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Jean-Paul Sartre's cooking diary

October 3 - Spoke with Camus today about my cookbook. Though he has never
actually eaten, he gave me much encouragement. I rushed home immediately to
begin work. How excited I am! I have begun my formula for a Denver omelet.

October 4 - Still working on the omelet. There have been stumbling blocks. I
keep creating omelets one after another, like soldiers marching into the sea,
but each one seems empty, hollow, like stone. I want to create an omelet that
expresses the meaninglessness of existence, and instead they taste like
cheese. I look at them on the plate, but they do not look back. Tried eating
them with the lights off. It did not help. Malraux suggested paprika.

October 6 - I have realized that the traditional omelet form (eggs and
cheese) is bourgeois. Today I tried making one out of cigarette, some coffee,
and four tiny stones. I fed it to Malraux, who puked. I am encouraged, but my
journey is still long.

October 10 - I find myself trying ever more radical interpretations of
traditional dishes, in an effort to somehow express the void I feel so
acutely. Today I tried this recipe:

     Tuna Casserole

     Ingredients:      1 large casserole dish

     Instructions:      Place the casserole dish in a cold oven. Place a
chair facing the oven and sit in it forever.  Think about how hungry you are.
When night falls, do not turn on the light.

While a void is expressed in this recipe, I am struck by its inapplicability
to the bourgeois lifestyle. How can the eater recognize that the food denied
him is a tuna casserole and not some other dish? I am becoming more and more

October 25 - I have been forced to abandon the project of producing an entire
cookbook. Rather, I now seek a single recipe which will, by itself, embody
the plight of man in a world ruled by an unfeeling God, as well as providing
the eater with at least one ingredient from each of the four basic food
groups. To this end, I purchased six hundred pounds of foodstuffs from the
corner grocery and locked myself in the kitchen, refusing to admit anyone.
After several weeks of work, I produced a recipe calling for two eggs, half a
cup of flour, four tons of beef, and a leek. While this is a start, I am
afraid I still have much work ahead.

November 15 - Today I made a Black Forest gateau out of five pounds of
cherries and a live beaver, challenging the very definition of the word
gateau. I was very pleased. Malraux said he admired it greatly, but would not
stay for dessert. Still, I feel that this may be my most profound achievement
yet, and have resolved to enter it in the Betty Crocker Bake-Off.

November 30 - Today was the day of the Bake-Off. Alas, things did not go as I
had hoped. During the judging, the beaver became agitated and bit Betty
Crocker's wrist. The beaver's powerful jaws are capable of felling blue
spruce in less than ten minutes and proved, needless to say, more than a
match for the tender limbs of America's favorite homemaker. I only got third
place. Moreover, I am now the subject of a rather nasty lawsuit.

December 1 - I have been gaining twenty-five pounds a week for two months,
and I am now experiencing light tides. It is stupid to be so fat. My pain and
ultimate solitude are still as authentic as they were when I was thin, but
seem to impress girls far less. From now on, I will live on cigarettes and
black coffee.

Note - reportedly written by Alastair Sutherland - ed.]

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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