Black Ties, &
Mango Pies:

Stories and Recipes
From CIA Families
All Over the World

The Family Advisory Board of the CIA
(Community Communications)
Recipes from the CIA? Well --- why not? Even spooks have to eat. But we suspect the writers can't for a moment guess how very strange it all is: unworldly, really.

They casually talk of demonstrations, upheavals, bombs and gunshots on the streets outside --- and inside the U.S.-sponsored fortress walls, it's Pozole and hot Chicha Morada, served to people standing about in elegant high-fashion clothes, clutching their wine-glasses and talking about the servants.

The tone is light, the irony astounding --- and none of the contributors seems to get it. People were dying in the prisons of Guatemala, Iran, Chile, Dominican Republic because The Company is up to some hanky-panky, providing dirty tricks to do in variously democratically elected officials, and all they can think of is whether the Spicy Pancakes fell or got burned.

The recipes from the Middle East show no "Destabilizing Desserts" or "Mossadegh Mush-Cakes." Those from Central America give us no "Jacobo Arbenz Beaten Biscuits" nor "Juan Bosch Brownies," no "Desaparecido Frappés." From Cuba, we find no Bay-of-Pig-Pot-Pies, no "Steering-Wheel Surprise Empanizadas" --- certainly no exploding cigars with the desserts.

Tucked among the recipes like onions in the stew are supposedly funny stories in which the parents almost lose their CIA cover because the kids forget and blurt out something they shouldn't to the servants (CIA folks have to teach their children to lie, and lie to the servants, too).

There are stories that hint of "political demonstrations" and "general instability" outside the $10,000-a-month apartments --- and then the writers go on to make a list of ingredients for Traditional Hungarian Stew and Lumpia. Very curious.

What next for this publisher --- Community Communications? How about Vlad the Impaler's Own Favorite Specialty Cuts? Or Pol Pot's Naturally Potted Meats for the Gourmet Prison Chef? Maybe Piroski and Me: the Best of Josef Stalin's Ample Larder or, why not? --- The Adolf Hitler Naturopathic Vegetarian Cookbook?

--- Lolita Lark

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