25 October 2006

Puts You Right Off Recipe Blogging

A strange cure for the baby blues (Helen Weathers, Daily Mail, 10/24/06)
As Margherita Watt, in a state of euphoric exhaustion, lay cradling her newborn daughter, Dixie, following a seven-hour natural water birth at home, her husband, Will, dutifully went to the kitchen to prepare her first proper meal.

A short while later, he returned with a cup of strong tea and a plate of what looked like chopped steak fried in olive oil for his wife.

Tentatively, she took a bite, chewed and swallowed rather quickly to avoid thinking too much about what she was eating. 'It tasted a bit like a rich, gamey meat,' says Margherita, 28, a former PR executive, who gave birth 12 weeks ago. ...[W]hat Margherita was eating was her own placenta, delivered minutes after her baby was born at 7.08am on July 28 and then stored in the fridge in a plastic box - alongside the celebratory champagne - to await the frying pan that afternoon....

Today, there are websites featuring 'placenta' recipes, including lasagne, spaghetti bolognaise, or placenta paté - although Margherita preferred to keep hers plain and simple rather than turn it into a culinary event.
Brings a whole new meaning to "making from scratch."


Brit said...

An English TV chef/organic farmer/heartless butcher called Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (no, really) famously cooked placenta on television.

Hey Skipper said...

Brit, David:

All of this is way, WAY too much information.

David said...

Skipper: I thought everyone knew all about English cooking.

joe shropshire said...

Luckily the Wikipedians are made of sterner stuff than David:

Wikibooks Cookbook:Placenta

The Spicy Australian Placenta sounds pretty good, but what's with the measly two cloves of garlic? Nancy boys.

Peter Burnet said...

What is really a nice touch is how Margherita wanted to keep it all "plain and simple rather than turn it into a culinary event". Presumably she feels nutrition and health are serious, rational affairs not to be made light of, so hold the oregano and no incantations, please. I guess I should be comforted to see that the neo-paganism is still informed by the spirit of those Puritan injunctions against having too much fun. Still, it does leave one confused.

Peter Burnet said...

Also, am I alone in thinking that the grossest thing about this story is that it was her husband who cooked and served it? I've long held this suspicion that once a woman is married, she tests her husband by seeing how far she can go in sharing (and sharing and sharing...)all the fascinating and intimate details of her body's mysteries--secretions, intimate irritations, mysterious afflictions, etc. They seems to find assurance and security in de-constructing to the anatomical and pathological as much as possible to see whether he is a real modern man and will stick around. My theory is that it is a kind of payback for all those years they had to pretend they didn't even pass gas.

Sure, support is support and times change, however, what ever happened to the notion of meeting half-way? If Will just goes with everything she throws his way and doesn't draw some lines somewhere based upon his own "space", she may eventually become contemptuous and leave him for some well-built but morose Finnish hockey-player with an IQ of 80. He should have been out chopping wood during this meal.

David said...

You all do realize that now I'm going to get a bunch memos from market research claiming that what the public wants is placenta blogging?

Duck said...

Does this count as auto-cannibalism? Suiballism? This is the most disgusting thing I've read in a while.

I "shared" the experience of my wife's Caesarian delivery. Actually I was the only one who saw it, she was under. It looked like the alien autopsy video.

Duck said...

Do you get royalties from the Chesterton estate?

Hey Skipper said...


I thought everyone knew all about English cooking.

Quite. That is why, when it came to dining in England (or eating anything my English mother cooked) I was all about "trust but verify" long before Pres. Reagan popularized the notion.


I think it is payment enough for Peter that he loftily cites GK Chesterton -- someone that erudite gets to dispense with names -- while all I can manage is this response to his pre-frontal attack on the Finns:

ARTIST: Julie Brown
TITLE: I Like Them Big and Stupid

When I need somethin' to help me unwind
I find a six foot baby with a one track mind
Smart guys are nowhere, they make demands
Give me a moron with talented hands
I go bar-hopping and they say last call
I start shopping for a Neanderthal

The bigger they come the harder I fall
In love 'til we're done then they're out in the hall

I like 'em big and stupid
I like 'em big and real dumb
I like 'em big and stupid

What kind of guy does a lot for me
A Superman with a lobotomy
My fathers outa Harvard
My brothers outa Yale
But the guy I took home last night
Just got outa jail

The way he grabbed and threw me, ooh it really got me hot
But the way he growled and bit me, I hope he had his shots

The bigger they are the harder they'll work
I got a soft spot for a good lookin' jerk


I met a guy, who drives a truck
He can't tell time but he sure can drive
I asked his name and he had to think
Could I have found the missing link
He's so stupid you know what he said
Well I forgot what he said, 'cause it was so stupid

The bigger they come the harder I fall
In love 'til we're done then they're out in the hall


I like 'em big and real dumb
I like 'em big and stupid

Peter Burnet said...

Good for you, Duck. I'm all for men doing what the women folk want them to do during childbirth, but the guys who take all the modern cant seriously drive me nuts. I suspect they think painting the living room is an occasion for spiritual growth. Never trust a man who wants to tell you how moved he was by his "co-birthing" experience.

As to old GK, I see him as the perfect proto-blogger. An early OJ. It's great fun to throw out one of his artful quips or analogies and then watch the brow-furrowed secularists stay up all hours writing lengthy replies on how he is guilty of baroque, monarchical thinking or a prisoner of platonist fallacies.

Duck said...

I was very moved by my co-birthing experience. Almost moved enough to vomit.

Duck said...

And yes, every time you do that we stay up until dawn scratching our heads for a reply, and then resignedly mumble "Drats! Foiled by Chesterton again!"

Peter Burnet said...

I'm not so naive as to expect anything like that. "...and I have to say that his defense is quite creative, if unconvincing". will do just fine.

Hey, I'm a realist.

Hey Skipper said...

I "co-birthed" both our children, and was happy to be there. Nothing about it made me squeamish, not even the placenta. One thing is for sure, the first that that occurred to me when I saw it sure as heck wasn't dinner.

(Which raises the question: who was the first person to look at a lobster and see dinner?)

I'm sure women view it as one of those tests to see if you are in for the whole ten yards. Considering what is at stake for them, I can understand why.