Friday, November 20, 2020


What does a normal man do on a cold evening when the bus is late and he cannot go to Chinatown because all the shops will be closed by the time he gets there? He returns home and fixes himself lunch: a nice hot cup of tea, and a large plate of bami goreng.
Noodles, veggies, meat scraps, and yellow curry paste.
Plus sambal. No fried egg.

[Bami: (肉麵) a Hokkien Chinese, Indonesian, Dutch, and Surinamese word for wheat noodles which stand up well to brisk hot treatment. I did not have kwetiau (粿條), which could also have been used. Kwetiaua goreng. Kwetiau are called 河粉 ('ho fan') in Cantonese. Sadly missing: little lovely meatballs, called bakso (肉酥) in Hokien.]

A fried egg would have made it totally Dutch
Overkill, if you ask me.

Waiting for the bus was enlivened by three barking loonies on the main drag nearby. Not one, not two, but three of them at the same time, independent of each other.

[Explanation for Dutch readers: 'a barking loony' is een luidruchtige krankzinnige medemens, zoal hier nogal veel wild loslopen. Nee, niet een Republiekein, daar hebben wij wel ander woorden voor.]

Like many people who eat alone, my cooking is based on the tastes and appetites of a normal middle-aged Dutchman.

Which was inevitable. Somewhat spicy, fatty meats, garlic - ginger - scallion, and hot sauce or sambal. Not much use of coconut milk, as the small tins are stupid and wastefull, the larger tins contain too much, and it doesn't refrigerate well. Use of ketjap manis if at hand -- and I should make some more soon -- as well as fish sauce (Three Crabs Brand).

[Dinner Wednesday: Rice pilaf with vegetables, potato, egg, and spices. Also eaten this week: cheesy bread with hot sauce. Bacon with hot sauce. Vegetables stirfried with small meats and chilies. Fish paste greens. Cheese (dabbed with hot sauce). Plus cookies.]

Recently two fellow pipe smokers had a conversation about food on my Facebook page.

Of which here are the highlights:

"Deep-fried possum with a side of poke salat. Deep-fried watermelon."

"In Scotland it would be deep-fried with sheep guts. And a Mars bar."

"A local delicacy is a 'pea fritter' a lump of mushy peas, the size of a tennis ball, battered and deep fried."

"A personal favorite is deep fried ice cream. Amazing how you can get a hot, crunchy outside and a frozen inside! Now here, yet another delicacy is similar to your pea fritter but done with corn instead. I can eat those all day (of course, I also eat grits, a delicacy available almost everywhere yet only properly cooked in the American South)."

"Biscuits and gravy."

"Grits cooked outside of the original delineations of Mason and Dixon simply aren't as good (and "grits" cooked within 100 miles of New York City are an abomination). Biscuits and gravy is a completely different level. First (and I can honestly cite reasons for this, but it's based on the flour) you must begin with Southern-baked biscuits. Then get some ground sausage and cook them up. Use the grease to make a nice, peppery gravy (I'll presume that those outside of the South know the basics of gravy production), and mix the sausage back in. Ladle it over the biscuits. Eat, and welcome to Heaven. Tell your kids to hush up, and get off my lawn."

I have no idea whether either man is married. Judging by the fact that no Dutch ingredients or foods are mentioned, my guess would be that they are, and I do know that one of them has a "younger daughter" (which implies the existence of plural gedohtra).
That could be an accident.

Shan't ask.

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