From "Le braiser" by Apollinaire
J’ai jeté dans le noble feu Que je transporte et que j’adore De vives mains et même feu Ce Passé ces têtes de morts Flamme je fais ce que tu veux I have cast into the noble fire Which I convey and which I worship Hands that are living and even dead This Past these death’s heads Flame I do what you wish
I’ve had an interest in brewing, fermentation, and distillation for a while now. My experience with the subject began a few years ago when I experimented with making mead, a fermented honey-wine, since then I’ve made a few more batches, each one better than the last. With each new experiment I can learn more about the way the process works, and refine my technique so as to make the product a...
Quiche, a wonder food
Last night was my night to cook dinner, which is normally a happy time for me but this week I was a little sad because I couldn’t afford to go out and buy a bunch of yummy ingredients as I hadn’t been payed yet. So, after discovering a pre-made pie-crust in the freezer, I decided to make quiche, which is really just leftover bits of veggies and egg plopped into a crust. I decided to use the...
Life is pretty miserable when it’s too hot to travel anywhere. Frown.
Another cabbage convert
For as long as I can remember I’ve loved cabbage, well, my dad’s cabbage. He cuts up the leafy green and sautees it in butter. This is really the only way I like it to be prepared, I’ve never had boiled cabbage but I imagine it would be mushy and gross. I had a couple friends of mine over the other night for dinner. I was planning on cooking herb roasted potatoes, cabbage, and soda bread (a nice...
Mushroom marinara and mushy lettuce
Last night’s dinner was a success in some ways and a bit of a disappointment in others. First off, I made a wonderful mushroom marinara served over angel-hair pasta. Basically I caramelized onions in a little olive oil (I would have used butter but we were having vegan dinner guests, grr vegans), and once they were starting to turn brown I added the chopped mushrooms (I just used button but any...
Midsummer and over-consumption
I’m still recovering from our food group (CPG) meeting last night. The theme was a midsummer feast (not quite on the midsummer but I’ll let it go) consisting of 10 courses, and by the end of the meal at about 11ish I was ready to curl up and die, happily that is, as I had just eaten my own body weight in delicious and varied foods. We started the meal with an appetizer of lumpia, a Filipino dish...
Hey ya’ll, enjoy reading the rantings of a crazy person? Well you should follow my newly created blog Satre’s Supple Teat for your daily dose of foul mouthed philosophical nonsense n’ shit. Ta-ta, Brandon
Prayer after eating
Wendell Berry is perhaps my favorite poet slash essayist slash economic critic slash farmer, his poems reflect the same sort of ideal that I have, that working the land is good for the spirit and can serve as a great source of poetic inspiration. A favorite poem of his is called “Prayer after Eating.” For me it invokes mindfulness, being aware of the world around, most especially while cooking and...
Today is Thursday, which means that tonight le Club des Plaisirs Gourmands is meeting! CPG, as we call it, is the food group I started last year to basically force myself to cook something good at least once a week. I’m a lot better these days about cooking and I have CPG to thank for that. Anyway, I’ll write up a post about CPG another time, but for now let’s talk about...
Ode to vegetarian chili
Just kidding, I’m not so good at writing odes, so this is going to be more like a speech I would present at some vegetarian chili honoring ceremony, probably in Texas somewhere, likely Austin as it’s vegetarian. So Just imagine for a moment that we’re in a big room somewhere, perhaps in a fancy hotel? perhaps in the back room of a restaurant? There are loads of people in fancy dress, black suits...
Quaker quote of the day
“The first Friends had an apocalyptic vision of the world transformed by Christ and they set about to make it come true. The present generation of Quakers shares this conviction of the power of the spirit, but it is doubtful whether it will transform the world in our lifetime, or in that of our children or children’s children. For us it is not so important when the perfect world will...
On gardening and self sufficiency
Today I’m making plans for a winter garden, that will include cooler weather plants to be grown in the autumn and those wonderful leafy greens I love so much that hopefully will survive through the winter if covered up with plastic. There’s something calming about planning out a garden, knowing that you’re breaking ground, using it for its true purpose which is to spring forth with life. Knowing...
Tradition! Somehow I think that song from The Fiddler on the Roof should be playing, it seems appropriate. For me traditions are those little things in our lives that we do, and hopefully enjoy doing, that we don’t really know we’re doing, it just sort of happens. Traditions and cooking go hand-in-hand all the time, in some families more than others, but I think wherever there’s a child learning...
My ever changing mind
I cooked dinner last night, but my plan changed quite a bit. I ended up making dhal, rice, and poached tilapia, rather than what I had posted a few days ago. It seems my ever changing mind has caught up with me once again. I guess that’s one of my frustrations when it comes to cooking, that I can never really decide what I want to make, and I never really use recipes so what I plan to cook...
Coffee, my old friend
Well it wasn’t long before I had to have a cup of the black stuff. The gritty creativity fuel. The keep you awake and in high spirits broth. The fuck you to drowsiness juice. The bitter, nutty, elixir of life. Whoa, sorry I must have slipped into an adjective loop. So sorry about that. But as I expected I’ve started drinking coffee again. Not the 7-8 cups I was having a few months ago of course. I...
Just thought of the next dinner I want to cook, here’s the plan: Haricots verts: with caramelized onions and mushrooms Milk poached Tilapia: with an almond and herb crumble on top and for dessert: Sugar glazed blood oranges: cooked with mint and rosewater It looks like I’m going to get to cook this Wednesday, so I’ll give you an an update on how it went, and I’ll...
The last time I cooked anything resembling a meal was Thursday night (I believe) when I made the Moroccan/Mexican mash-up. I haven’t had the will to cook the past few days as our a/c has been out, and cooking involves, you know, heating up the stove and then consuming hot food. No thanks, I’ll stick with cereal. Last night I almost made some dhal, I even had the pan out and ready,...
Just a moment
Excuse me while I take a moment or two to share something with you. It’s the dream I have for my life, that I might one day be able to eat my way through entire cities, moving from one end to the other like some giant Caterpillar, consuming whatever lovely and delicious things that I might find. I went yesterday to visit my friend David, who I wasn’t 100% sure knew I was back in town from India....
Moroccan, Mexican jumble
So I’m planning dinner for tonight, it’ll be the first meal I’ve cooked since getting back to the States, and I’m planning a Moroccan/Mexican mash up. Here’s the menu: Shrimp chermoula: shrimp marinated in a thick chermoula sauce of cilantro, onions, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon. Served with warm corn tortillas. Rice pilaf: with...
The fate of my blog
So I figure this would be as good of a time as any to talk about the fate of this blog. I’ve put so much effort into it that I really hate to just leave it stranded out here in the ocean of the internet, so I’ve decided to keep it going as a sort of food adventure blog. I’m almost 100% positive that I’ll be eating more strange and wonderful things as I make my way through...
Finally got around to developing the photos from my trip. Posted a bunch to the blog, but you can see the full set on my flickr page. More to come.
On Indian food
So I’m a gourmand, what of it? Food is a big part of my life, it’s the whole reason why I started the CPG (clud des plaisirs gourmands) which is the food club I’m a part of. Basically I wanted to give myself and others a reason to cook, because let’s face it, I can be pretty lazy sometimes. Some days I’m happy eating cereal for most of my meals, which isn’t bad! I’m just saying, maybe cooking...
Just a few strange happenings to report since getting back to the States. Take this as a sort of conclusion to my adventure in India, the closing statements on a memorable voyage. The first happening was before I even left Bilaspur, when Amrita notified me that her father would be accompanying me to Raipur as he had business there. There was a brief moment of panic that I tried to not let show....
Hey ya’ll just a quick update, I’m finally back in the States (after many adventures that will be typed up later) and I’m relaxing at my parents’ house. Ta-ta for now my sweeties, Brandon
I’m leaving Bilaspur today, the plan is to take a car to Raipur then catch a flight to Delhi. I’ll hang around Delhi tonight and most of the day tomorrow, then fly back to the States. And with that the trip will be over, at least this part of the trip. The voyage in general will continue on as long as I want to still have adventures, and that part of me is still very young. So this...
The last days
Alright, so here’s the scoop, I’m leaving in three days. By that I mean, yes, I’m leaving India and heading back to the US. “But didn’t you just get there!?” you might be asking, and the answer is yes I did, but now I’m leaving. I’d planned on staying longer (erm, a lot longer) but the universe told me otherwise, and so I’ve made arrangements to head back home on Monday. That’s not to say this...
If you ever have the chance to travel to India (which I hope all of you will) make sure to try every fruit you can get your hands on. I assure you it’ll be worth it! Although, you might want to wait a week or so and allow your stomach time to adjust to the new diet you’re putting inside of it, and make sure to always always wash fruits and vegetables with BOTTLED WATER, this is very important as...
One of the important truths I think we all have to learn about the big “L” word (life) is that sometimes we’re going to face brick walls, blockages in our lives where we feel ourselves getting stuck. What’s on the other side of the wall? Well it’s our lives, our happiness, everything that we want for ourselves, we just have to learn how to either move around these walls (the long road) or break...
Thinking about food
So I’m sitting here thinking about none other than, food! Well, it’s about 1pm here and I really haven’t eaten that much today. I had some tea and biscuits in bed this morning, then a bowl of kitcharee, which for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s basically flat rice cooked with spices, nuts, and moong beans. A nice and hearty breakfast that lasts...
Post # 5
Well we just rolled into Bilaspur after a long trek from Chennai, but here’s what happened before getting here. Yesterday was by far one of the most boring days I’ve ever had to live through. Luckily I was able to live through it, but unluckily it looks like I’m going to have some more boring days ahead of me. The problem is that I get very unsettled when I’m stuck in a place for too...
I have just a brief complaint I’d like to make, and it’s against spicy food. It’s odd because back home in the States I can eat lots and lots of spicy foods, which I do, and be okay, maybe just have a slight tummy ache depending on the level of spiciness, but generally I’m able to still function. Here, even the slightly spicy food gives me awful heartburn and stomach...
Just a thought
It’s just a thought, but I think that the title of my blog, ‘I’m only here for the food’ is actually quite acurate as it’s the only thing I’m really ever thinking about, that or tea, of course. Even when I’ve been feeling not so well in the stomach department I’ve still been thinking about the next meal as soon as I start feeling better. It’s...
A brief note on tea
I think I mentioned in another post the differences I’ve found in North and South Indian teas. Over dinner last night Bhasker had some interesting things to share. He said that the South Indian variety is actually the lowest grade tea you can get. As Indian tea goes, the finest tea comes from the very topmost leaves of the plant, after harvesting, these leaves are then halved, the top...
Post # 4
When last I left you all I think I was waiting to see if the mystery meat was going to digest or try to escape from my body. Well you’ll be happy to know that even though I lost what little appetite I had for a while I didn’t get sick. It’s really a testament to the strength of my stomach I suppose. After an hour or so Amrita came back to the room after taking a walk, and we decided to check out...
Post # 3
Here’s just a quick update since arriving in Pondicherry, Planned to leave the house Sunday morning around 4:30am, Bhasker said he would drive, overslept till around 9am, decided not to go, so me and Amrita took the bus from Chennai to Pondicherry. Took forever to get out of Chennai, the trip that would have been 2 hours by car that morning took 3. Saw lots of coconut palms, mango trees,...
Food # 1
Alright, I’ve written up a much longer post about food, but I feel like I can’t not talk about what I’ve eaten the past couple of days so here it is, briefly: Thursday dinner: white basmati rice and fresh yogurt (because of my upset tum tum) Friday breakfast: Dosa (look it up) with coconut chutney, sambar (look it up) and yogurt, oh and of course TEA! ‘ Friday lunch: in...
While I’m in the thinking mood, here’s another one. I love Indian ceiling fans, they look like airplane propellers, are strong enough to cool an entire room, and I hate to think about what they would do to the unfortunate body part that met with their blades. Of course, in Indian houses the ceilings are a lot taller, so I don’t think that I’d be able to have one installed...
Just a thought
I’m looking forward to traveling to Pondicherry even more now that I realize that it was once owned by the French, so yes, that means I’ll be able to practice speaking a bit. Yay! It’s nice knowing that I have some sort of usefulness.
Post # 2
I should really rename this blog “How India’s trying to kill me” as I’ve had one bad moment after the next for the past three days now. For the first day it was being incredibly tired and have lots of, erm, stomach issues. Then, as soon as I could start to eat again I wake up last night with the worst heartburn of my life, seriously, I’m still feeling it a bit this...
Post # 1
Oh India, I’ve fallen in love with you again, despite the heat that makes me want to curl up and die. Actually, right now it’s not too bad, as it’s 5 in the morning and raining. Unfortunately my sleep cycle’s a bit off, I was so tired yesterday that I slept most of the day which means I didn’t really sleep much last night. I’m looking forward to having a hectic...
I’ve quickly found out that updating this blog will be harder than I expected, so here’s the plan: everyday I plan on writing down my thoughts in a journal which I will publish when I get back. But, I will be posting updates every few days of what’s been going on lately. Ta-ta for now, Brandon
It’s 3:50 in the morning here, and I’m at my parents’ house eating a bowl of cereal waiting to leave for the airport. I imagine this will be the last bowl of cereal I’ll have for a while so I’m trying to savor it. I really started noticing my apprehension toward this trip for the first time this morning. I think that I could honestly be convinced out of going at...
Since quitting coffee tea has become my new lover. But, like Okakura Kakuzo said in The Book of Tea: “There is a subtle charm in the taste of tea which makes it irresistible and capable of idealization…It has not the arrogance of wine, the self-consciousness of coﬀee, nor the simpering innocence of cocoa.” For me tea is like a good friend, who, three times a day visits with a smiling face to...