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January 13, 2008

Benevolent God of Cooking

Filed under: Philosophy — Mr. Henry @ 4:17 pm

Buttercup says:

There is only one thing missing from this, the quintessential guide to home cooking hardware for newlyweds. That would be, of course, a picture of the Mr. Henry, the Benevolent God of Cooking to hang in the kitchen to over see the festivities of meal preparation!


Mr. Henry fears that his picture may not be benevolent enough for kitchen purposes. Long and thin, with deep-set eyes adorned by dark eyebrows, it suggests superciliousness and disapproval.

It is well known, too, that God has a beard, and Mr. Henry is clean shaven. Although he once sported a beard, it wasn’t God-like. The beard grew in his stripling youth when, for a critical review of brewed beverages, he needed to pass for 21 years of age.spinoza.gif

In Mr. Henry’s opinion, Buttercup is misguided. The Benevolent God of Cooking is a woman, or perhaps women.

Spinoza, Mr. Henry’s favorite philosopher, believed God was the sum of the universe itself, residing in everything animate and inanimate. Spinoza’s courageous apostasy left subsequent generations free to imagine a state uncoupled with God, a notion central to America’s founding fathers yet somehow forgotten today.

Like Spinoza, Mr. Henry here offers logical proof of his theorem:

First, like God, women are unknowable. Although he has spent most of his good thinking hours trying to penetrate the minds of women, Mr. Henry has come to believe the task beyond the feeble abilities of man.

Second, like God, women are everywhere. There is no corner of the world, no private club or association, no bastion of learning or of power where women are not found.

Third, like God, women are the fundamental creative force. From their own bodies women give issue to babies and the milk that nourishes them. Is it any wonder that primitive societies worship images of fecund women?

Fourth, like the B.P.O.E., women are benevolent and protective.

Fifth, no matter what, women can always rustle up some supper.

As a practical matter, women do most of the cooking in this world. Therefore, unless you yearn to see the next world very soon, you had best stay on good terms with the women who feed your body (as well as your soul). Pepper understands this precept profoundly.


  1. Oh, Mr. Henry. You are a smart man.

    Comment by Kit Pollard — January 14, 2008 @ 3:07 pm

  2. Very nice!

    Comment by Glinda — January 16, 2008 @ 12:11 am

  3. The Mr. Henry is not the benevolent God of Cooking? It’s a very elegant proof; I must admit I’ve never seen Spinoza mentioned in a cookbook. Perhaps the Mr. Henry is instead a lesser kitchen God; God of the Stovetop or God of the Chopping Block?

    Comment by buttercup — January 16, 2008 @ 12:34 am

  4. Au contraire, Buttercup. gives a few details of the delightful Moroccan ironwood, argania spinoza. To quote: “this tree has a hard fruit that produces a prized cooking oil”, thus validating Spinoza’s philosophy in a charming way. The oil is also used in beauty preparations, further validating Mr. Henry.

    Comment by Nickster — January 17, 2008 @ 3:18 pm

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