Category: Ideology

In Lieu of a Credo: Deliberate Praxis

If I started out interested in eating – consumption – and developed that into an interest in cooking – production – then where I get to now is the process of deliberate praxis. By this I mean LESS ART, MORE MEAT: if deliberate practice requires 10,000 hours of non-gainful, leisure-free application, then deliberate praxis is the development of the examined life through doing that which is right.

No outer source; no godhead. The saptibhaṅgī hold. Process is encroaching on product.

It’s about coherence – a tracing of things from precept to grundnorm.

When faced with indecision, answer thus: What should I do? I should do what is right. Right how? Universalisable, sustainable, achievable.

Universalisable: Straight outta Kant: Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.

Sustainable: One might argue that something cannot be universalisable if it is not at the same time sustainable. Perhaps it’s a catch-all for the ‘weak’ form of universal – the one for which you haven’t been able to identify the appropriate externalities. Act in such a way that the process be, as far as possible, self-sustaining or net positive. Examples might be seeking out waste garden produce for use in compost, or simple reuse / repurpose.

Achievable: Work first where your impact can be felt. Secure your food supply. Eat what’s in season, or preserve it / change form (I hate cabbage: I love kimchi). Look to civic duty and motherhood / parenthood as the guide. Identify your failures.

Above all, that praxis ought to contain the humility to recognise that your own margin of incoherence – that set of things you know fail your ideology but you’re prepared to live with – is inacceptable to others.

Independence Days

As noted, I have been taking Chris Stafford’s course on gluten-free sourdoughs – and it’s going well. I haven’t posted much, but have been busy working on securing my family’s food supply.

In the book Independence Days, Sharon Astyk mentions the importance to be doing something to further your family’s food independence every day – each day put up some fruits or pickle something. She also talks about the importance of rescuing the term ‘chatelaine’ or, in my case châtelain. Historically used to refer to the woman who looked after the household, she rescues it and talks about its importance in terms of there being a role in each house (shared, changing, whatever) which is to keep tabs on the food and one’s independence from constant supply.

How many apples do we have? Are they good? Do the bad ones need making into purée or can they be salvaged and eaten today? What’s in season? What’s coming out of season?

So it is that I suddenly saw kimchi, last week, as a seasonal food. So it is that I just made a batch of green tomato jam. And so it is that my end goal with fermented gluten-free bread is to bring local production front and centre.