Wednesday, 26 September 2007 by Dr Maytel
Tuesday, 25 September 2007 by Hasselhoff'd
Well let me tell you of some of the beastly things done to the pint during the Great War of 1914-1918 in the United Kingdom...
To start with, the great social exercise of buying drink rounds for friends was banned, known as' treating'. Each person could only purchase one drink at a time.
More interestingly and probably rather logical, having a mid-shift 'afternoon break' (read: let's 'ead off to the pub for a cheeky larger, then finish our batch of tank shell casings) was banned.
Pubs near munitions factories were taken under state control, their hours shortened from 17 per day, to only 5.
Women were employed to roll beer barrels, wash casks and do malting, due to the loss of 40% of the male labour force to the war effort. Sidney Neville of Brandon's pub in Putney, commented that the only problem with the hiring of some surprisingly efficient female workers was that the cellarmen would often complain about their foul language.
Lloyd George, the British PM at the time - for those that didn't pay attention in their history class, insisted that grain should be used as a food supply rather than for alcoholic production, with malting ordered to cease in many months throughout the later part of the war. Many pubs could only get one barrel per week! Worse, when you got any beer, it was terribly weak - with breweries trying to make their grain go as far as possible. A pint in 1917 was 3/4 as strong as a pre-war pint, costing twice as much, this lead to industrial unrest throughout the land and the Government was forced to reverse some of its radical restrictions.
One music hall artist, Ernie Mayne, performed a song called "Lloyd George's Beer" about the 'Government Ale' as the weak brew was nicknamed:
Lloyd George's beer, Lloyd George's beer,
At the brewery there's nothing doing -
All the waterworks are brewing
Lloyd George's beer
Oh they say its a terrible war
And there never was a war like this before
But the worst thing that ever happened in this
Was Lloyd George's beer
A strange note went out from the Ministry of Food in November 1917 to all hoteliers asking them to place prominent notices urging guests 'to refrain from drinking beer, in order that there may be more beer for the working classes'
Fortunately the Government realised by World War II, that keeping up moral, during a war is rather important, and what better way to keep the citizens happy, than to allow them to be boozed into a state of constant ambivalence.
Isn't it fascinating that, while they can take our butter, chocolate and even knickers, they'll think twice before snatching our beer.
Monday, 24 September 2007 by Dr Maytel
Dead silence....stunned looks...finally someone ventured....."like what?"
We've always eaten together, a lot, it's what we do. I like it but I can't attest to this latest and unlikely sociological study on the linkages between family meals and reduced drug and alcohol use.
"Want to bond with your broody teenagers? Try eating dinner with them five times a week. A poll has found this keeps them off drugs and alcohol - and the teens also enjoy it.
The survey reaffirmed previous studies that found teenagers who ate dinner as a family five or more times a week were less likely to use drugs, smoke, or drink alcohol than peers who ate with their families twice a week or less."
Another duff study, I reckon, like the whole wine and heart disease study, which is largely unsubstantiated due to the fact that wine drinkers tend to belong to higher socio-economic groups and thus lead healthier lives...
I don't believe that children that eat with their parents more are less likely to use drugs, they're probably just less likely to get really out of it just before dinner
Friday, 21 September 2007 by Dr Maytel
said Rami Zurayk, Professor of Ecosystem Management at the American University of Beirut, of this Alice Waters article in the NYT
I don't care how 'celebrated' you are, anyone who insists on travelling with their own olive oil, vinegar and salt packed capers has got to be an insufferable snob. It's time we called a spade a spade.
“We’re trying to educate young people and show them how to use that lens of ingredients as a way to change their lives,” she said. “Otherwise, it would be just another cookbook.”
You said it Alice, not me
I personally believe that the general debt laden mortgage struggling public are tired of being preached to by white middle class ladies on the virtues of slow food and inadequacies of working class food choices and their children's food choices....if single working mums had the time to be indignant and throw battery farmed eggs at Alice, I'm sure they probably would.
Really what is the point of this woman other than making poor people feel bad and richer people feel smug?
Wednesday, 19 September 2007 by kinakoJam
Last Sunday, 16th September, was the 7th New York City International Pickle Day Festival on Orchard St on the LES (Lower East Side) in NYC.
We caught the tale end of it, missing the canning demonstration and the Koreans who'd packed up in order to get the train back to New Jersey, but in time to try yummy spicy smoked okra pickles.
According to News Day, 50,000 pickles were consumed there - well, who would say no to a big, watery, crunchy half-sour New York style pickle, when it's for free?
Note the hand written piece of paper, a jab at same-named competitors who sell to Whole Foods?
It takes a vivid imagination to imagine those "fractious wood-cart sellers" early last century.
News Day says "Many of the immigrants who arrived here 100 years ago found their first jobs as pickle vendors. Eventually they might save up enough money to buy their own pickle cart."
"In the LES of the 21st Century, with its hip bars and trendy boutiques, only a few pickle shops remain – making this day-long festival bittersweet for some."
Should that be, half-sour?
Reflecting that paradigm shift, boutique pickle operations like McClures and all-natural Rick's Pickles offered toothpicks and little tasting snippets of pickles with names like Phat Beets and Kool Gherks.
A highlight was the pizza from Ronaldo's with pickles on it, by the slice. If you're ever on Orchard St, Ronaldo's pizza is from a wood-burning oven and it's way better than you would expect from the funny pseudo modern signage! Maybe if you request the pickles, they'll do it! Pickles on pizza huh? Who knew it would be so good.
We're sure that Fanny Brice would be glad, if she could see the hundred-year-old Hungarian shop Guss' still selling rabbinically supervised kosher pickles alongside trendy sneaker stores like Dave's Quality Meat and hip Japanese-New York select shops like Travessia.
Still, as the NY Times said in July, "the beloved, traditional Jewish food establishments of the Lower East Side seem to be locked into an irrecoverable downward spiral". I was very sad to see that the 2nd Ave Deli had closed down... they used to serve big plates full of hard core sour pickles, for free. Maybe it was the costly pickle service, that crushed them in the end.
When we got back to our kind hosts' home that night, we found a jar of hot 'Smokra' smoked okra pickles by Rick's Pickles in the fridge.
Monday, 17 September 2007 by Dr Maytel
There are two reasons to go to Tawandang Micro Brewery and endure the horrible and loud baby boomer cover songs played by the house band. One is the beer. They have a micro brewery on site and serve fresh wheat beer. The second reason is the schweinhuxen a la Thai style where they boil a whole german style pork knuckle, then deep fry it and serve with chili sauce, mustard sauce, mashed potatoes and sauerkraut.
As always things get better when we all cooperate
Thai Beer Fraus
Half Thai Beer Frau
Swinhuksen a la Thai
NB: Mashed potatoes, sauerkraut and a chili
Saturday, 15 September 2007 by Dr Maytel
The Prophet’s favorite condiments were honey, olive oil, salt, and vinegar.
Honey - In Bukhari (Volume 7: Book 65), Aisha narrates that, "Allah's Apostle used to love sweet edible things and honey." He also attributed many healing powers to honey. The Holy Qur’an (16:69) says, "From its [the bee’s] belly, comes forth a drink of varying colors wherein is a cure for people. Surely there is a sign for those who would give thought."
Olive Oil - The Prophet also advised us to, "Use olive oil as a food and ointment for it comes from a blessed tree" (Tirmidi)
Salt - The Prophet said, "Salt is the master of your food. God sent down four blessings from the sky - fire, water, iron and salt" (Ibn Maja).
Vinegar - The Prophet has also called vinegar a "blessed seasoning"
by Dr Maytel
Its not an easy time for the elderly, children and hyperglycemics and diabetics
here are some tips for dealing with this holy month in a healthy way
During the holy month of Ramadan, our diet should not differ very much from our normal diet and should be as simple as possible. The diet should be such that we maintain our normal weight, neither losing nor gaining. However, if one is over-weight, Ramadan is an ideal time to normalise one's weight.
Fried and fatty foods.
Foods containing too much sugar.
Over-eating especially at sehri (the meal before beginning the fast).
Too much tea at sehri. Tea makes you pass more urine taking with it valuable mineral salts that your body would need during the day.
Smoking cigarettes. If you cannot give up smoking, cut down gradually starting a few weeks before Ramadan. Smoking is unhealthy and one should stop completely.
Complex carbohydrates at sehri so that the food lasts longer making you less hungry.
Haleem is an excellent source of protein and is a slow-burning food.
Dates are excellent source of sugar, fibre, carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium.
Almonds are rich in protein and fibre with less fat.
Bananas are a good source of potassium, magnesium and carbohydrates.
As much water or fruit juices as possible between iftar and bedtime so that your body may adjust fluid levels in time.
Constipation can cause piles (haemorroids), fissures (painful cracks in anal canal) and indigestion with a bloated feeling.
Causes: Too much refined foods, too little water and not enough fibre in the diet.
Remedy: Avoid excessive refined foods, increase water intake, use bran in baking, brown flour when making roti.
INDIGESTION AND WIND
Causes: Over-eating. Too much fried and fatty foods, spicy foods, and foods that produce wind e.g. eggs, cabbage, lentils, carbonated drinks like Cola also produce gas.
Remedy: Do not over-eat, drink fruit juices or better still drink water. Avoid fried foods, add ajmor to wind-producing foods.
LETHARGY ('low blood pressure')
Excessive sweating, weakness, tiredness, lack of energy, dizziness, especially on getting up from sitting position, pale appearance and feeling faint are symptoms associated with "low blood pressure". This tends to occur towards the afternoon.
Causes: Too little fluid intake, decreased salt intake.
Remedy: Keep cool, increase fluid and salt intake.
Caution: Low blood pressure should be confirmed by taking a blood pressure reading when symptoms are present. Persons with high blood pressure may need their medication adjusted during Ramadhan. They should consult their doctor.
Causes: Caffeine and tobacco-withdrawal, doing too much in one day, lack of sleep, hunger usually occur as the day goes by and worsens at the end of the day. When associated with "low blood pressure", the headache can be quite severe and can also cause nausea before Iftar.
Remedy: Cut down caffeine and tobacco slowly starting a week or two before Ramadhan. Herbal and caffeine-free teas may be substituted. Reorganise your schedule during the Ramadan so as to have adequate sleep.
LOW BLOOD SUGAR
Weakness, dizziness, tiredness, poor concentration, perspiring easily, feeling shaky (tremor), unable to perform physical activities, headache, palpitations are symptoms of low blood sugar.
Causes in non-diabetics: Having too much sugar i.e. refined carbohydrates especially at suhur (sehri). The body produces too much insulin causing the blood glucose to drop.
Remedy: Eat something at sehri and limit sugar-containing foods and drinks.
Caution: Diabetics may need to adjust their medication in Ramadan, consult your doctor.
Causes: Inadequate intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium foods.
Remedy: Eat foods rich in the above minerals e.g. vegetables, fruit, dairy products, meat and dates.
Caution: Those on high blood pressure medication and with kidney stone problems should consult their doctor.
PEPTIC ULCERS, HEART BURN, GASTRITIS AND HIATUS HERNIA
Increased acid levels in the empty stomach in Ramadhan aggravate the above conditions. It presents as a burning feeling in the stomach area under the ribs and can extend upto the throat. Spicy foods, coffee, and Cola drinks worsen these conditions.
Medications are available to control acid levels in the stomach. People with proven peptic ulcers and hiatus hernia should consult their doctor well before Ramadhan.
Kidney stones may occur in people who have less liquids to drink. Therefore, it is essential to drink extra liquids so as to prevent stone formation.
Causes: During Ramadhan, when extra salah are performed the pressure on the knee joints increases. In the elderly and those with arthritis this may result in pain, stiffness, swelling and discomfort.
Remedy: Lose weight so that the knees do not have to carry any extra load. Exercise the lower limbs before Ramadhan so that they can be prepared for the additional strain. Being physically fit allows greater fulfilment, thus enabling one to be able to perform salah with ease.
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Friday, 14 September 2007 by Hock
by Dr Maytel
some beer and satay
and fluffy cupcakes
and other kanom wan
see i'm not a total smart arse about food, sometimes it is just about the good times and tasty flavours
Wednesday, 12 September 2007 by Hock
I so loved this fish dish that I emailed possibly Thailands number one fish connoisseur, my father in law.
Think you will love this as I know you are a fish connoisseur,
smoked (slow roasted, see picture) snakehead fish, have you eaten
this before? We dined at a restaurant recommended by Austin from that
Real Thai food blog. It was amazing, this thing was so moist so
perfectly cooked, just a hint of smoke.
I know you have just left but when you come back from NZ our first
trip is to this restaurant in Ayutthaya.
To which he replied (of course he has eaten at just about every decent restaurant in Thailand known to man).....
I think I have been to that restaurant a few times before. In fact, I had thought of taking you and Maytel many times before but you both were not quite settled down yet when you first moved to Bangkok. The fish was cooked with dried up rice stalk that gave it smoky flavour. The restaurant belongs to the 'Sunthornwatt' family. Saengcha Sunthornwati was a director of a television broadcasting channel, when he was murdered. He was a straightforward man, once spent a great deal of time in America, came back to Thailand and worked with the Thai broadcasting corporation. He refused to take a bribe from one source which sought an unfair advantage over others. He was gunned down in the Muang Thong Thani area not far from where I now live. The people behind the killing order were later caught and sentenced to the death penalty. The restaurant would have been a place where Mr. Saengchai had planed for his retirement.
I am glad you and Maytel have found this place.
There is another restaurant which I think you and Maytel may like to try. It is well known for the steamboat fish dish. The soup stock is made of preserved plum and ginger to give it hot and sour taste. It is also well known for its oyster dish.
If anyone can confirm this fishy story, well then not only is it a yummy fish but an interesting one too
Plaa chon phao, grilled/smoked snakehead fish
Food bloggers of Bangkok give big ups to Aong
by Dr Maytel
Sen lek (fresh thin rice noodles) served with fish curry with strange green beans that had naturally black pods inside?
Khanom Jeen Naam Ngiao (Ta AB)
rich pork soup with sen yai (big noodles)
Boat Noodles on Phahonyothin Road, Chiang Rai
Also had an excellent bowl of fish ball noodles at a chinese hawker stall near the large market (Jet Yot Rd). Instead of the normal dried chili they served with smoked dried chili which was a tasty variation on the standard fish ball noodle soup
by Dr Maytel
I find a lot of people like to try and boil down food to some essentialised and above all "authentic" number of dishes which must be cooked according to some said authorities "authentic" method using only prescribed ingredients.
But the thing I love about Thailand is that it has long been a multicultural hub, a regional and global centre, with different cultures introducing their own cuisine. Thai food itself is a kind of fusion between malay, chinese, indian, and laos traditions, mixed of course with chili from south america.
what I like is that after time different food cultures mingle with Thai food and new food traditions are invented, like Thai spaghetti....over time new food inventions become tradition
Much is made of the fact that Thailand is not and never has been colonised....from my own humble opinion I tend to think that one of the reasons for this is that Thais are experts at appropriating different cultural traditions and making them thoroughly Thai...I think that this is what makes Thailand interesting, dynamic and above all tastey...it comes from an openess to the world and a willingness to experiment
Hock's Sous chef takes many seeds and roots from a lot of the exotic varieties and imported vegetables they serve at the "high so" restaurant where he works. He takes them back to his farm upcountry and grows them. Among other things he grows avocados and horseraddish (he's been experimenting with asparagus but so far he's not successful)...of course there's no local demand for these exotic veges but he sends them to market anyway and more adventurous shoppers take it home and have a play...
Its all good in my books
Picture: Chiang Rai Parking Lot Pizza
spotted outside of the night bazaar and delivering all around inner city Chiang Rai....thoroughly Thai style pizza....cooked in portable convection ovens and only 49 baht...prices that Pizza Hutt can never compete with...
Picture: "Authentic Thin Crust Pizza at Da Vinci's Chiang Rai"
Chiang Rai Hilltribe Lamington
I kid not, found at the Bakery across from the major Bus Terminal in the centre of town which is reportedly a project set up to help Hilltribe women earn some extra cash...the hilltribe lamington has a layer of pandan flavoured marzipan inside...it was also very yummy
Tuesday, 11 September 2007 by Dr Maytel
below are sneaky photos
Told off by waiters for taking photos
Jokes were told about what an original idea yakiniku is....
Waitresses dressed like Bellhops
otherwise just your standard every day yakiniku
with extra chili for Thai people
fresh, beansprout salad is good, so are the eringi mushrooms, not too expensive..except for the shiso leaves
Sukhimvit Soi 31 and Thonglor Soi 13
Sunday, 9 September 2007 by kinakoJam
When we go out to the Kushitei izakaya in Duesseldorf, I always get a nantoka-itame (something-or-other stirfry) from the special menu. They usually have a really yummy one made from veges and pork with chopped spicy 'zasai' pickles, which are the slightly milder but still hot Japanese version of Sichuanese zha cai, crunchy pickled mustard stem.
Itameru is the Japanese verb, which the Japanese wikipedia page likens to sautéing. However, the origins of '炒め物' (stir-fried dishes) in Japan, are obviously Chinese, and according to oh-so reliable wikipedia on their Japanese cuisine page, these "mock-Chinese stirfries" (?) have been a staple in Japanese homes and canteens since the '50s.
Somehow when I think of the western version of the Chinese stirfry, I think of a very hot, very energetic frying method with plenty of oil. Clearly in China there are many different ways to fry and braise food in a pan, and the Japanese itameru method derives from the slower end of that scale, which might be why the web page compares it to sautéing.
However apparently elements of a good French sauté are that the food is not crowded into the pan, without absorbing the fat or stewing in its own juices, and at no cost must moisture steam or stew the food.
On the other hand making itamemono usually does involve a big mess of food and flavours, and although the end result is usually not mushy, it is quite common to pour a little stock or sweetened soy sauce in at the end to braise/coat the food, and to jumble/marinate the flavours together a little more.
When I think of a nice itameta dish I think of a casual, homey dish, at least 2 ingredients cut up in in small pieces, still a bit crunchy and not too oily, flavoursome with an ingredient like garlic chives or small pieces of pork, or sesame seeds, or sugar and soy. And of course, perfect with rice.
The following dish is quite mild so I recommend to serve it with some really good kimchi cabbage and crunchy kimchi cucumbers. To really get your pan-asian (con)fusion going on.
Nikunira-Itame (meat & chinese chives stirfry)
(adapted from the cookbook '15分ラクうまおかず by Shufunotomo (housewife's friend) press)
150 g thinly sliced pork (as you would use for shabushabu or such)
One packet of Nira (chinese garlic chives) (about 30g?), cut into 4 cm lengths (substitute with bärlauch if unavailable)
Half a smallish bag of moyashi/bean sprouts
25 g carrot, peeled and cut into 4 cm long, 3 mm thin juliennes
A [salt, pepper, 2 tsp flour, 1 tsp olive oil]
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/3 tsp organic vege stock powder or kombu kelp stock powder
1 tsp oyster sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
Roughly chop the pork into 4-5 cm lengths and mix it with A using your hands.
Heat the frying pan, warm the sesame oil and stir fry the pork at a high heat. When it begins to colour, add the carrots. You might like to move the pork to one side of the pan and move that side of the pan off the heat, so that the carrots can absorb the juices and cook, but the pork doesn't get overcooked. When the carrots begin to soften add the beansprouts and nira/chinese garlic chives and stir fry it all about.
When it all seems pretty much cooked to your preference, add the soup stock, oyster sauce and soy, turn off the heat and mix it all about until well coated, then add salt & pepper to taste. Serve with hot rice and plenty of funky kimchi.
Wednesday, 5 September 2007 by Dr Maytel
This being the end of summer in the northern hemisphere there are a lot of standard summer food festivities going on, from bbq festivals all over the states, celebrations of fruits, oysters, wine, and cheese.
For further info check Food Reference and What's On When, for festivities in your area
Sep 2007 (annual)Enkutatash: Ethiopian New Year
Addis Ababa and Nationwide, Ethiopia
Aug - Sep 2007 (annual)Homowo (Hooting At Hunger) Festival
Aug - Sep 2007 (annual)Jewish Summer Festival
30 Aug - 3 Sep 2007 (annual)Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival
Historic District , Morgan City, USA
Sep 2007 (annual)Igede Agba Festival
Sep 2007 (annual)Mengen Cookery Festival
3 Sep 2007 (annual)Brooklyn Carnival (West Indian Day Parade)
Eastern Parkway, New York City, USA
22 Aug - 3 Sep 2007 (annual)Por Tor Festival
8 Sep 2007 (annual)Spinach Festival
8 - 9 Sep 2007 (annual)Salt Festival
8 - 9 Sep 2007 (annual)Prize Leek Show & Harvest Festival
Beamish Open Air Museum, Beamish, England
September 7-9, 2007 International Exhibition Tea & Coffee Tashkent City, Uzbekistan
September 9-11, 2007 1st Annual Frozen Desserts Expo Las Vegas, Nevada
September 10-11, 2007 Expo Comida Latina Los Angeles, California The leading business event for the Hispanic food and beverage industry
September 10-11, 2007 Kosherfest Los Angeles, California The world’s largest kosher trade show.
September 11-13, 2007 TIA Convention & Trade Exposition Las Vegas, Nevada Tortilla Industry Association Annual Convention & Trade Expo.
September 11-14, 2007 Sweets Ukraine 2007 Kiev, Ukraine 12th International specialized exhibition of confectionery industry
September 11-16, 2007 Loring - International Hunting and Fishing Fair Zagreb, Croatia
September 12-14, 2007 4th Global Bottled Water Congress Mexico City, Mexico ‘Sustainable growth'
September 13, 2007 The Joy of Sake San Francisco, California
September 14-16, 2007 Food Industry Truck Driving Championship Daytona Beach, Florida
15 Sep 2007 (annual)Sheep Festival
Arrens Marsous, France
7 - 16 Sep 2007 (annual)Geumsan Ginseng Festival
Geumsan, South Korea
September 15, 2007 3rd Annual Lowville Cream Cheese Festival Lowville, New York
September 15-16, 2007 Salted Anchovy & Olive Oil Feast Monterosso al Mare, Italy
September 16, 2007 7th Annual International Pickle Day New York, New York
September 19-21, 2007 Latin American Food Show Cancun, Mexico
September 22-23, 2007 8th Annual Houston Hot Sauce Festival Houston, Texas
September 27-30, 2007 18th Annual World Chicken Festival London, Kentucky
September 27-30, 2007 66th Annual Buckwheat Festival Kingwood, West Virginia
September 28-29, 2007 43rd Annual Beef-A-Rama Minocqua, Wisconsin
September 28-30, 2007 Annual Precious Cheese Feast of San Gennaro LA Hollywood, California
September 28-30, 2007 Iberian Hunting & Fishing Week Valladolid, Spain
September 29, 2007 West Virginia Roadkill Cook-off Marlinton, West Virginia
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Tuesday, 4 September 2007 by Hock
Bryant Simon, Professor of History and Director of the American Studies Program at Temple University with his study of how the desires of daily life are revealed from the comfy couches of Starbucks. Via Taste3.
Ben Roche also gives an interesting demo of some cool modern cooking techniques at the same annual gathering.
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