This blog is going to be little more than a cookbook laid out in reverse chronological order. If you’re looking for content about anything else, the books I’m reading, events in my day, even recipes for beverages – look at the links and feeds in the margins, because none of that will be happening here.

You will be seeing recipes for food that goes well with tea, coffee and other caffeinated beverages. Be forewarned that it will not all be vegetarian. Probably not much of it will be vegan. It will probably all be gluten-free, though I offer no promises. To those who wish to complain about this (and there always seems to be somebody), I pose the question – how much are you paying to read this? I guess we could have a discussion about the well-developed senses of entitlement found on the Internet (ironically, often seen most out of those complaining about the senses of entitlement seen out of others), but I’ve turned off commenting because you know what? Even without having heard it – with regard to this specific blog, which I created just minutes ago – I’m already tired of hearing about it.

I have no time for drama. Yes, oh my yes, by using yogurt in my recipes, I’ll be contributing to the sexual exploitation of dairy cattle because, OMG, do you know what the farmer does to get the milk out of that cow, without the cow’s consent? It’s horrible, just horrible. And all of those eggs – little chicken embryos, will be used by the ton, to be wept over (no doubt) by sensitive supporters of abortion, who will see nothing incongruous about being loudly intolerant of the killing of chicken embryos while demanding that all be in a live and let live kind of place about the killing of human embryos.

Into this you can read a message about what I think about abortion, and maybe you wouldn’t be mistaken. Maybe you would be. I won’t answer that here, because this isn’t going to be a political blog. What I will say, without hesitation or apology, is that anybody with so much as an ounce of sense knows that the life of a human being is certainly no less valuable than the life of a chicken, so the pro-choice vegans from whom I’d be hearing were I to open up this blog for commenting are being philosophically inconsistent. One can be pro-choice on abortion or anti-choice on the eating of omelets, but one can’t be both at the same time and maintain any sort of philosophical coherence. As a blogger, I choose to not engage with people who are being incoherent, because I know that the conversation has nowhere to go, and that I’ll be doing damage control on my reputation later should I attempt to take part in such a dialog, because the incoherent people with whom I’ve engaged will lie about the conversation afterwards in an attempt to make themselves look better.

For this reason, I will absolutely never be open to opening this blog up to commenting, or even open to discussing the possibility. That’s true of my blogs in general, because I’ve found that trolling, spam and lunacy tends to be what I get when I do accept comments, but it applies with extra force here. There is a type of person – ultra-far left, ultra-feminist, totally politically correct vegans who’ve decided that coffeehouses, in general, are their own personal turf. They act as if they are claiming ownership over the very concept of a coffeehouse, without acknowledging that they’re doing so, as if one couldn’t walk into some of these places and see corned beef sandwiches being served to neo-confederate gun nuts. Coffeehouses in real life have a wide mix of people and foods, many of them not even remotely politically correct, but online, some people like to create their own fantasy worlds, seemingly in the hope of getting so many other people to mistake the fantasies for reality, that their societal dreams will come true.

But they won’t be coming true here. The comments stay off, and the meat, eggs and dairy stay in. If you don’t like that, don’t read. Nobody is forcing you to. But if you do, welcome, hope you enjoy my content, and hope you’ll enjoy the peace and quiet. Again, no promises because I don’t know what other people are going to do, but at this point I expect this to be the last time I ever have to raise the vegan riot grrl issue on this blog, and hope that it will the last time I have to raise it anywhere. There’s a very big internet out there and I am but a very small and obscure player on that virtual stage, so my hope is that the Antifa types who drop by to make trouble, on discovering that they can’t post, will get bored and go somewhere else. Hard to picture any of those people managing to cook anything without burning down their kitchens, anyway. What would they get out of this blog, by staying?

This will be a blend of different cuisines. If what I just said in some way encouraged a member of the alt-right to think that he was going to be at home here, surprise. Middle Eastern, East Asian and African influences will show up more than infrequently. I belong to a multi-racial family and feel completely comfortable with that, so if somebody was thinking of looking me up on one of the social networks and sharing his racism with a kindred soul, I would warn him that he would be greatly disappointed and ask him to please take that nonsense elsewhere. Rejecting one form of insanity does not obligate me to embrace another, least of all one that comes at the expense of those I know and love.

As for those who will say something like “Chicago is in ‘Merica, so how come you don’t cook more ‘Merican stuff” they can take their nativism somewhere else. Anglo-Saxons and their culture do not own the continent. The rest of us have the right to be here and be ourselves, so to those who will get worked up over “creeping multiculturalism” as if America had not been home to a wide variety of cultures and subcultures since the time of its founding – get over it, and take your cultural intolerance somewhere else. Preferably to a psychiatrist’s office, where you can get the therapy you need, because if you honestly feel the need to manage the lives of others to such an invasive, micromanaging extent that you’re willing to tell them what they can have for lunch (or any other meal), that’s pathological.

Enough of that. What a world, when I have to start a cookbook with a few words about extremist politics and harassment. Let’s get on with the recipes.


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Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

I'm starting a blog about books, caffeinated beverages, black and white movies and photography, and other things. This makes more sense than one might think. At least, I hope it will. Caffeination, the main focus of my activity as I used this profile, is not going to be a book review blog in the conventional sense, and if it were, it would be maybe the most pretentious effort to reach the Internet. While I might talk about recently published works, sometimes, usually I won't. I'm going to spend more than a little time reading old classics I've meant to get to, or have been away from for too long, along with lesser known work from the same eras. Do you really need me to tell you that Poe wrote some excellent horror or that MacBeth was worth watching? I wouldn't imagine that you would, but I will have fun talking about the work. The difficulty of customizing Tabulas blogs provided me with a fortuitous accident, I think. The grayscale minimalism that I initially viewed with displeasure suggested a deliberately anachronistic, "retro" look at I now consider with pleasure, as I begin. It helps set the right mood for a blog in which most of the fiction and poetry I'm reading as I write it was published before the end of World War Two. Think of the act of reading my blog as being the equivalent of taking a virtual trip to a coffeehouse with me. I bring some reading material with, probably relatively light reading, because I want (and need) dead, churchlike quiet for my research and studies. "Relatively light? Like Wittgenstein and Proust, Joseph?", somebody asks, staring at the stack of books I've gathered for the trip. "Anybody tell you that you have a strange idea of how to relax?" "But I'm only reading them in translation", I plead, seeing that I am not making my case. I am not cool. But then, I don't really want to be. I hike to the coffeehouse, perhaps taking a few black and white shots along the way, enter, order my drink, go upstairs and park myself in a nice, soft seat, spending the next few hours reading, at times putting away my books for a little crowd watching and journaling, in between sips. The coffeehouse, as much as it may resemble the Bourgeois Pig in Chicago, when it doesn't morph back into Kopi, exists only as a metaphor, and so has no trouble stocking itself with an assortment of gluten-free, vegetarian dishes based on a variety of cuisines, some of which aren't as fashionable in the Midwestern United States of today as I wish they might be, for some reason or another. You'll see recipes. In part, then, I'm blogging about an idealization of the experience I have when I go to coffeehouses, into which I'll let reality intrude. I'll add more later. I notice that Gravatar seems to be broken. I just tried to verify my Wordpress.com blog as a service, and discovered that Automattic couldn't find a blog hosted on their own server. I'll take that as a bad sign, and wait before doing much more on this page.

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