Thursday, November 18, 2010

Old School Thursday: Things Past Edition

Today is random, random, random. First, it’s National Vichyssoise Day – a food that does not need a day of recognition in America if there ever was one (I am biased – I don’t like vichyssoise, but my mom does, so I used to have to eat it sometimes). But also, if you’re going to recognize a cold soup, is November really the right time to do it?

On the Church front, today is St. Odo of Cluny day – he’s the patron for rain (fair enough) – and also St. Peter the Apostle day – he’s the patron of bakers, butchers, fishermen, harvesters and, obviously, foot problems. I suppose because people in those professions have a lot of foot problems. Now, I know that they’re saints, so they’re not prone to jealousy, but if I were St. Odo, I’d be a little annoyed that I had to share my day with one of the big guns. Patron for rain is pretty good, but it does get lost in that laundry list of St. Peter’s. Plus, he’s St. Peter.

In other Churchy news, today in 1966, American Catholics are finally allowed to start eating meat on Fridays. All of this happened well before I was born, which explains why I have always eaten meat on Fridays (and most other days).

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves – a couple of interesting things also happened today. First, in 1307, William Tell used a bow and arrow to shoot an apple from his son’s head – one of the more widely used cultural-historical visuals.

Several centuries later, in 1922, French writer Marcel Proust died. Proust wrote Remembrance of Things Past, the novel that begins with a single, oh-so-meaningful bite of a madeleine. That madeleine is probably the most famous (and referenced) cookie in literary history. In recent years, “madeleine moment” has become shorthand for a small action that triggers a flood of memories and versions of that moment have been depicted in media of all kinds.

So, to celebrate today, have a cookie that reminds you of your childhood and maybe wash it down with a glass of apple juice in honor of Mr. Tell. And, of course, if you like it, a bowl of vichyssoise. Or maybe just some meat (even if it isn't Friday).

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