And You Thought We Were Exaggerating

Here’s a Vegan-Goes Crazy story from… Italy?

A 48-year-old Italian vegan has been ordered to pay her mother compensation after threatening to kill her for making traditional Bolognese meat sauce.
The smell of one of Italy’s most cherished dishes — ragù — was enough to set off a domestic disturbance that ended with the mother being threatened with a kitchen knife, a court heard.
Newly unemployed, the daughter had recently moved back in with her mother, who cooked in the typical tradition of rezdore, as housewives are called in the local Emilia Romagna dialect.
One of the signature dishes of every rezdore is Bolognese meat sauce, slow simmered for hours using a variety of meats including diced prosciutto cured ham, ground beef and sometimes chicken livers, then served over pasta or polenta.
Lawyers for the mother, who asked not to be named, said the family dynamic had degenerated due to irreconcilable conflicts over the mother and daughter’s different food cultures — the former heavy in butter, cream and meat, the latter exempt of all animal products.
The daughter told a court she’d long had “no sensory nor olfactory contact” with animal products before moving back in with her mother, for whom the rich, red meat sauce was standard fare.
Lawyers said there had been an escalation of aggressive episodes – always over food — before the threat that triggered the complaint.
Exasperated by the smell of meat sauce simmering for hours in the small apartment they shared, the daughter grabbed a knife and threatened to take matters into her own hands.
“If you won’t stop on your own then I’ll make you stop. Quit making ragù, or I’ll stab you in the stomach,” she said, according to the mum’s civil complaint.
Justice of Peace Nadia Trifilò sentenced the woman to pay a €400 court fine and ordered €500 be paid in compensation to her 69-year-old mother.
The case, argued in the Modena tribunal and reported by the local Gazzetta di Modena newspaper, stems from an argument that escalated out of control in March, 2016.
After failing to reach a peaceful mediation of the dispute over the last two years, the judge closed the case ruling in favour of the mother, ordering fines.

And this happened originally in 2016?  It’s just like Bill Sitwell and I said:  they’re getting out of control.

By the way, am I the only one who started to salivate at the description of that Bolognese sauce?

Of Course He Is

According to super-scold Kathleen Parker, God-Emperor Trump is responsible for the rise in booze consumption in the U.S.

More than 70 percent of Americans imbibe each year, and about 40 percent drink excessively, according to two separate studies last year. A comparison to 2014 data showed a 10 percent increase in the number of heavy drinkers.
I mention these sotted stats for context. Lately, at least from my perch on the porch, the evening cocktail has become less an aperitif than a medicinal slug made necessary by the alternative of ripping off my face. To bear witness to These Times In Which We Live is to go insane, join a cult or pour your favorite poison.

And what are “These Times In Which We Live”?  Well, Parker goes on to explain her reasons.  Mostly, they’re of the “Not Our Kind, Dear” (NOKD) sort, because Trump had rapper Kanye West over to the White House for a visit — I mean, my dear:  imagine having a rapper tread the hallowed halls of government?

Honestly, that thought doesn’t drive me to drink, although I think Kanye West is, to put it mildly, fucked in the head.  What would (and did) cause that reaction in me was when the President had the Prime Minister of Israel over, and made him leave out the back door like an unwanted encyclopedia salesman;  or doing the same or worse to the Dalai Lama of Tibet.  Okay, that was a different president — Barack Cocksucker Obama, actually — but you see my point.  Presidents can drive one to drink, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that important.

Trump probably is causing people to drink more, but different groups of people are doing so for different reasons.  Among socialists, people are drinking to drown their sorrow and rage (try not to giggle like a little girl when you follow that link):

    

…whereas we conservatives look on what Trump is doing to the socialist agenda, and are drinking in celebration:

  

And one of the joys of drinking Liberal Tears is that you can drink it either as a refresher, or as a mixer with your J&B.

So, to Kathleen Parker I say:  bottoms up!

Now THAT’S A Crisis

OMG — this past hot summer has caused a problem of serious dimensions over in Britishland:

The price of fish and chips is expected to soar this winter – due to a potato shortage that threatens to put some chippies out of business.
The cold snap early in the year followed by a long hot summer has hit potato crops in the UK, and a sack of spuds now costs double what it did last year.
And the situation has been worsened by increases in the price of cod and haddock due to scarcity caused by warmer sea temperatures.
Crops in northern Europe have been affected by similar weather, meaning the situation cannot be solved by imports.

I’m not big on government intervention, as a rule, but if ever there was a time when the BritGov needs to step in with a little relief (e.g. no sales taxes on fish ‘n chips, no import duty on foreign-grown potatoes, or reduced business taxes for chippies?), this would be the time.

Because if I go back Over There later next year and find no chippies in my favorite towns (e.g. Devizes, Wilts), there will be trouble.

We’re talking a national crisis, folks.  The nearest parallel I can think of for us Murkins would be if hamburger meat were to be similarly affected Over Here.

Are there any Idaho potato farmers listening?  I sense an export opportunity.

Little Late

For some reason (inebriation of the editorial committee, no doubt), my copy of Modern Drunkard magazine arrived late this month;  but I think the exhortation is nevertheless quite motivational:

This nonsense of naming days as “Blah Blah Blah Day” is just stupid.  Wait till tomorrow to see exactly how stupid…

Uniquely American?

This article (via Insty) lists the top 5 restaurants that define America, and quite frankly, it made me gloomy. Here’s why.

Two of the restaurant chains (Taco Bell and Domino’s) are basically watered-down bastardizations of another country’s food type.  Taco Bell is barely Mexican, and Domino’s is barely Italian — much as is the case with Spaghetti Warehouse and Olive Garden.  (I do take issue with the author’s lionization of made-in-Italy pizza, by the way.  I think you get better pizza in New Jersey and Chicago than anything made in Rome, for instance.)  That both Domino’s and Taco Bell are so popular — despite their tenuous relationship with their specific ethnic origins — is fine, I guess;  but it does point to the homogenization of the American diet, which is not so good.

Then there’s this about Starbucks:

When Howard Schultz conceptualized Starbucks, he wanted the coffee shop to be a “third place” for people. He knew that most people spent the majority of their time at home and at work. He hoped Starbucks would fill in any gaps that existed and become the place where people went when they were in between home and the office. And he succeeded.

That this defines America is a huge tell — because in almost every other Western country in the world, the “third place” is not a coffee bar but a pub.  That we prefer coffee to alcohol in our “third place” is unsurprising, because we Americans (your Humble Narrator very much excluded) have a peculiar attitude towards booze in that we’re constantly at war with it (e.g. Prohibition) while at the same time we’re in love with it.  Just as unfortunately, Americans prefer to consume booze to get drunk (e.g. shots, chasers and keggers) instead of using booze moderately, as a social lubricant.  Worst of all, American bars have totally fucked things up either by playing loud, horrible music inside as though they’re dance clubs, or else by mounting giant TV screens on the walls to screen sporting contests (likewise played at earsplitting volume, to create the “live” atmosphere).  Being deafened by rap or rock music or having one’s conversation destroyed by screaming sports fans is not supportive of socializing — which, by the way, is one thing that Starbucks did get right, by not succumbing to the bar ethic.  The other thing that Starbucks got right — even though I disagree with it — is that by pricing their product so high, they’ve made coffee equivalent to booze (a Starbucks coffee costs about the same as a beer and is only marginally cheaper than, say, a daiquiri).

As for the other restaurant chains named, I find little to disagree with (except for his dig at Wendy’s).  And thank goodness we have Dunkin’ Donuts, America’s answer to Britain’s Greggs chain.  Maybe there is hope for us after all;  but I still wish we had more of a pub culture Over Here, if for no other reason than to lessen the influence of the dreadful Starbucks.