Monthly Archives: October 2012

reading roundup: 19 September 2012

This post was delayed by my travels to New Orleans. Here’s what I was reading before I left!

I watched the paralympics closing ceremony (admittedly, to see my favorite band playing, won’t lie) and completely missed the druidic elements, so… a pleasant surprise! Some of the comments are illuminating as well, particularly the discussion about how much more well-accepted paganism is in England as opposed to the United States.

A very negative tone towards “superstition” but a very interesting phenomenon; the Thai army is looking to protect themselves against black magic and sorcery. So they are turning to amulets and talismans to do so.

This fascinating interview with Jack Haberstam (you may know him better by the name Judith) isn’t directly related to magic at first glance, but I think a lot of queer theory has a lot to say to modern magic. Since I am specifically interested in questions of queer & trans* magic, I’m always interested in the way that naming, being gendered, and self-identifying have powerful, magical components (isn’t one of the most common magical acts to pick your own magical name?).

A good, if dated, overview of “paganisms” and their relationship to each other. I’m much in favor of designating “paganisms” (or even “neopaganisms”) as an umbrella term over “paganism” as some monolith.

Why does anyone get into the practice of magic? Frater Barrabbas explores how we can enter into magical and esoteric research and practice with selfish motives and find more than we bargained for… when I first started exploring magic academically in 2007, I was exploring largely out of curiosity (and I admit, now with some embarrassment, I read a lot of cheesy, badly written ’90s books about Wicca because they were funny in an awkward, MST3K sort of way) but quickly found I was already doing magic and magical principles, once applied, started creeping in everywhere around me in every day life.


Gluten-Free Eating In New Orleans

One of the reasons the blog has been unattended to for the past few weeks is that my partner and I just returned from a research trip to New Orleans. She was in pursuit of questions of history, I was looking at voodoo and magic. As we are both gluten intolerant, the trip seemed initially like it was going to be a difficult one, but with a bit of luck (and googling) we stumbled upon some great places to eat between visiting places like the 1850s House and Voodoo Authentica. Though this blog isn’t dedicated to gluten-free eats, since it is my public internet space, I thought I’d do a favor to any gluten-free magicians and magical researchers looking to eat down in one of America’s most supernatural cities.

Have Breakfast (and lunch!) in the French Market at Meals From The Heart Cafe. With nearly everything on the menu gluten-free or gluten-free adaptable, and marked as such on their menues, these wonderful people will love to take care of you. Take a chair at the counter and enjoy breakfast in the form of gluten-free blueberry pancakes (some of the best I’ve ever had!), an omelette, or cheesy grits with gluten-free toast, and turkey sausage. Drink some of their delicious creole coffee or enjoy the cheapest bottle of water you’ll find in the city ($1 flat, and ice cold). If you’re in a lunch-y type mood, try one of the amazing salads, or the tilapia tacos in a gluten-free shell, ESPECIALLY recommended. Let them know you’re gluten-free and they’ll make sure you don’t accidentally order anything you can’t eat. They’ll offer you really helpful advice on where to go, what to see, and what to eat, if you ask nicely, as well. We ate there every morning and one afternoon, and by our last day got a free meal after filling out their meal card.

There’s some great salad lunches at Napoleon House. Let them know you can’t eat wheat and enjoy a tuna-avocado salad or a really good green salad with grilled chicken. And have a pimm’s cup, a delicious lemon and cucumber flavored cocktail.

If you’re up on Magazine Street, stop in Byblos and tell the waitstaff you can’t eat wheat. Try having an appetizer of hummus with fresh vegetables to dip, and enjoy an inexpensive dinner by ordering a mixed kebab plate for two. Don’t miss out on their grilled lamb and fish, both of which were amazing. There’s good people-watching in the front of the restaurant, as well, always a bonus!

Finish your shopping on Magazine Street by stopping at sucre, an amazing desserts shop that does amazing almond macarons & gelato. We ate 16 macarons from sucre by the time we were done in New Orleans! So much for self control, their interesting macaron flavors included blackberry and lemon, cafe ole, and peanut butter and jelly.

If you want a really great meal and can afford a slightly higher pricepoint, finish your trip with a stop at John Besh’s amazing restaurant Luke, in the Central Business District next to the Hilton hotel. If you plan on going at a busy time or day, consider making a reservation, though we walked in at 7PM on a Tuesday night and were seated without trouble. The waitstaff are very well-informed about food allergies, so tell them you can’t eat wheat, and be surprised and delighted by all the options available to you. Split a tomato salad appetizer made with goat cheese mousse, or try what my partner and I ate; fresh grilled fish with vegetables and potatoes, or an amazing charcuterie plate with 3 different kinds of sausages, the best roasted potatoes I’ve ever had, and 2 different dipping mustards.

We will return to your regularly-posted link round-ups and various research thoughts soon!