Welcome to the Autumn edition of the Tarot Blog Hop. The theme this time is “Foodies Guide to the Tarot” and the brief is to take your readers on a gastronomy tour of the Tarot. How could I resist? Before I attempt to tickle you tastebuds, however, I must provide you with the navigation links to my neighbours and the master list:
At first glance, The Magician may not be the most obvious card to associate with food, but what is cookery if not everyday magic? The Magician is all about transformation and is the essentially the transformation of ingredients into a dish. Of course, he is also a bit of a trickster, so along with the heady heights of culinary success come the epic failures – the deflated soufflés and soggy bottoms of our expectations., not to mention grand but inedible inspirations that end up in the bin. The Magician is the Avant Garde Chef de Tarot, mixing weird and wonderful concoctions like an esoteric Heston, sometimes brilliant and sometimes just WTF.
So what of the rest of the Arcana?
I doubt the High Priestess cooks at all – she has acolytes to do that for her – but she is the keeper of secrets. That special sauce, the unique and unusual cheese, the special blend, grandma’s closely guarded favourite recipe, all are compiled in her arcane cookbooks and kept from the prying eyes of the casually curious.
There’s no doubt that The Empress is a domestic goddess without compare. Mistress of all your favourite comfort foods and a master baker. She can casually whip up a feast to delight the senses without breaking a sweat.
The Emperor doesn’t really have time for food preparation, though he’s not averse to taking advantage of those that do. He’s more of a back seat driver when he does venture into the kitchen, driving the Empress crazy with unwanted advice and always sticking his fingers in all her pies. Mmmm, piiiiiies…
The Hierophant is cut from similar cloth, but he doesn’t like to let on that he does anything as mundane as eat. He will happily advise on culinary matters though, despite having no experience whatsoever.
The Lovers are keen on fruit. It all started with an apple, don’cha know, and now they’re feeding one another grapes and cherries and all sorts. Oh, the mess! What they can do with the humble cacao berry and some cane sugar is not for those of a sensitive disposition, although you can read about my adventures in this area here. Best we draw a veil, or at least a sturdy, non-transparent, stain-proof curtain of some sort over those sticky proceedings.
Moving swiftly onward, we can Drive-Thru The Chariot, avert our guilty self-indulgent eyes from Justice’s carefully balanced diet, raise a G&T to The Hermit’s juniper berries and gaze in awe and faint horror at the Wheel of cheese rolling down the hill, pursued by the foolhardy at (literally) break-neck speed.
We prefer to purchase our selection of cheese from a well-stocked boutique. Although possibly not this one:
Oh, give me Strength and a nearby Waitrose! A fine selection of cheese and even some game to be had there, although if you like game there’s no substitute for some well hung meat or, indeed, a chap with a nice big chopper. (Fnarr! Fnarr!) I was going to supply an appropriate card graphic at this point, but instead I’ll just park that thought in your vivid imagination for a moment….
All done? Good. Hold onto that thought to sustain you as we visit Death, sometimes known as E.Coli, Salmonella, Excessive Drink or Justkillmenow when you’re making yet another call on God’s Big White Telephone. We shall transition swiftly on and swear never again to eat or drink the wretched cause of our condition ever ever again.
A period of Temperance inevitably follows where we eschew alcohol and stick to nice, well-cooked bland foods: poached plaice, scrambled egg, dry toast, nothing to irritate our battered and bruised digestive system, probably lots of good healthy things too. I’m certain that The Devil invented celery – a truly vile-tasting…thingummy. Pure evil! I mean, why can’t the only food which uses more calories to eat than it provides not taste like chocolate…or bacon? Why? *weeps softly* And Tofu…what is that, if not a kind of torture in some circle of hell? Heavy penance indeed.
As always, such good intentions are short-lived and before you know it, we are once again on the slippery slope, imbibing our favourite tipple and indulging in our favourite guilty food pleasures. Oh yes, the Devil also invented chocolate to tickle our tastebuds and release our endorphins and lead us into temptation again. Wine to dull our senses and lull us into delusions, happy at the time and oft regretted the morning after. A moment on the lips, a lifetime trying to forget the embarrassment. Happy days. Cheers, Keith ;D
At least, we are happy until that point when we find ourselves locked in a Tower somewhere with no idea of how we got there, a mouth like the bottom of a parrot’s cage and a crashing hangover playing an enthusiastic drum solo somewhere in what is left of our dehydrated brain cell. Time for a change of direction. Where can we find inspiration?
The Star can do cakes like nobody else, with not a soggy bottom in sight. Hope springs eternal that my baking lives up to Mary’s exacting standards some day, though it tastes just fine to me even if it’s not always pretty to look at. I’d settle for looking as good as she does when I’m her age. Does she even eat any of those lovely cakes?
The Moon…ah, cheese again, though preferably blue rather than green. Or perhaps a nice Camembert, ideal for an evening snack by the light of the Moon, and cheeky glass of wine to go with it (but not enough for a Tower moment).
Then when the day dawns bright and clear, you can pack your picnic and go and enjoy The Sun. Cold roast chicken, boiled eggs, buttered radishes, ham sandwiches and lashings of ginger beer, of course. Go mad!
The problem is that there is a whole World of food to sample and indulge in, and only so many calories you can consume. Still, at least herbs and spices are good for you – health food, right? So, all those wonderfully flavoured World food dishes – Indian, Thai, Chinese, Italian, Middle Eastern, English and obviously in my case, Polish, have got to be good for you haven’t they? What do you mean the English don’t have a cuisine? Filthy lies put about by the French, I say! There’s more to cuisine than just bunging on a rich sauce, messieurs. Roast dinners, fried breakfasts, pies (sweet and savoury), hearty stews, fish and chips, puddings…ambrosia (and I mean food of the gods, not tinned rice pudding, although rice pudding is pretty good too) Oh yes, indeed.
But what of The Fool, you ask. No, I have not forgotten him at all. He is the maker of sandwiches and collator of Ploughman’s lunches. Good basic food – bread, butter, cheese, a little salad, some pickle and all the things you need to wrap in your hanky to set off on your big adventure..or run away to the circus.
I hope you enjoyed my foodie
rant guide to the Major arcana and may all your doughnuts look like Fanny’s. Do please post a comment below, before you continue your journey through the remaining Blog Hop posts:
This Hop has been brought to you in conjunction with Heston Blumenthal, Nigella Lawson, Homer Simpson, Kim Basinger, Waitrose, Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Fanny Craddock, Keith Floyd, Mary Berry and Enid Blyton, with special thanks to innuendo, double entendre, running away from home when you are six, alcohol and over-indulgence.
If you’d like some actual recipes, historic or contemporary, click on the “Recipe” tag or the “Food and Drink” category on this blog 🙂