Wednesday 28 October 2015

When a Hummer isn't even the worst thing

In hindsight maybe I should have taken the black Hummer on the Spigelstraat as a bad omen. But at the time, how’re you meant to know? Maybe it was just an asshole driving a tank up a 17th century street. Sometimes it’s hard to tell.

And then there’s always the chance that the two events were far away enough from each other to be disconnected. After all, it was hours between the Hummer and the first time I felt drippingly guilty about my dinner dying for me. Something entirely different to how I felt butchering a lamb, which shouldn’t be taken the wrong way.

Nonetheless, omen or no omen, you need not wait around for your own. Just don’t eat at Braai.

Saturday 24 October 2015

We ate many mushrooms in France

We ate many mushrooms in France. We ate orange chanterelle schmoored down in drip drip butter and entire heads of garlic smoosh-smoosh in pan hot and swipe the pan clean with pieces of pan-toasty bread with chop chop parsley. And then out of the pan with our hands for breakfast the next day.

We ate brain-spongy morilles hidden half in somewhat soggy omelettes and drowned in jus under lamb chops from French lambs.

We seared more chanterelle in more butter and ate big bowls of them with still-chewey barley. On top we put perfect temperature comté because we were where comté comes from and we didn’t have a fridge.

Another time we grilled them and put once-chopped parsley and lemon juice squeezed on them.


Wednesday 21 October 2015

Memory steaks

I remember the adults looking at her. My sister had just ordered a $40 sandwich. She was 8. Sure, this was Smith and Wollensky, New York, the 90s, and the sandwich was more steak than sandwich. And ok, this sandwich has since shaped my dreams and, more often than not, frustrated my expectations. But she was still an 8 year old ordering a $40 sandwich in a, if not the, quintessential New York steak house, built on the bones of countless cows for big men wielding big knives, big accounts, Brook’s Brothers suits, and a napkin around their necks. And she didn’t blink an eyelid. And she ate it all.


Monday 19 October 2015

When farm to table literally means a table on a farm

The lamb was killed the day before and hung. You can't eat an animal right away because of rigor mortis, the stiffening that sets in after death.

Remove the head right before the first vertebrae from the top of where the neck starts. The higher up you go, the more neck meat you'll have. And neck meat is good.

Cut the skin around the legs and pull down, easing it with a knife. Find the white film on the under side of the skin and cut with it.


Thursday 15 October 2015

Pope Francis Says There's a Place for Animals in Heaven

The brain was someone’s baby but if you don’t have a soul, do you count? Catholic animals don’t have souls*, which I learned at a catholic christening for a real baby with a soul, sin, correct amount of feet and all. But the church was the next day and I didn’t know about the soul thing when I was sautéing the brains, thinking about babies.

On p.314 in De Dikke van Dam under ‘brain’, Johannes van Dam says that in Papua New Guinea, fathers used to have to kill a man they knew the name of and eat his brain on the baptism of their child. He says that on the (Dutch) colonists’ suggestion that they stop, they were dismayed. How were they name their young?

Friday 9 October 2015

On killing yourself for free stuff and Hot Toddies (Chai and Tahini Hot Chocolate)

Free stuff comes to those who persevere and I had persevered for a whole week. ‘Free’ is a relative term though and relative, in this instance, to carrying the stuff down 10 flights of stairs and up one, door handle or no door handle.

We still have our door handle.

Free stuff gets you into situations you wouldn’t be in for all the money in the world. This is how we ended up locked into a storage unit terrain at exactly the same time a group that looked nothing if not criminal were depositing/collecting/god knows their guns/drugs/god knows.

We left without the trailer.

Free stuff means you’re not choosing things but trusting things. Trusting that either it will fit through the door or the rain will stop so that you don’t have to leave the thing you didn’t choose to be suede under a tarp in the rain. Rain isn’t good for suede and tarps aren’t magic.

We got it through the door.

Free stuff is always exciting and we were excited so we planned a meal around the occasion. We were to get a free couch and so we were to eat our first dinner on the couch and let dinner cook whilst we were out getting the couch.

We were out getting the couch longer than expected.

We had burned our dinner.

I’d gotten a cold.

We didn’t eat our dinner on the couch (suede is hard to clean anyway).

We drank Hot Toddies.

Here's a recipe for our Hot Toddy and more on the couch drinks.


Monday 5 October 2015

Domaine Pechigo 'Le Blanc' 2009

I never thought I’d write about wine. I know basically nothing about wine, and when it all just tastes like ‘wine,’ what’s there to say? 

Except, apparently, they don’t. Recently I’ve had wines that taste like raspberry-cherry lightening, almond lava flow and chalkboards, respectively. I’ve done blackberry jello shots poolside and watched galaxies unfold lying on my back lakeside. And I’ve definitely drunk stuff that tastes like beer. 

Apparently these ‘other’ wines are ‘natural wines,’ and evidently the guys making them are doing something different. So different that their wines don’t taste like ‘wine’. And so suddenly it’s not about wine and I have something to say.

Tasting notes:

“Le Blanc” tastes like sunshine. Like light streaming through trees and bruised apples in a basket. Like the stuff you imagine Hummingbirds are into: something very viscous with a lot of guava / lychee / pineapple / nectarine in it on a lot of ice with a lot of straws. Like something alive and rotting and in a rush.


“Le Blanc” 2009
Domaine Pechigo 
Chardonnay + Chenin Blanc + Mauzac  
Languedoc -Roussillon 

Post updated with a picture I took from Rødder & Vin because, like normal people, I wasn't taking pictures of wine in 2015. 

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