Good Things Take Time

Today’s message is sponsored by Mainland Cheese, firm believers that:

Which is a particularly relevant message here in Papua New Guinea, where the process of translating the Bible into one language can take anywhere from 10 to 20 years.  (And there’s still 2000 languages in the world without a verse of scripture).  After saying a prayer for the translation teams currently at work on this massive project, we shall return to the cheese.  But do say a prayer first, if you’re the praying sort.

Mainland Cheese is also, by the way, fully convinced that their product is nothing less than:

…and I agree wholeheartedly.

The packaging of foods here is more than just a little amusing.  In the states, I’m used to most packaged foods claiming to be “The Healthy Choice” or “All-Natural,” sometimes you get a “Sugar-free” or maybe the occasional “Tastes Like Real Butter!”  (None of which, I should add, sound very appetizing).  But here, ah, here you get phrases like this plastered over every other box:

Perhaps the merriment is only mine.  But I shall have it nonetheless.


And while we’re speaking about food (I am, at the very least), I can’t help but to take this moment to recommend what I think may be the best book I’ve read all year (already, I can count three other books that beg of me not to give out such an award so haphazardly, but I’ve ignored their pleas).  It’s called The Supper of the Lamb, and if you’ve seen me in the last two months, you probably heard me babbling merrily about it once or twice.

It was written a good fifty years ago, but was reprinted just a few years back, so almost any bookstore worth mentioning could order one for you.  Here’s what the old copy looks like:

And on the subject of Good Things Taking Time, no one is better suited to the task than good Father Capon (the author is a priest as well as a cook).  As such, he takes the better part of 150 pages covering a mere four recipes.  The book, then, is not a cookbook as such, but (as the cover puts it nicely) “a culinary reflection.”  Here’s an excerpt, should you need more convincing before buying copies for all your friends.  This, from the beginning of the seventh chapter:

“You no doubt feel that it is high time for a speedy return to the pot of lamb stew that was left simmering at the end of Chapter Three… Let me say, first, that I understand your impatience.  I am as much a product of the age of hurry, of the era of instant results, as you are.  I, too, have been saddled with a conscience that winces at delay and feels obligated to apologize for anything longer than a laundry list.  I understand – but I do not agree. 

“The feet-on-the-stove stance of this book is a deliberate attempt to cure myself, and anyone else who will listen, of the nasty habit of worrying the world to pieces like a terrier with a rag.  What we are up to here is not the hasty shaking loose of a culinary result, but a patient rumination on cooking itself.  There are more important things to do than hurry…”

And earlier:

“Nothing is more likely to become garbage than orange rind; but for as long as anyone looks at it in delight, it stands a million triumphant miles from the trash heap.”

Ah, what wonder.  This is a book that makes many an orange rind cause for celebration.

8 thoughts on “Good Things Take Time

  1. “lift here to get the goodness” is hilarious. i think that should be the title of the book you write about your experience(s) in PNG. you ARE going to write a book, right? anyway, i love the quotes from the book. i may have to go buy it for myself.

  2. On the other hand, if you order by midnight tonight, you will get not just one Ginsu knife, but 2 knives and a genuine zen sharpening stone…all at no additional charge!

    By the way, this will be no help at all to you in your present location, but all this talk of orange rinds makes me hungry for the Orange Peel Beef at P.F.Changs…ah, goodness, indeed!

    Miss you.
    – Dad

  3. Hahaha – Miss you too, Pa!

    As for the book writing, yes, I do hope to do a good bit of writing while I’m here, and perhaps something will come of it.

    And Sarah – should you make any orange-rind cakes, do try and send a piece my way (if that’s legal…).

  4. Ahh yes, indeed – I remember tasty cheese from our stay in Australia! As far as I could gather, it’s an actual kind of cheese, like chedder, pepper jack, or mozza-mozza. Their markets had whole stashes of the stuff. The munnnnchie nugget!

  5. I agree the new title of the book (which of course I am expecting one of the first 5 signed copies). Indeed a book must be written on the experiences of PNG – I am waiting to see what the first cake will be made with??? In fact I am even intrigued with what type of Stove/cook top you might have as well. A good cook can always make do but I am wondering about the rising and the falling effects. LOL

  6. Hey Alan, maybe your class should read your blog. I bet you would have needed more than one prize!


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