He expected pages and pages of bright pictures of pancakes of every variety shown in plain stacks, or built into castles or bridges or igloos, or shaped like airplanes or rowboats or fire engines. And pitchers of syrup to choose from - partridge berry syrup, thimbleberry syrup, huckleberry syrup, bosenberry syrup, and raspberry syrup. Then there would be cheese plates and cheeses a la carte. Creamy cheeses, crumbly cheeses, and peculiar little cheeses in peculiar little clay pots.
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Is despair wrong? Isn't it the natural condition of life after a certain age? ... After a number of events, what is there left but repetition and diminishment? Who wants to go on living? The eccentric, the religious, the artistic (sometimes); those with a false sense of their own worth. Soft cheeses collapse; firm cheeses endurate. Both go mouldy.
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Cheese runners shouted at it, tried to grab it, and flailed at it with sticks, but the piratical cheese scythed onward, reaching the bottom just ahead of the terrible carnage of men and cheeses as they piled up. Then it rolled back to the top and sat there demurely while still gently vibrating. At the bottom of the slope, fights were breaking out among the cheese jockeys who were still capable of punching somebody, and since everybody was watching that, Tiffany took the opportunity to snatch up Horace and shove him in her bag. After all, he was hers. Well, that was to say she had made him, although something odd must have gone into the mix since Horace was the only cheese that would eat mice and, if you didn't nail him down, other cheeses as well.
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Rats They fought the dogs and killed the cats, And bit the babies in the cradles, And ate the cheeses out of the vats, And licked the soup from the cook's own ladles. Split open the kegs of salted sprats, Made nests inside men's Sunday hats, And even spoiled the women's chats By drowning their speaking With shrieking and squeaking In fifty different sharps and flats.
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Goat cheese... produced a bizarre eating era when sensible people insisted that this miserable cheese produced by these miserable creatures reared on miserable hardscrabble earth was actually superior to the magnificent creamy cheeses of the noblest dairy animals bred in the richest green valleys of the earth.
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Cows given genetically modified growth hormones make more milk, but have painful swollen udders, have ulcers, joint pain, miscarriages, deformed calves, infertility, and much shorter life spans. Their milk contains blood, pus, tranquilizers, antibiotics, and an insulin growth factor that can cause a fourfold increase in prostate cancer and sevenfold rise in breast cancer. This is the milk used in our school lunch programs and served to our children. This is the milk that you buy every day. This is the milk used in all cheeses, yogurts, butter, and cream.
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There's an organic grocery store just off the highway exit. I can't remember the last time I went shopping for food.' A smile glittered in his eyes. 'I might have gone overboard.' I walked into the kitchen, with gleaming stainless-steel appliances, black granite countertops, and walnut cabinetry. Very masculine, very sleek. I went for the fridge first. Water bottles, spinach and arugula, mushrooms, gingerroot, Gorgonzola and feta cheeses, natural peanut butter, and milk on one side. Hot dogs, cold cuts, Coke, chocolate pudding cups, and canned whipped cream on the other. I tried to picture Patch pushing a shopping cart down the aisle, tossing in food as it pleased him. It was all I could do to keep a straight face.
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To begin with, there is the frightful debauchery of taste that has already been effected by a century of mechanisation. This is almost too obvious and too generally admitted to need pointing out. But as a single instance, take taste in its narrowest sense - the taste for decent food. In the highly mechanical countries, thanks to tinned food, cold storage, synthetic flavouring matters, etc., the palate it almost a dead organ. As you can see by looking at any greengrocer's shop, what the majority of English people mean by an apple is a lump of highly-coloured cotton wool from America or Australia; they will devour these things, apparently with pleasure, and let the English apples rot under the trees. It is the shiny, standardized, machine-made look of the American apple that appeals to them; the superior taste of the English apple is something they simply do not notice. Or look at the factory-made, foil wrapped cheeses and 'blended' butter in an grocer's; look at the hideous rows of tins which usurp more and more of the space in any food-shop, even a dairy; look at a sixpenny Swiss roll or a twopenny ice-cream; look at the filthy chemical by-product that people will pour down their throats under the name of beer. Wherever you look you will see some slick machine-made article triumphing over the old-fashioned article that still tastes of something other than sawdust. And what applies to food applies also to furniture, houses, clothes, books, amusements and everything else that makes up our environment. These are now millions of people, and they are increasing every year, to whom the blaring of a radio is not only a more acceptable but a more normal background to their thoughts than the lowing of cattle or the song of birds. The mechanisation of the world could never proceed very far while taste, even the taste-buds of the tongue, remained uncorrupted, because in that case most of the products of the machine would be simply unwanted. In a healthy world there would be no demand for tinned food, aspirins, gramophones, gas-pipe chairs, machine guns, daily newspapers, telephones, motor-cars, etc. etc.; and on the other hand there would be a constant demand for the things the machine cannot produce. But meanwhile the machine is here, and its corrupting effects are almost irresistible. One inveighs against it, but one goes on using it. Even a bare-arse savage, given the change, will learn the vices of civilisation within a few months. Mechanisation leads to the decay of taste, the decay of taste leads to demand for machine-made articles and hence to more mechanisation, and so a vicious circle is established.
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