Cooking with Elijah Muhammad

I was rooting around in a box of Nation of Islam paraphernalia the other day when I came across a wonderful book by Elijah Muhammad (the self-described "Messenger of Allah") called "How to Eat to Live." (I pulled out the box, by the way, because I noticed the presence of the execrable Malik Zulu Shabazz at the Jeremiah Wright press spectacle, and the sight of him made me nostalgic for my days covering the Nation. It was Malik Zulu Shabazz who once called me a lox-eating Jewboy. Which, though offensive, contained an element of truth.)

"How to Eat to Live" -- which Elijah Muhammad said was handed down to him from God through Master Fard Muhammad, the mystery man at the center of Nation theology -- is about the Fruit of Islam, quite literally. Each page has wonderful advice about diet and cooking, and I thought I would feature some of his comments on this blog from time to time. Here he is on some foods to avoid: "Do not eat the swine flesh. It is forbidden by the divine law of Allah (God). Do not eat field peas, black-eyed peas, speckled peas, red peas or brown peas. Do not eat lima beans, or baby limas. Do not eat any bean but the small navy bean -- the little brown pink ones, and the white ones."

I'm not with him on the pea issue, but we're one on the matter of swine. Tomorrow, why Elijah Muhammad hated hogs.