Friday, 27 November 2009

Mixed Naan: When Fusion Food Doesn't Work

At the restaurant last night, the "mixed naan" was advertised as having "green chillies, minced lamb, cheese".

If the thought of cheese and lamb makes you a little queasy - and it should - then you may have assured yourself with the thought that this was an Indian restaurant, and would surely use paneer, that slightly sour cheese that works so well in Indian cooking.

You would probably not expect cheddar cheese melted on top of the bready-meaty-spicy platter.

Putting aside practical considerations - how did they manage to cook that on the inside of a tandoor oven?, for instance - this was, simply - obviously, a Bad Idea.

So bad, indeed, that my Naan Partner took one bite, and discarded her share. I managed to eat around that cheese that I couldn't scrape off.

Define: Naan Partner

It goes like this: at a social setting involving food, conversation naturally ebbs and flows between those in one's immediate vicinity at table. As menu choices are made, as the waiter (or waitress) takes food orders, common ground is established; alliances are negotiated. Natural groupings form as people spontaneously find someone else that wants to order the same type of naan (or rice) as them, and short-term food sharing arrangements are instigated.

These apparently simple pacts hide subtle complexities like: who should make the first tear? Does one take an approximate half in one go? Or repeatedly return to the plate, tearing at the bready deliciousness with increasingly stained fingers?

See also: Rice Partner

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Smart Thursday

Since I instigated Smart Thursday, several months ago, colleagues have begun to navigate the week by my wardrobe. It has inculcated a visceral, habitual reaction. They're setting their watch by me, effectively.

On Tuesday this week, one colleague remarked that it wasn't Thursday, and they were startled to see me Smart, and were then disappointed that the next day wasn't Friday.

On Wednesday, another colleague (apparently thinking it was Thursday), was mock-outraged, demanding to know why I wasn't Smart, what had happened to the world, what was going on?

Today, a third colleague wandered past and remarked, "Oh it must be Thursday."

It's nice.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Awesome 3-course dinner

As cooked by the Sparkly One this very evening.

To start:

Parmesan-and-roasted-parsnip soup, made from local organic veggies.

The main course:

Fillet of beef wrapped in porcini and prosciutto; pommes dauphinoise;
carrots & greens.

For dessert:

Pear and apple pie; custard

And to drink (the Sparkly One can take no credit for this one, alas):

Beyerskloof Reserve Pinotage 2007

I can take no credit for the wine, either, as it was brought by our dinner guests.