Saturday, March 15


An isolated heart is a terrible thing. You can salvage it in several ways. My favorite is sliced, thinly, and grilled. Serve with hot mustard.

If your morning is tedious, you can use this recipe as filler while performing other tasks. After grinding chocolate, throw in the day's spices. Your heart will be much improved with proper seasoning.

One heart cannot serve two without some tricky maneuvering. Be sure that you account for all guests, and have a warm, damp cloth at the ready for each.

Today's recipe calls for the following ingredients:
one heart, washed, pressed, and emptied,
one cup hot chocolate, ground and fashioned from the shards of dreams that woke you in a sweat,
one kitchen, cleared of sharp physical objects,
one knife, rescued from the aforementioned clearance and sharpened, carefully, on your tongue.
Assorted spices, extracts, and impossibilities.

Cut bravely around the heart, severing its grasping tendrils without paying attention to its cries. Pat it fondly and wipe your hands clean. Sip chocolate thoughtfully while you gaze out the window, wondering why the birds have gathered in that one tree, and why you cannot accomplish the things you have set out to do. Grind teeth and notice you have left marks in the cutting board with your fingernails, again.

Set your heart on a figured platter. Figures of Bosch seem appropriate in most cases, but a willow-ware platter can be quite elegant with a few garnishes.

Season your heart thoughtfully. Spice is a very subjective thing, but several testers agree that the combination of vanilla, ground coffee, assorted chiles, and coarsely ground black pepper is a fine and traditional flavor. Do not be afraid to experiment or try something new. Cover the heart with banana leaves and allow to rest in a dim room, with a tolerable red wine and a well-loved paperback.

When you are tired of waiting for your heart to quiet, remove your salvaged knife from beneath the pile of lifestyle magazines and test it by scoring a single line on the wall. Do not lose track of time while contemplating the number of lines indicating every dour morning spent questioning your existence. Set this fever aside, and move on.

Slice the rested and spiced heart into an equal amount of thin strips. Each person should receive the same amount; if an odd number, consume the extras over the sink, silently. Tears are optional.

Arrange heart thoughtfully and with care.
Serve raw, with bread and wine, after the salad. Do not be offended if a guest refuses your heart; after all, it is bitter.