Friday Feast: recipes from religious studies

[Edit: Well, this post seemed to actually turn people away from my blog.  Maybe someday I’ll do something with this project, but it’s unpopularity and my increasing tendency to travel on Fridays have led me to discontinue this proposed weekly posting.  No more Friday feasts unless actual food is involved.]

Welcome to the first “Friday Feast,” a bit of a departure from the regular topics I use this blog to explore.  There will be little to no television-related content in these posts, but it’s a fun little project I want to share.  Beginning today and continuing each Friday in May, I will be posting theoretical “recipes” from my religious studies cookbook.  These were originally the culmination of a graduate seminar in religious studies theory, methods, and history.  The cookbook traces many canonical thinkers and their theory or methods in religious studies.  This essentially represents the field’s intellectual history.  The recipes attempt to encapsulate some element of each thinker’s contribution to the field (when concepts are mixed with real food elements, there is an explanation), and the courses that I will focus on each week mark the general periodization of the field from the 15th century to the present (except for the “main course” which I reordered slightly to fit those thinkers I find foundational).  Each week I will also be posting without much commentary a menu grouping that seeks to make connections among the thinkers.

These postings will not take the place of television-related posts for this month, but I hope they will provide an interesting diversion each Friday

The How I Met Your Mother crew is excited about appetizers and hors d'oeuvres

Appetizers (15th-early 19th centuries)

Herbert of CherburyCommon Notions crudités
Ingredients:
There is a Supreme God.
This Sovereign Deity ought to be worshipped.
Worship means genuine piety and morality and not hypocritical displays.
Sins can be forgiven.
There will be rewards and punishments in an after life.

Directions:
1.Combine ingredients on a platter to present the common denominator of all religions.
2. For variation: There is no variation; this is the universal religious foundation.

David Hume-Hopes and Fears Bruscetta
This recipe serves 6-10 people as the scientifically based origin of religion.  For most accurate results, use hope, fear, and other sentiments with unknown origins and causal processes. Bread base must be all-natural because religion is natural and non-rational; best if recipe used is from a polytheistic religion, as that is the original form of religion according to Hume. DO NOT SERVE WITH DIESTIC APPETIZERS.

Ingredients:
6-7 tomatoes, chopped precisely in repeatable half-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, chopped precisely
6-8 basil leaves, minced
1 Tbsp pure fear
1 Tsp essence of hope
other sentiments to taste
All-natural bread base, toasted.

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
2. Combine tomatoes, garlic, and basil in a large bowl.  Soak in fears, hopes, and sentiments until completely infused and no longer discernible as separate from the tomatoes, garlic, and basil mixture.
3. Spread mix of sentimental tomatoes on the natural base.
4. Serve warm. Best with other attempts at scientific study of religion.

Friedrich Schleiermacher-Geful Three-Layer Pate 
This recipe best served to rationalists and intellectuals resistant to religion.  Shape pate in manner befitting its surroundings when served.

Ingredients:
3 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound beef hearts (feeling), trimmed and chopped
1 pound lamb livers (God), trimmed and cubed
1 pound mixed cauliflower and zucchini (base), chopped
1 cup  affect, thirded
½ cup feeling, thirded
¾ cup Hegelian thought, thirded

Directions:
1. For each layer of consciousness in the pate (base, feeling, God):

  • a. Sautee one onion and one garlic until browned.
  • b. Add beef, lamb, or vegetables and cook through

2. Set each layer aside to cool.
3. Pulse each layer in food processor while contemplating the experience of the infinite and the feeling that you might experience from encountering it. (Note: this process will be subjective based on the affects and sentiments each cook will feel.)
4. Cook each layer with affect, feeling, and Hegelian thought.
5. Pour each cooked layer into lined mold in order of consciousness: base, feeling, God.
6. Chill at least 4 hours before serving to allow affect and feeling to infuse throughout.

Karl Marx-Vodka Tomatoes
To get the full effect of this opiate of the masses, use the strongest Russian vodka you can find and have it consecrated by a Russian Orthodox priest.  For best results, used tomatoes and basil grown in community garden.

Ingredients:
1 pound cherry tomatoes
1 bottle vodka
2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
2 Tbsp Hegelian dialectic
3 Tsp Feurbachian projection, locus in society

Directions:
1. Blanche in water infused with Hegelian dialectic and Feuerbachian projection.  Peel tomatoes, maintaining influence of Hegel and Feuerbach.
2. Soak in vodka and basil until one taste would create the illusion of heaven at the price of material concerns.
3. Serve chilled and to the masses.

Variation for presentation: Serve over base of economic concerns and within the superstructure of social institutions.

Ludwig FeuerbachProjection Cheese Puffs
While traditional cheese puffs may call for the diner to resemble the form of the cheese puff, this recipe works best when cheese puffs are formed in the shape of humankind.  Great appetizer for an anthropological or a humanist menu.  Do not serve any puffs that fall flat as they will no longer resemble projection theories.

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Hegelian essence of God/humanity, reversed
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese (Emmenthaler or Gruyere)
Course salt

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Bring milk, butter, salt, and cayenne to boil in saucepan.  Remove from heat and mix in flour, stirring vigorously.
3. Transfer to food processor, add eggs, paprika, and cheese. Pulse until well mixed.
4. Form into shape of human on lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes until nicely puffed, forming base and projection layer separated by the air of psychological need.

Structures and Patterns Menu
(Those thinkers who look for patterns in religions that reveal underlying cultural structures)

Appetizer: Herbert of Cherbury-Common Notions crudités
First Course: James Frazer-Practical Magic Onion Soup
Main Course: Max Weber-Ideal Types T-bone Steak
Dessert: Harvey Whitehouse-Doctrinal and Imagistic (black and white) Cookies

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One response to “Friday Feast: recipes from religious studies

  1. re: “this post seemed to actually turn people away from my blog.”
    I’m not sure why it would, or what this blog is even about, or what the motivation is for wanting ppl to stay, but, for what it’s worth: I’m just a transient visitor, but this post jumped out at me from against the background noise of the excessively literal and mundane content that overfills the hundreds of blogs I skim each week. Would seem a shame to throw that away.

    There is likely much more to be said on the issue but I lack the time to do so, now. Good luck!

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