Escape from Dreamland

art by Austin Swinburn

Gochujang Deviled Eggs

For years, I’ve attached a name to the kitchen my wife and I share: French Kangaroo.  One of my nephews created the image to the left at my request; I use it on a Facebook page of the same name, where I show off photos of food we cook. The name is one of several I’ve decided would be in the running if I were ever to open a restaurant. Other prospective names include Scrawl and Cobra. I’ve written about those ideas before; no need to rehash them now. The idea of opening a restaurant of any kind is madness for someone with insufficient funds to invest and no food service experience. That notwithstanding, and regardless of the fact that I’ve let my desire to create ceramic masks dissipate for a couple of years, I am revisiting the idea with varying degrees of seriousness. You might think this a non sequitur. Give me a chance. Either I’ll knit myself a cradle in which my ideas can rest or I’ll braid a hangman’s noose for my neck.

Fake Japanese Kintsukuroi

For some reason, I have in my head this afternoon the notion that I might be approaching the point at which two of my more compelling interests might merge into a passion.  On occasion, I’ll stumble across a ceramic kiln at a garage or estate sale and begin calculating how to fit the thing in my work space (as unwise as that might  be).  Lately, I’ve begun to think, “Hey, if I were to open a restaurant, I might be able to operate a kiln outside, in back, where I can fire masks.”

Here’s where things begin to come together. The only way I’d be able to afford to create a restaurant would involve finding the cheapest, poorest-suited spot I could scratch up. It would require a great deal of work just to bring it up to code, much less make it a place patrons would feel comfortable. I’d have to do the work myself. Inasmuch as I have been having trouble pushing myself to take the risks associated with replacing a a valve stem in a leaky bathroom faucet, that could be problematic. But let me go on. Imagine, if you will, a kiln outside my kitchen where, late at night after the test patrons are gone, I could fire masks I made the week before. Once fired, I could hang them on the blank walls of the restaurant. My decorating problem is resolved! I need to decide, though, which masks pair well with which foods. I suspect the best way to find out is just to lay a bunch of them out in random order.

Yeah, I agree. The idea emerged from the brain of a madman. It has returned from whence it sprang.

Wild-eyed nutcase

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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