Saturday, April 04, 2015

IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT -- DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW?

For the first time in a long while I have no plans to do anything social on Saturday night. Normally I would head down to the cigar bar to taunt the natives with my fine pipe and tobacco, but the regular host at that excellent venue took the night off, possibly to paint Easter Eggs.

If I were a family man, or good around the "sensitives", this would not be a problem, because this night is somewhat different than all other nights.
If you're Christian, you are preparing for a massive guilt-trip tomorrow morning with your entire family, followed by over-indulging in hard-boiled eggs and thoroughly mediocre chocolate. All really nasty.
And if you are Jewish, you're' very likely rushing through the narrative of liberation right now, enthusiastically looking forward to sinking your chompers into some matzah. Flat and crunchy.
Mmmm, scrumptious matzah.
Two nights in a row.
Six more to go!
Mmmm.


Being a single middle-aged pipe-smoking bachelor, and disgruntlable to boot, plus possibly rabid, I am not suitable for anything involving large groups of people, plus eggs, happy-happy, or flat-bread.
And sensitive people may weep.

Or gnash teeth.


I have good reason to believe that whoever will be tending bar at the Occidental this evening will be either symbolically representative of gastric distress or almost certainly suffering its consequences.
Possibly due to eggs, or crunchy flat bread.
Or maybe just a she-camel.
Consequently I can understand why a number of other people will not be going there either.

When the bowels kick in, the brain shuts down.



ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!

So, having nothing better to do, I intend to spend all evening rereading cookbooks remarkably suited to the temperament of badgers.
Happy edibles, the stuff that makes the puritans scowl.
Delicacies imbued with sweetness and light.
Civilized stuff indeed.


FRANCE -- A CULINARY JOURNEY
This is a big lavishly illustrated tour through the Gallic worlds with easy to follow recipes for classic preparations. Years ago I found it inspiring, even after rereading it several times.


INDIAN FOOD -- A HISTORICAL COMPANION
An in-depth discourse on what people in the subcontinent ate in ages past, and what they eat today, with numerous translations from Indian literary sources, and copious diagrams and photos. One of my all-time favourite food-reads.


KAIKAI ANIANI --A GUIDE TO BUSH FOODS, MARKETS, AND CULINARY ARTS OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Years ago I brought this in to work after the Arkansas Chicken Ranch Cannibals episode of the X-Files. The statuesque and not particularly bright blonde in the first cubicle outside the accounting office was disgusted, horrified, and darn-near hysterical upon seeing it, and would have reported me, except she had no clue what her complaint would be. I tried to explain to her that despite her extremely limited intellect, she did NOT qualify as bush meat. Not even in California.


THE MAN WHO ATE EVERYTHING
Not a book that describes me in anyway, as I have virtually no food phobias or hang-ups, and consequently no comestible ever challenged me in the same way as for the author. Still, fascinating, and absorbing.


LOBSCOUSE AND SPOTTED DOG
Boiled baby, spotted dicks and dogs, and short French bastards. As well as numerous things you can do with treacle. This is English naval cuisine at its finest.
Lobscouse and Spotted Dog is the kind of food book that drives you into the kitchen or to drink.


A boiled baby is a fairly standard suet pudding, by the way. As with many things, nutmeg (or mace) is essential. The main difference with a spotted dick is that if any dried fruits are used, they are minor players at best, and best not included at all.
Like the dick, it can be served with runny custard.
Or treacle. Treacle is also good.

It's very English.


To drink with your baby: a glass of Marsala wine.

Coffee and a good smoke afterwards.

I would suggest Capstan.

Happy smokes.




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