Thursday, 17 July 2008

Restaraunt in La Paz, both real and unreal

So we went to a ‘surrealist’ restaurant in La Paz. I don’t know what they thought was surreal about it; I think it must have been the wacky combinations of coca and spaghetti, or llama and tortellini…and so on. I had a 3 peppercorn beef steak. Fresh peppercorns, insanely good. But surreal? There were a couple of Dali prints up.

I feel I could do better…
Firstly, all the waiters could enter the room from a cupboard, where there would be a hidden door. No! There would be several hidden doors! And the waiters would be under strict instruction never to acknowledge that they were using different ones, or even an understanding of the concept ‘entrance’. The glasses would all be those ones with a layer of colourful fluid sealed in, so that it looks like everyone should be spilling their drinks, when they aren’t. The windows would have devices on the outside so that it appears as if it is raining – they would often be out of synch.

The waiters would have leeway to improvise, and be encouraged to take psychotropic drugs. There would be a selection of wine glasses full of jelly, which they could pretend to spill on someone’s lap at some point during the night. There would, of course, be a team of acrobats secured to an upside-down table on the ceiling. A selection of food would look like other food – this is common. What you ordered would be what you actually got, although shaped to look exactly like something else, but sometimes it would be something alive, eating the salad, which is trained to scream loudly but not move from the plate. Ever.

The chairs and tables would have computer-controlled pistons and would change their heights very very slowly. The ‘ice cream’ would be made out of some substance with a boiling point well below room temperature, so that it would disappear soon after serving. Similar things would happen to the cutlery – the spoon, in particular, would have dissolving ridges so that after dipping it into soup just once, it would become a fork. All replacement spoons would be the same, until the customer was near tears – at which point, as soon as a distraction can be caused (by a light bulb inflating) the soup would be secretly stolen, and they would be asked ‘what soup?’

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Very typical pan-andean fare. Doing more with less.

'Fare' - a wonderful word for food. It suggests fuel - function without too much science, overtones of medieval, hinting at hard bread and a hunk of cheese in a knapsack, all there will be until Mordor...

Anyway, this is the type of thing you should expect to come across if eating at
normal eateries in an Andean country like Bolivia or Peru. Everything is from the carbohydrate food group, with the possible (as in this case) addition of a fried egg. That means three or four out of of banana/plantain, potato (often some boiled, some fried and some dried), rice, pasta and bread. This sounds dull - and it is - but get used to it and your over-indulged tastebuds learn to relax. Note with interest that they could just give you a plate of rice but they don't, instead using the different types of carbohydrate to add a variety to the meal which you might not notice at first but which is cheap, and more nutritious than a wholly monotonous diet.
Notable in this particular meal is the fact that the rice (excellently cooked) has been moulded into the shape of a Chrismas tree! What a delight!

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Anchovy lamb

Hey so this is a recipe sent to me by my old philosophy tutor, Berris in response to this very blog.

Here it is:

...get yourself a nice leg of lamb and stab the fucker 12 times ont top with a pairing knife, using ur little finger work a sprig of rosemary, a clove of garlic and a whole anchovey into each of the slits. catch up all the anchoveys, garlic and rosmary you've got left and cream them into an ounce (ish) of butter, smeer that over the top of the joint. put it in a big pan with potatoes and parsnips = and half a bottle of white wine (or enough not to cover the roots but enough to make a big old gravy) roast it high, then roast it low to finish.

I had good feelings about this recipe because I know the power that anchovies have.

'Working in' some rosemary garlic and anchovy sounds easy, but its not.