Reader, welcome. Rest thy weary feet–nay, bathe them, caressing the soft inner skin of each delicate toe, in this bowl of sage-infused ice water I have prepared for thee. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome to my home, my hearth, my heart. Welcome to my kitchen. Welcome. Welcome.
This? This fragrant dish, redolent with the season’s first crumbberries, golden with butter, frothy with fat? Why, Reader, this–this is for you.
I call it “the Vomwhich.”
Take a bite. Masticate. Do not the flavors melt on your tongue, drizzling down the back of your throat, caressing the acidity of your stomach juices, meandering down your large intestine? This is not just food, Reader. This is a spark from the aether–a diamond winking from the Great Abyss.
I created my first Vomwhich when I was a young girl in Vienna, wandering the ashen cobblestones, heart heavy with the bittersweet weight of my first love. In the evenings, I would slip, wraith-like, past the Viennese bars, their golden glow spilling onto the sidewalk like the intestines of a young calf. I sucked in the breeze through each eager, trembling nostril, smelling the musk of wine, the mould of cheese, and the vague, intangible fragrance of a world that was not my own. Ah, Reader, sometimes I think I subsided on nothing but air during those lush, lost, languid days in Vienna.
But eventually Hunger, that persistent animal, would begin to gnaw on the tender pink lining of my stomach, and I would trickle back to my apartment with its bare bulb and its rusting toilet and out of the deep longing in my soul, the wild wonder fluttering against my cerebellum, I would make myself a Vomwhich.
It fed more that just my stomach, Reader. It fed my soul.
1 baguette, sliced
4 tbsp butter, room temperature
Drizzle of lard (optional)
Layer each fragrant ingredient on the soft inner belly of the baguette. Consume. Breathe.