Bloomsday celebrates one day in the life of Leopold Bloom, the fictional protagonist and antihero of James Joyce's Ulysses.
Celebrants not unlike those who reenact the American Civil War can be found in every corner of the world re-enacting Bloom’s day out with Molly. Many of these Joyceans don’t realise what they are actually commemorating is Bloom’s first sexual favour bestowed upon him in the form of a hand job by future wife Molly.
Excerpts from Ulysses outlining Mr. Bloom's peregrinations and encounters on June 16, 1904. (Bloomsday) collected by
Ellen Kanner. in her Huffington post column.
"Don't eat a beefsteak. If you do the eyes of that cow will pursue you through all eternity."
After overhearing this remark while meandering the streets of Dublin, Mr. Leopold Bloom, whom we discover "ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liver slices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencod's roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine." ( it’s offal good!); pops into Burtons on Duke Street for lunch, smells "pungent meatjuice," sees a fellow diner "chump chop from the grill. Bolting to get it over," witnesses another man ordering "One corned and cabbage," and takes his leave. "Couldn't eat a morsel here."
He heads to Davy Byrne's Pub on Grafton Street, an establishment which still exists today, where he orders a Gorgonzola sandwich, salad and a glass of wine. "Mr. Bloom ate his strips of sandwich, fresh clean bread. . . pungeant mustard, the feety savour of green cheese. Sips of his wine soothed his palate." Completely sated, Bloom reaches the conclusion, "After all there's a lot in that vegetarian fine flavour of things from the earth."
The gorgonzola cheese gives this sandwich all the flavor it needs. Serve with Italian olives and a small green salad with sliced cucumbers and a pure olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing.
Bloomsday Gorgonzola Sandwich
2 thick slices of Irish soda bread
Chinese mustard (or Grey's Poupon Dijon)
1 fat slab of Gorgonzola cheese
A few leafs of butter-head lettuce
Beefsteak tomato slices
Sweet butter, softened
Fresh ground black pepper
Take the slices of bread and lightly spread a bit of the butter. Slather the mustard over this. Arrange 2 leaves of lettuce over this concoction, then thin slices of the tomato, and top with the cheese. Get those wrists moving and punctuate with a good grind of black pepper.
As Julia would say, Bon Appetit!