Monday, December 12, 2011

Brown Dog Affair Ahmelet

December 10, 1907 was "the worst night of the Brown Dog riots in London—1,000 anti-doggers (seriously, they were called "anti-doggers"!) clashed with 400 police officers over a bronze dog statue erected in Battersea the year before. The statue was commissioned by anti-vivisectionists as a memorial to a dog dissected for a medical lecture in 1903 (anesthetized or not anesthetized, that was the question). I'd never heard of this, which strikes me as both perfectly natural and outrageous. The Brown Dog affair (Wikipedia's word, not mine, but I like it) dragged on for seven years! Swedish activists (one of whom was a 24-year-old countess!) battled William Bayliss, whose research on dogs led to the discovery of hormones; medical students were pitched against suffragists, trade unionists, and police (and police—what a different world it must have been). This all got dirty because the memorial statue had a plaque reading: "Men and women of England, how long shall these things be?" I was just thinking about how nice it would be to live in the UK some day, and here's corroborating evidence. What were Americans doing about dog vivisection at the turn of the twentieth century? But for real, you have to go read the Wikipedia article, some of the details must be read to be believed. What I mean to say is that you should read them in context, on a site with credibility.

The two original Swedish infiltrators published a book in 1903 called The Shambles of Science. Why doesn't the Brooklyn Public Library have it? This is the story that doesn't stop giving. Emilie Augusta Louise "Lizzy" Lind-af-Hageby, the countess, was later the president of the London Spiritualist Alliance (now the College of Psychic Studies) not long after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle finished his tenure in that position. Lind-af-Hageby also wrote a book called August Strindberg, The Spirit of Revolt, Studies and Impressions (1913), which is available online. If I ever go to grad school, I'll definitely block off a month or several to read all the books by and about this woman.

Where was I? Oh, food. Um, ignore the green goop in the photo, that was a mistake that I tried to remedy but utterly failed to remedy. What you want is the recipe for . . . a vegan omelet! (Thanks to A. for the idea.) You can put good stuff in it, like mushrooms and onions and whatever, I just used (too much) red pepper and olives because that's what I had lying around.

serves: 1-2
prep. time: approx 25 min.

1 lb. soft tofu
nutritional yeast
garlic powder
cayenne (optional)

1. Puree the tofu in a blender.
2. In a pan, saute whatever ingredients you want in your ahmelet. Then pour the liquified tofu into the pan. Season. Turn the heat up to medium-high or so. Every couple of minutes, scrape the tofu around and mix it up. As the water evaporates, the tofu will firm up.
3. Press the tofu down with your cooking spatula. It won't truly cohere like eggs, but it'll become obvious when you'll be able to keep it in one piece. Turn off the heat. Let the ahmelet cool and firm up for a few minutes, then serve.

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