Friday, December 7, 2012

hamburg burning and food fetish

I was reading “Brute Force” which is a great book ( how the Allies not only used their resource glut to out produce, they also used them instead of sound strategy and tactics.  The Soviets were not the only ones who practiced wave tactics.  British bombing raid fatalities were over sixty percent and they area bombed rather than attempting precision bombing most of the war ), and I came upon a blurb talking about the fire bombing of Hamburg during WWII.   Five MONTHS after the firestorm, the city was back up to 80% of its capacity.  This was in an economy at war on three fronts, using fiat paper currency, with resources being prioritized mostly to the Soviet battle, with mostly only coal available as fuel and most of that diverted to wartime use.  Compare that to New Orleans where five YEARS after Hurricane Katrina I don’t think there can be a valid claim made that they are back at 80% capacity.  We use about a third of global energy production, we drain other countries wealth to prop up our currency, our wars are of limited scope.  And we can’t repair a city like the Germans did.  I’m not claiming we should turn into good little goosestepping Nazi’s ( although most voters seem to like the idea ) and give all individual effort to the Homeland.  If we actually had a will to sacrifice that might go a ways towards fixing things partially.  No, what I am saying is that resource wise, we are in far, far worse shape that Germany was way back then.  Just something to mull over.
I had a loyal minion write telling me about his small group prepping for the Apocalypse.  Evidently they are confused about beans and grains, them not looking like real food you see in the supermarket.  This is how tragedies such as $1500 Year Supply Of Food In #10 Cans happen.  You open a can ( happy bachelor or Soccer Mom can relate to this step ), add water, and out pops what looks like a TV dinner.  To most people this is food.  So, I might have been assuming that people knew what real food ( grains and beans ) was, being around it my whole life.  I guess most folks look at the rice and hurry past it.  I mean, they should.  Rice tastes like slop, but more annoying it is too expensive.  After all, you the consumer are now competing against over two billion Asians for California’s crop so the price was bound to go up.  I can store wheat kernels in buckets for forty-five cents a pound.  Rice without container is seventy-five.  You can buy a lot of grinders for that price difference ( you’ll also stay alive a lot longer on the nutrition difference ).  Rice is generally looked on as “furren food”.  How many folks know how to cook it?  How many can make old school oatmeal?  Perhaps all they can handle is “instant” types.
How, I don’t know how you can go about introducing the practice of cooking to a macho He-Man gathering of AR firing stud-muffins.  They might make such objections as “if I was a faggot taking it up the ass, then wanting to cuddle afterwards and share my feelings, I might also want to put on a frilly apron and learn how to cook  in the kitchen, thank you very much.  How shut your pie hole, pass the beer, and if I want storage food I’ll go get me a freeze dried package”.  That is your problem.  I would suggest you try it from the money angle.  You know, if we economize on the food then we can buy more 223 ammo.  That should get their nipples hard.  If you need to try to sell them on basic foods, though, how do you get them to visualize it as food to a lifetime consumer of prepare foods?  I think most folks make too big a deal out of the process.  We’ve all started out in the kitchen totally dumbfounded.  And then realized after a few marginal victories that it isn’t all that hard.  I would just turn it into a real simple commodity and worry about getting fancy later.  Just think of ALL basic foods, grains and legumes, as future flour in pellet form.  All that needs is a grinder ( perhaps if you get them started first on grinding coffee from whole beans they can appreciate it better.  After all, if a cup of coffee can taste oh so much better that way, might not food also? ).
Everyone can grasp the flour to bread and other yummy bakery item flow.  And everyone can relate to bean dip, which is just ground up beans added to boiling water.  And even hopeless cooks can soon be turning out pancakes.  How hard is a pancake?  You can gay it up, but at heart it is just flour, baking powder and water.  You’ll burn a few, but even then with enough butter and powdered sugar ( I’m not a huge syrup fan, other than as a dip for my breakfast meats ) you can choke it down.  And soon, sometimes even the same batch, you’ll stop charring them.  Moving on to biscuits, you use the same ingredients ( always start with a max of half whole wheat.  You will scare them away with all wheat flour.  Use white added to the mix, and you might start with store bought whole wheat to get a ultra-fine powder most folks are used to ), just less water.  You can pan cook biscuits right easy.  Once people see how easy it is, and how good this stuff tastes, they feel the happy rush of accomplishment and creativity and advance up the skill chain.  Even muscle bound macho men.  And then everybody will happily be on the same sheet of music.
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  1. Last week you were wondering why Kalifornia is so screwed up. Remember? Now you're trying to figure out why the germans get things fixed faster and better than the folks in New Orleans.

    It's simple. The germans are white dudes. In New Orleans they had too many brothers in charge. In Kalifornia white men are the minority.

    America is dead.


    1. I don't think it's a white thing. At the end of WW2, a US general noted that the germans were cleaning up the rubble, while the french sat around waiting for someone/something.

      I think it's a culture thing.