Muskrat on Friday? You Must Be in Michigan!

Muskrat dinner with garlic

It’s black and oily and it looks like a hapless rat, its rib cage filled to overflowing with cloves of roasted garlic.  The rodent’s pungent odor wafts through the air as soon as the waitress leaves the kitchen with my entrée, plopped on the plate between the mashed potatoes and the sauerkraut.  I catch my breath, thinking that this would be completely inedible had the chef not removed its head and tail.  As it is, I think I can stomach it--but it’s still a gastronomic repast for the serious adve … [Read more...]

This Is Romance? St. Valentine’s Story

Skull of St. Valentine

He was a priest in Rome.No, he was a bishop in Interamna (now the region of Terni, Italy).No, he was a martyr in the Roman province of Africa.  *     *     *     * There’s a lot of confusion, actually, about St. Valentine, whose feast we celebrate today.The most popular legend places Valentine near Rome in the third century, during the reign of the Emperor Claudius III (nicknamed Claudius the Cruel).  According to the story, Claudius sought to expand the Roman Empire, and so needed … [Read more...]