You probably don’t know what Spirit Cooking is, and you probably don’t want to. But thanks to Wikileaks, which keeps releasing more and more emails to and from John Podesta — Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman — Spirit Cooking is in the news.
This particular email was from John’s brother Tony, asking if John will be in New York City on July 9 because famed performance artist Marina Abramovic wants to have dinner. Abramovic, if you’re unaware, is the artist who made a name for herself doing things like staring at people at the Museum of Modern Art for 750 hours straight and letting strangers do whatever they want to her passive body for six hours. You know, art.
As you might imagine, “dinner” with Abramovic is not your average fare. “I am so looking forward to the Spirit Cooking dinner at my place,” Abramovic wrote earlier to Tony. “Do you think you will be able to let me know if your brother is joining?”
The email is innocuous enough if you think that Spirit Cooking is cooking with spirits — you know, whiskey barbecue sauce, vodka penne, etc. Well — it’s not that. “Spirit Cooking,” it turns out, is a ritual Abramovic performs in the kitchen which “converts matter into energy for spirits.”
For our edification, in a 1997 video simply called “Spirit Cooking” Abramovic writes the instructions for spirit cooking — in pig blood on white walls. “Mix fresh breast milk with fresh sperm,” then “fresh morning urine sprinkle over nightmare dreams,” and then, finally, “with a sharp knife cut deeply into your middle finger, eat the pain.” (There’s no confirmation that John Podesta ever attended the dinner).
It’s a lot to take in. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Here at VinePair we thought we’d restore “Spirit Cooking” to its natural, non-semen self. Here are some dishes Podesta could have made in his own home without the occult-like ingredients.
Spicy Red Wine Spaghetti
Podesta could have stayed at home, drank half a bottle of wine and used the other half for spaghetti. Red spaghetti even stays (somewhat) with the blood red theme, since the noodles soak up the wine and come out a deep maroon color.
Beef And Dark Beer Chili
This one’s for when there just isn’t enough warmth and satisfaction in regular beef chili — just make sure the meat is beef, not some sort of mystery meat. Admittedly, Podesta got his invite in the summer months so chili might have been off the table, but the beer adds a little more umph that is enjoyable year round.
Maybe Podesta didn’t confirm his attendance because he had a hot date that night. In that case, he could have spiced it up and cooked with a vodka spirit (or whatever alcohol he prefers, so long as it’s one that lights on fire easily).