I got another e-mail today:
Subject: On eating Gaiman
I am very intrigued with your blog. I spent most of an under productive work morning reading it. My question is: Are you planning on printing out and digesting his web-posts?
I hadn't thought about that. It would be a big commitment, and one that would likely last for the rest of my life. Neil Gaiman is a young man. He is also a prolific Internet poster, if his website is anything to go by. It would take me years just to plow through his journal archives. For now, I think I will stick with his conventionally published material, with the understanding that if he ever launches forth on the ebook market, those will be printed out and digested.
I haven't decided yet about books on tape. On the one hand, they could be classified as alternate editions. I feel it's important to eat all the words, but not every instance of the words. On the other hand, the reader's voice brings something new to the story. It brings an interpretation, of sorts. At the moment, I'm leaning towards ignoring books on tape: I'm not sure the reader's interpretation is enough to constitute a whole new experience.
This morning, I breakfasted on banana pudding with real banana puréed in, scooped up with edible paper spoons. Lunch was potato-and-chive salad, spiced with dill and Gaiman, and a side of fried paper hummingbirds. (I was getting tired of cranes. Cranes felt a little cliché, today.) Afterwards, I stopped by Krispy Kreme and got everybody donuts. The response was just as enthusiastic this week as it was last, but Jim was conspicuously absent from the mix. Hoping to calm the troubled waters, I brought a couple of glazes to his office, but he wasn't there. I left them on his desk with a note. When I left at the end of the day, I glanced in his window: the treats were still there, and he still wasn't. Strange.
For dinner, I made a light summer stew:
+ 1 large breast of chicken (or equivalent meat of partridge/turkey/guinea fowl)
+ Enough butter or olive oil to cook ingredients
+ 1/2 onion
+ 1 large tomato
+ 2 sticks of celery
+ 1 cup mushrooms
+ 2 cloves garlic
+ 1 large potato
+ 1 cup squash
+ 1/2 bag baby carrots
+ 1/2 cup lima beans
+ 1 pinch grated ginger
+ 2 radishes
+ 1 generous pinch ea. fresh dill, basil, and parsley
+ 1 pinch ea. salt & pepper
+ 4-6 cups chicken broth
+ 1 splash white wine
+ 5 pages American Gods, finely shredded
+ 1 pot H2O
Fry chicken breast till cooked through, but still tender. With a fork, pull the chicken into shreds, then set in broth to soak while you chop the vegetables.
Chop onion, tomato, celery, mushrooms, and garlic into small pieces, and brown in saucepan with chicken and ginger, over medium-low heat. Add splashes of broth every so often, to keep it moist. When onions are nicely browned, place chicken and vegetables in a heated dish, add dill, basil, book, and parsley, splash with white wine, and cover.
Chop potato, squash, carrots, and radishes, and boil till tender. The potatoes will take longest, so add them first, then the squash, carrots, and lima beans 10 minutes later, and the radishes 5 minutes after that.
Once vegetables are tender, drain the water and replace with chicken broth. Simmer for another 5 minutes to allow flavor to soak in, then drain once again.
Heat pulled chicken/veggie mix gently, if it has grown cold. Pour over vegetables, salt and pepper to taste, and serve.