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A Little Moonshine with Lemon


There is a bright moon, so that even the vines make a shadow, and the Mediterranean has a broad white shimmer between its dimness. By the shore, the lights of the old houses twinkle quietly, and out of the wall of the headland advances the glare of a locomotive's lamps.
      And the Mediterranean whispers in the distance, a sound like a shell. The Mediterranean, so eternally young, the very symbol of youth! Never, never for a moment able to comprehend the wonderful, hoary age of America, the continent of the afterwards.

      At the ranch, tonight, because it is cold, I should have moonshine: with hot water and lemon and sugar, and a bit of cinnamon. And I should light my little stove in the bedroom, and let it roar a bit, sucking the wind. Then dark to bed, with all the ghosts of the ranch cosily round me. Waking, I shall look at once through the glass panels of the bedroom door, and see the trunk of the great pine tree, and a low star just coming over the mountain, very brilliant, like someone swinging an electric lantern.
D.H. Lawrence, Mornings in Mexico
Borrowing its title from Lawrence's book of wanderings in New Mexico, so full of evocative essays that often seem to waver between beauty and brutality, Moonshine and Lemon is a similarly equivocal literary and culinary adventure: a meandering of thought across text and image; but also a slit in the umbrella of intellectual orthodoxy which pronounces an unbridgeable divide between the gay science and the joy of cooking

I find nothing therapeutic, orderly even, about reading or cooking; neither is intended to improve my life, to make me a better or worse person, to comfort me. Cooking, like reading, is a pleasure to be had, sometimes a painful pleasure. As Roland Barthes writes, "I am interested in language because it wounds or seduces me". Reading, writing, cooking are nothing more than a performance, a festive relation to ideas; and the person behind this blog... nothing more that a persona. The point is to make bold. And to give pleasure.

It is perhaps no surprise that I arrive, once again, at Lawrence for "the only thing you can do is to have a little ghost inside you which sees both ways, or even many ways".

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