring for my ill mother at the end of the eighties.
There is no best death.
There is only death: You die or you remain. The dead did take the last step, besides birth it is the most individual and personal thing a human being can face. All is saied and thought about it, Boethius’ (Ger., Eng.) consolatio philsosophiae (Ger., Eng.) is roughly 1.500 years old.
What do you say to a mother who has to bury her son? What do you say to the wife of a close friend you helped to dig in half an hour ago? What do you tell yourself when you stand on a cemetery in bright sunlight and watch the interrement of one of your oldest and best friends you loved? What do you tell your father when his wife and your mother is cremated?
There is nothing to be saied. One can only do what has to be done. It is all about those who remain. The one in the casket has moved onwards – to another world? We all want it to be another world, we all naturally reject the idea of the big emptyness, the black nothing. As Humans we need the idea of an ongoing being whatever form it will have, how ever our ideas may be formed, we can not accept the monstrosity of the personal death.
The only thing that is sure in our lives, is that this life ends. The christian spiritual medieval European culture until the baroque drew as a conclusion that the “Good death”, der “Gute Tod”, would be the aim of life. Prepared. Corresponding with all the last rites that promise – what? Their function is to take away the fear, Angst. Worst thing that could happen in this context is the sudden death, the unprepared tearing out of existence, the rupture, der Bruch.
What we faced in the 20th century, or better: since the real end of the middle ages in Europe 1789, is another kind of death: Thrown upon mankind in masses by war, by epidemics, seemingly un-ending, limitless –  as the final weapons were, the atomic bomb, the biological and chemical bombs.

Did all this change something for the one who has to remain?
Nothing changes. The mystery of the last step stays with us. There is no indecisiveness or abeyance – at least we hope so, and we definitely can state that there is no more life in this body. We face the fact of remaining. The task to carry on, to continue – to find a fucking meaning in  this.

Maybe its a dream.




Pamps de luxe

For actual and given reasons – my readers mostly think of meatballs, see comments on this entry – we will dive in the culinary section now: Cooking for Idiots.
As a student you better learn to cook. That is more than just “make it hot” (“Es gibt Reis Baby!“). May late friend Ralf lived from the Gorengs, Nasi and Bami the twisted sisters; hell: the deep frozen thing of course – he would never have used fresh ingredients! He was a man of style, no bloody tv-cook!
Others did not make a fuzz and simply cooked the can and let it go with the first gin of the day. My friend Ramses specialized in red beans, chilly con carne: A “burning desaster in garlic” and pretty good excuse to down A LOT of really cold beer. We loved it. Start Saturday evening with the preparations, awake from coma Sunday afternoon.
KB specialized in – how do yacallit? Small potties where you put in meat on a stick with a burner … forgot the name. He tried to give the picture of the planet system on the floor of his room, a bit smelly but very nice.

Me found out the hard way that you put rice in cold water first (2+1) and afterwards set it up on the oven. It’s not noodles you throw in the cooking water, ya’ know. After having cleared the basics (meat not necessarily HAS to be burnt on the outside, everything becomes soft when cooked long enough!) I found myself more often engaged with the preparation of some kind of “Bologna”-sauce. The mashed-tomato-pulp was called “Pamps” and that’s why I write about “Pamps de luxe”.
Sauce Bologna‘s main ingredient is mincemeat, hash. For best results half-n-half is used: pure pork is too fat, pure beef is too dry. It should not be resting in the butcher’s place too long and be properly roasted. Anybody can throw a pound of minced meat in the pan, roast it, ad pamps and call it a wonder. That is how I started, but not what I do today. You can even
renounce the meat and make a true pasta-sauce – one has to start with simple things and keep it simple. Some imagination about “how will it taste” helps. I am far away from what real cooks can do – develop an idea of a taste and then try to reach it. I do what has to be done in the kitchen, if need be I feed some people fast, but sometimes there is enough time to cook – and that is the main ingredient: Time.
Onions, tomatos, mushrooms – at least the champignons I use mostly – they all bring along and consist of a lot of water. That is good, because so the food will not burn, but this level of humidity needs to be adjusted carefully – that is cooking. “Pamps de luxe” starts simply enough with onions in oil, ad sliced carrots (if done by hand, when done by a machine they are very thin and all the same, equalized, then later), push it all to the side and throw in the meat, roasting it; ad pamps: it comes in different variations, as “Passierte Tomaten” what is a kind of fluid, as sliced and cooked tomatoes and as peeled tomatoes as a whole. It is also a good idea to have a tube of “Tomatenmark” at hand. Let it cook. Ad garlic as much as you want, use spices, what is growing in the garden or on the windowsill. It goes with ananas, nuts and a little cream – but beware the cream can coagulate and spoil your cooking. For the white variant I mostly use cocos-milk. If the pamps is to be eaten with rice it can be a little more “watery”, if to be used with noodles or pasta a little thicker will do.
The original pamps is thick, with rice and burning through the pot’s bottom. It separates men from mice. “de luxe” is more civilized, with cream and sweeter.
It is all about playing: Enjoy!


Tough day

Am a bit shakey. Got up much too early, spent the morning working with my old customer on a text. Afternoon driving to a remote village reading church-books. Both successfull works.
Circa one hour ago I received a phonecall by my oldest friend who told my that a common very good friend died on Saturday. Funeral on Wednesday 1400. It feels like a brother lost.
The man I met in the morning is in his 96th year on earth, my friend died one month after his 48th birthday.
All is arbitrary.