Saturday, April 13, 2024


First thing I do upon returning from the saltmines is fix myself a strong cup of coffee and switch on the computer. This soothes the nerves, ajangle all day because of the inane conversations. Then maybe prepare curry paste noodles with fatty meat and green river cabbage (清江菜 'ching gong choi'; Shanghai bokchoy), which is more stalky, and not as sweet as regular little bokchoy, as well as greener and crunchier.

Ginger, fenugreek, ground coriander seed, cumin, and fennel, toasted chilies, turmeric, black pepper, galangal, lemon grass, nutmeg, temu kuntji, djeruk perut. Kemiri. Shrimp paste.

Add a hefty sploodge of sambal.

It is quite likely that most Indians, Thais, Malays, and Singaporeans would be aghast at my reinterpretive amalgamatory variations on their food. Certainly Mr. K. at the restaurant was adamant that white people didn't know how to cook, and every Indian I know has strong but wrong opinions about food. Which is okay. I do not cook for them. I cook for me.

Years ago, when I still had a thing going with Savage Kitten, I would tone it down a few notches, and have a large blob of sambal of some sort in a small bowl for myself.
As the necessary augmentation of whatever I had made.
It is unreasonable to expect most people to have the same chili preferences.
It is lamentable that so many of them prefer sawdust.
Fat and starch, deepfried or boiled.

As I understand it, people in the Mid-West run screaming for the Canadian border if you wave a chili at them. Even bellpeppers are considered too spicy there. That's probably the effect of all that damned lutefisk and those baby food casseroles.

Marin County is, sadly, only slightly better.
I work there. Couldn't live there.
Not enough Mexico.

Back in 2016 some politician promised us taco trucks on every corner.
I'm still waiting for that, dammit.
Where are they?

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