Amy Scattergood is from Iowa. The poetry is here because she went to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and published a book of poetry, now out of print. The theological bits are here because she went to Yale Divinity School before that. The recipes and food stories are here because she also went to the California School of Culinary Arts and then was a staff writer at the Food Section of the Los Angeles Times before the Death of Newspapers. Is print journalism really dead? God, I hope not. But it’s sure online, which is where you can now find me–at LA Weekly’s food blog Squid Ink. I’m the editor.
This blog itself is here because, well, why not.
The title of the blog (A Thousand Bread, A Thousand Cattle) references a formula found on many Middle Kingdom Egyptian tomb inscriptions. It’s an ‘appeal to the living,’ a catalog of what goes with a person to the afterlife.
What would you take? Bread, cows, water, a boat, books and dogs and ghosts of all the living (to paraphrase Joyce) and the dead. A thousand of them.
The “Appeal to the Living” formula is found on many stelae from the Middle Kingdom onwards. A typical example can be found on the 12th Dynasty stela of the chamberlain Minnefer (year 29 of Amenemhet II).
|BM EA 829
|Translation||O living ones upon the earth, the hm-priests and hm-priestesses and the wab-priests of this temple
may you say, “A thousand (of) bread beer, oxen, and fowl for the revered one, the overseer of the chamber, Minnefer, the justified.