Food Talks and BS walks

The other day I was watching Anna Faris getting all riled up about a plate of risotto. She said, not verbatim, that it was a pile of gooey rice and the “Food Nazis” are going to judge that glop. In another show, I saw Aziz Ansari Instagramming pictures of food while Adam Scott, Nick Offerman and Robe Lowe ate on. In yet another show, I heard Kaitlin Olson say, “I am just going to be one of those douches who takes food pictures”

Rings a bell, anyone? I am one of those incessant food picture taker. In my defense, I have taken other kinda pictures too. Food pictures started happening as this whole brigade of Food Nazis and critiques and Masterchef and Facebook and Instagram phenomenon happened. My family still gets irked by the picture taking. Why, just today, a Peking Duck sat on the plate and I was taking pictures. My husband asked, “What do you get out of this?” And I had a very dumb, unprofound answer to that, “Instant gratification”. What am I going to do with instant gratification? Stew it and eat it?

Seriously, what is the need of being a Food Nazi? It’s food. Everyone eats. It’s as banal as breathing. Is there a “Scrumptious Air Buffet” available? (Although I am sure it will be in the future) Chefs are tarnished, restaurants are blamed, there’s name calling over paltry reasons like why your hash browns are not as good as mine. Then there’s the wizardry of weaving words about food. “Holy Basil from the Indian subcontinent infused in free range, locally sourced lamb, which was carved by our master knife-ninja, and cooked for 38 hours on a low flame, lightly basting with zatar and matcha extracts and virgin peanut oil with a side of organic plum tomatoes injected with wild jalapeños and stuffed with shredded mozzarella made from a farm grazing buffalo milk which was milked after the calf was full” That’s just one dish. The critics on Yelp and Facebook and wherever would elaborate it even further by dragging back two generations of the buffalo and lamb and the earthworms that fertilised the tomatoes. Admittedly, some describe food in a most tantalising way, and if you notice, these are the ones that put it simply.

The two most memorable food writings for me have to be Enid Blyton’s and Yann Martel’s. Enid describes toffees and tarts, just like they should be described: sweetly and with a childish delight. Yann Martel, on the other hand, talks about Idli: the South Indian steamed rice and lentil cake. A very simple food that is made almost every morning by the protagonist’s mother who has just tragically died. There is no nonsense around these writings and yet they live on.

My finest dining experience of all the multitude of meals I have had are easily boiled down to two. One, back in 2008, on my birthday, I decided to trek the Himalayas. After eight gruelling hours of witnessing an avalanche unfold, getting stung by unknown thorns and crossing rivers without help, I was so tired, I could’ve just slept on the ground. A local mountain lady, who did not even have a bathroom in her house, cooked me a cauliflower and pierogi stew, and hands down, that is the best food I have eaten till date.

The other one was in 2013, when I was pregnant and could not eat anything except ice cubes. 🙄 I was prescribed medication to keep food down and something that would stimulate appetite. I was at work and we ordered takeaway. And by jove, when the food arrived, I was on it, like a vicious scavenger. It was just a bunch of sandwiches and some Indian fare, but I remember having tears in my eyes while eating, I was so happy.

Both these instances simply point to one theory: When you are hungry, EVERYTHING tastes good. It’s a plain and simple truth. All these “foodies” (don’t get me started on that term) mushrooming up everywhere claiming their unparalleled love for food.. well, let’s just say, I need a baseball bat to deal with them. The constant Instagramming and Snapchatting and Facebooking and Yelping and the orgasmic ooooohs and aaaaahs; bulimic baboons, really. “Eat with your eyes”, they say. What the fudge! “Presentation is important”. I say, “What for?”. It’s food, take it or stay hungry. And those super-effing-annoying minuscule portions in oversized plates. I absolutely detest that. The goop in there looks so delicate and photoshopped, you wouldn’t want to disturb it. You can gobble it in one go and that’s it, meal over! The next day, it’s going to turn to poop and smell like poop.

The whole molecular gastronomy has left me speechless. There’s liquid Nitrogen and deconstruction and reconstruction and flames and smoke and mist and magic. Its like the Cirque du Soleil of food. Honestly, I get lost in that Tantric deviation. It’s okay to do it for TV, but do we really need the theatrics when we are hungry? All celebrity chefs, big or small, will tell you at the end of the day, that their favourite dish is something their moms or wives or grandmas or dads cooked on Sundays. Why? Because, in the end, food is as pedestrian and as essential as sleeping. A bed and a pillow is all you need.

By the by, I am also guilty of embellishing my food stories and constantly taking pictures of what I ate. Yes, I am one of those. And let me tell you, it’s stupid, fucking, daft. I mean, just eat, man!

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The Black Panther – A no Review

There’s Coca Cola or Pepsi, there’s Apple or whatever else, there’s cats or dogs, there’s mountain or beaches. And there’s Marvel or DC. I’m Coca Cola, whatever, cats and dogs, beaches and MARVEL. I follow Marvel like a religion. Captain America is God. Spider-Man, junior God. And Black Widow, well, she doesn’t matter, but she’s okay, now that she has kids.

The latest instalment in the MCU is the Black Panther. That Wakandan prince who superhumanizes into a parkouring panther, to avenge his father’s death in a bombing. (You have to know the earlier movies to know what I am talking about) I wasn’t so eager to watch The Black Panther because, honestly, Spider-Man-Homecoming was a bit of a let-down. Maybe Spidey needed to evolve from a schoolboy to a full-time crime-fighting superhero. And that post-credits quip by Captain America about the virtues of patience, I actually laughed at that, when most groaned. And the real reason I didn’t want to watch Black Panther was because there was no oomph for me in it. But having given Thor-Rognarok also a miss, on account of baby-sitting, I decided I must watch TBP.

A month has passed since the release, spoiler alerts are already out, and I gather from all reviews and naysayers that it is a great film, and I still haven’t watched it. WHY, you ask? Because I cannot step out on school-days to watch a movie and on weekends, my family guilts me into spending time with them. I hear remarks like, “Oh, she wants to go for a movie rather than spend this precious weekend with us!” There, guilt trip! So I just roll my eyes, dig into ice cream and binge watch “Malcolm in the Middle”.

So, there’s no review for the movie, because I haven’t seen it yet. I watched Dr. Strange though, and while I cannot say I loved it, I did like it-mostly because of Benedict Cumberbatch. The movie, as such, was strange.

Until next cup of coffee, where I will lament about why Malcolm in the Middle ended!

The Sinner – A Bad, bad Review

I don’t usually review movies or TV shows, because most of the time, it takes me a while to wrap my head around what actually happened. (Except for the funnies). I watched The Sinner on Netflix recently and here’s my vehement opinion about the show that has received two Golden Globe nominations. (Whaaaat?!)

First of all, Jessica Biel, as a drab mommy and wife to an even drabber Christopher Abbott didn’t add up for me. Cora and Mason, didn’t add up. Cora, always seemed preoccupied and depressed, which I suppose is sine qua non, and Mason just came off as a lamentable husband. Yes, he is smothered by his mother, but strangely, she is not an overbearing mother-in-law. Didn’t that seem strange, or was it just me?

That scene where, before the beach trip, Cora folds and stacks the clothes and then Ambrose revisits the room and takes a look at the stack; what was that? Was it to show Cora in a domesticated-tender-loving-caring persona?

Then the stab wounds on Frankie and the attack on Ambrose bore a resemblance. Seven spots at the exact location. Seven..seven..seven..seven sins..The Sinner.. Am I getting it right? I don’t think so. Was that arc explained? Did I miss it?

A 36-year-old Jessica Biel playing approximately 24-25 year old Cora.(going by the fact Phoebe is born when Cora is about 4-5) Preposterous much? I mean she is convincing in the present, but you can’t pull off looking 10ish years younger than you actually are, IMO.

What’s up with Ambrose’s fingernails and his strange obsession with Sharon?! I understand he is seeking thrills because of his ever-depressed married life, but that level of sadomasochism from a detective who loves botany seems a little too warped for my pea-brain. And all that while he is trying to get back on track with his uptight wife? Ahem… Or did he just want to move back into that postcard-perfect home? Silly shenanigans, I say!

Phoebe, I’m not going to say anything, because I do not want to anger anyone, but come on! She’s more twisted than anyone. The disease made her that way? Her mother did? Her father’s romance with the neighbour? What? What? What? And did anyone notice how prim and proper she is, even lying sick all her life? I mean, perfectly waxed and all. I’ve spent some time in the hospital and honestly, bums living under a bridge would’ve shirked away from me. Come to think of it, I’ve barely seen anyone not waxed on TV or movies, except Anna Farris, maybe.

How did Frankie not age a day? 2012-2017. 5 years! He looks younger when he is killed by Cora, doesn’t he? Is it because he is a medic and has some sort of potion or lotion we don’t know about? And for someone who is portrayed as being very sensitive, what with him being shook up with Phoebe dying in his arms and Cora being seriously injured, he seems very jolly at the beach with his new girlfriend. Wouldn’t someone who has been part of something gruesome be a little unjolly to be frolicking around like that? Even if it has been 5 years? Am I being too orthodox?

Was J.D doing so poorly at the time when he was dating Cora that he had to siphon off gas from unsuspecting cars? Wasn’t he some sort of drug-dealer or a wayward troublemaker back then? Did he really need to do that? If he did, how did he afford bar-hopping every now and then? Was he just siphoning off money from some rich friends? And didn’t he also have a huge house in upstate NY somewhere isolated? I didn’t like him one bit right from the start. Too arrogant and full of himself! Why did Cora go out with him at all? “Bad boy” factor? I wonder. Poor choice in guys, Cora!

And finally, the unnecessary incestuous homosexuality. I have sat through gore, horror, uncomfortable (and might I add, trivial) nudity, and other varieties of “creativity” without so much as a wince. But that scene where Cora and Phoebe get all jiggy with each other made me say “eeeeewwwww”. I’m all about liberal ideas and all that, but that angle was just absolutely not required. I was even more weirded out by the scene where both sisters lay next to Jesus on the floor. Is that the artsy of showing that they while they have faith and tremendous love for Jesus, they want to explore what lies beyond the curfew that was exacted on them? If so, what does being a devout Christian have to do with curiosity? Is that a sin? I don’t want to spark any controversies here, but I’m sorry, I just don’t get it.

From the first episode to the last, all I saw was Cora crying, A LOT. Her sudden change in wanting to redeem herself also left me scratching my head. At first, she confessed and made up a story (which was told to her by Madison) and didn’t care of the consequences of her sentencing. After a while, she springs into action and pleads Ambrose to help her out in any way he can. Why wasn’t Dr.Chang, who was very opposed to the idea of Cora revisiting the past, not brought in again when Cora was taken to the Beverwyck Club? And that whole muddle of limbs, all high on a buffet of drugs and alcohol; was that for the benefit of the perverts who lurk around “normal people TV”? I just realised what I am writing is more like a questionnaire for the cast and crew rather than a review. Hence, the title-Bad, bad review.

And on a lighter note, Detective Farmer and Judge Baird were having consistently bad-hair days throughout the show. I mean, Phoebe was critically ill and she was glowing. Surely, the nose-in-the-air detective and Judge Baird could’ve used a little dolling up, huh?

And I checked with a lot of fathers, including mine, and nobody agreed to covering up a crime scene left by their children like Frankie’s dad did. So, I guess the Father of the Year award goes Dr.Belmont Sr.

 

** These are purely my opinions. No offence intended towards anyone. 🙂