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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Hieroglyph

The year 2018,

Smartphones and dumbusers,

Man-less cars crashing,

An emoticon for each noun.

Rockets in space,

Boundaries blurring,

The wars are rising,

The brains deteriorating,

Once a green tree,

Now a brown twig.

In this glorious year of 2018,

I still tend to scrunch up my nose,

When someone writes “your” instead of “you’re”.

 

Road Rage

This morning, unlike any other morning, I found myself stuck in a bumper-to-bumper traffic jelly; not a jam, a traffic jelly. I don’t get out much, what with the NOx and the general laziness and the outside not having much to offer, so when I do get out, I get very anxious. Accompanied by a 4 year-old who already has political views, I set out for the journey, equipped with all the gear a mom needs; Hot Wheels, juice boxes, snack boxes, snot-rags, and a teddy bear that the 4 year-old has adopted as his son. He is already proving to be a better parent than me, giving the teddy bear fresh fruit instead of boxed juices and making him a “pretend” hot home-cooked meal and brushing his “pretend” teeth, twice a day. And he reads to him too, from a book; Unlike me, I just make up stories.

So, back to the traffic. I saw most people in agony. There was honking and arm-waving and finger blowing and name calling and a lot of F-bombs dropping. I sat back and enjoyed the traffic jelly. It was fun to watch, everyone was late for work, everyone wanted to get there faster than the others, and nobody looked like they actually wanted to get to work. What were they all trying to get to? Once everyone is at work, don’t they just keep checking the time to see if it’s 5 PM yet? I know I did that and a lot of people I worked with did that. So I am going out on a limb here and say that everyone does that. Those who don’t, either work from home or actually like what they do. (Hahaha.. like there’s any money in that!)

While I was feeding one of my OCD habit of reading the license plates of every car in my line-of-sight, I noticed those poor environmentalists, who were pedalling along on their bikes, helmet and knee-pads and biking shorts and the whole ensemble. Saving the environment, working out at the same time – good on them! I couldn’t help thinking how much impact their efforts would have in the long run. For every bike, there must have been twenty cars or more. That environmentalist was breathing in pure ob-NOx-ious fumes. Not to mention, those bikes look so fragile, a monstrosity of a car can knock them down by just being around. The green warriors are trying so hard, one plastic bag at a time, and most of us do nothing. I mean, we are even killing WHALES! And those mammals are huge, and yet we found a way to destroy them. People destroy everything. (And my rants start now…) Even my 4 year-old said, “Just look at this country!” He does not understand country and state and continent and division as such, he just picked it up from his father, but he was spot on with the timing. He, in fact, pacifies his raging father when the latter is driving and yelling, “These idiots need to learn how to drive!” by chiming in, “Please Daddy, the idiots also need to get home.” Some kick-ass parenting, huh?

So, to sum it up, I lost my train of thoughts now, and the sparks of brilliance that had illuminated my mind back in the traffic, are gone. So I leave you with this:

So if I stand in front of a speeding car
Would you tell me who you are, what you like?
What’s on your mind, if I’d get it right?
How I love that no one knows
And these secrets all that we’ve got so far
The demons in the dark, lie again
Play pretends like it never ends
This way no one has to know
Even the half smile would have slowed down the time
If I could call you half mine
Maybe this is the safest way to go
We’re singing
Heya heya heya heya
Heya, heya heya
This is the safest way to go nobody gets hurt
We’re singing
Heya heya heya heya
Heya, heya heya
You go back to him and then I’ll go back to her
So if I stand in front of a speeding car
Would you give your little heart?
Say the word?
Due to just me and you
This way everyone will know
‘Cause these secrets all that we’ve got so far
The demons in the dark, lie again
Play pretends like it never ends
This way no one has to know
Even the half smile would have slowed down the time
If I could call you half mine
Maybe this is the safest way to go
We’re singing
Heya heya heya heya
Heya, heya heya
This is the safest way to go nobody gets hurt
We’re singing
Heya heya heya heya
Heya, heya heya
You go back to him and then I’ll go back to her
So if I stand in front of a speeding car
Would you tell me who you are, what you like?
What’s on your mind, if I’d get it right?
How I love that no one knows
These secrets all that we’ve got so far
The demons in the dark, lie again
Play pretends like it never ends
How I love that no one knows
Advertise my secret
I don’t really need it
I know you can feel this
So advertise my secret
I don’t really need it
I know you can feel this
So advertise my
Advertise my secret
We’re singing
Heya heya heya heya
Heya, heya heya
This is the safest way to go nobody gets hurt
We’re singing
Heya heya heya heya
Heya, heya heya
You go back to him and then I’ll go back to her
If I stand in front of a speeding car
Don’t know who you are
Don’t know who you are
Heya heya heya heya
Heya, heya heya
You go back to him and then I’ll go back to her
Songwriters: Daniel Joseph Devane / Sorcha Durham / Paul Stephen Flannery / Evan William Hadnett / Patrick Gerald Sheehy
I don’t know why I added that, but I found the video to this song completely unrelated to the song. So makes sense. If someone out there can explain the relation of the song to the video, that’d be great. Thank You! And oh yes, one more thing, do not drink and drive, keep those two separate. You can drink water, juices, soda, things like that, but you’d have to make pit-stops to go to the bathroom. So, it’d be better to not drink anything and drive. You can always Uber!

Cats – Who do they think they are!?

IMG_20180319_083740598

You see what I mean? Everyday, every single day, I work like this. Most of the clicking on the mouse-pad is done by this guy. When my fingers are typing, he thinks it’s a game of “pin the finger”, and he keeps on jabbing at my fast-moving hands. I push him off and seat him to the big empty couch, but before I plop back down on mine, he’s there again!

I have had pets since before I was born. Rescues, adopted, you name it. I have seen birthing, like this guy’s, and it hasn’t horrified or grossed me out in the least. I have had pets pass on sadly, but that has never stopped me from bringing home another one. I have never bought one, they have all been rescued or adopted. And cats, they just show up. This guy is the third generation and I have the fourth generation –  a litter of three brownies fast asleep in their little nest in the spare bedroom. When their mom is not around, they cuddle up with my son, who has declared himself as their foster-mom. My husband loves babies, and he is a big man. He misses having a tiny baby boy who’d giggle in his lap, so now he treats those three kittens like human babies, rocking them, swaddling them, and washing their bum-bums. He lays down on the floor with them, making arm-mazes for them to jump through, which is hilarious to watch. The kittens really have taken a shining to my son as their foster-mom; they keep climbing on his head and look for something to suckle on. (LMAO!)

And as far as I am concerned, all the cats and dogs think of me as their buddy who likes to play in the mud and chase cars and mice. They shamelessly wake me up in the middle of the night if one of them has the munchies, they fart in my direction to let me know that they need to go out, they keep licking me, even the cats, like I have nothing better to do than rub their bellies and they knock on the door, any godforsaken time of the day. They are like those beepers at the exit of a super-market; any bag of grocery, any boxes from Amazon and any packages in the post, has to go past them. They smell out their foods and demand a tasting right then and there. So to sum it up, they treat me like a door-mat.

Having said that, I agree with the gazillion pet-owners: pets are real good stress-busters. Ever wondered why that cat on YouTube is famous? Stress-buster! Why, just over the weekend, I was really down in the dumps, and I got this guy seen in the picture to brush his teeth. What fun that was! Their teeth are razor-sharp, not to mention the wolverine-like claws. And we jostled for a good half an hour but managed to brush his teeth. (Don’t freak out, I used a super-soft baby toothbrush and no toothpaste; we were just monkeying around!) At the end of it, he was super-annoyed with me and I had forgotten the blues. He did avenge this episode by farting in my face just now though.

I just wanted to drop by and say to all the pet-owners, you people are doing a tremendous job. If not for you, these loving furry friends would be fighting for survival. Keep loving, keep cherishing!

My Genes Wear Track pants

Now that I have your attention, let me tell you this. I was going to title this one simply, “Trusty Pants”. But then I saw this hilarious quote on someone’s t-shirt this morning and realised this is perfect for what I am about to share. You see, about six years ago, my thirty-odd year search for the perfect pair of pants ended. I don’t know if others go  through this, but there’s either a pants-tent or a sagging bottom or a waist that just wont stay at the waist, or there’s pants riding up or down, wedgie-like; button-fly, zippers, elastic bands, drawstring; absolutely nothing works. So much so, that I almost switched to skirts. Who in their right mind is going to shave or wax or laser or thread or bleach or whatever their legs for skirts EVERY SINGLE DAY?! Hence, pants! I had tried all kinds of fabric too! Jeans and linens and cottons and canvas and wooden bark and polyester and lycra and anything that is wearable and not tearable. every single pair ended up in the Goodwill basket.

Then, I came across these fabulous pair. Simple black. Nothing to them. Just a simple pair of pants. And they hugged me. And I hugged them. We went EVERYWHERE together since we first met. Birthday parties, soirées, picnics, out-of-town trips, movies, funerals, weddings(Yup, hold your gasping!), baby showers, house-warmings, morning walks, evening walks, park visits, shopping, you name it. Now the fashion police would severely reprimand me and throw me in jail for this, but let me tell you this. I have had two issues in life: Learning how to play chess (I still don’t know) and finding the perfect pair of pants. So when you find something you have struggled to find all your life, you stick to it. Why, just this morning I wore them for a walk and I would wear them again when I go to pick my son up from school, and to the dreaded PTA. Say what you must, I am sticking to them. And one more thing, you know how black gathers lint very easily? No? (Yes, I’ve thrown them in the washing machine inside out; Yes, I’ve tried washing them separately; Yes, I have cleaned out the lint filter; Yes, I have used special detergent.) Well, anyway, mine is all covered in lint and I just carry on about assuming people would think that’s how they are designed, like a derelict fashion style. I like to think it adds character. I am done with the lint roller. It just makes them more linty.

So there you have it. I have openly proclaimed my love for the trusty pants. And to think I live with someone who is on some highly elitist Jeans-squads! In fact, just yesterday at lunch, when my pants soaked up the second helping of tapenade (apart from many other drips like salsa, spaghetti sauce, juices, you know, anything spillable), I was reminded to wear something classier when out in public. And I said, “Do they clone pants yet?”

You must have gathered by now that I don’t care about clothes. I am trying to care, but someone has to convince me that clothes are important. I wear hand-me-downs from the one fashionista I live with, because nudist colonies are not very much in vogue. I have a rebuttal for everything a fashion/styling guru would have to say. Sure! I know the names, Givenchy and Dior and Chanel and Versace and Valentino and all of them classics. But would I walk down a red carpet in one of their shimmering creations? No. Mainly because there’s not going to be a red carpet event for me. And even if there is going to be one, you can bet your bottom dollar, you’d see me in my linty black pants. Because, my genes wears those!

Grill – Dumb Questions Answered

Once upon a time, I lived under a rock. When I decided to rock out, I was faced with a lot of unfamiliarity. I didn’t know things. So I made this list of questions that popped in my head and researched and found these simple answers:

 

What is Easy Listening? – When your ears have to do no work, the music seeps in the brain.

What is Continental Food? – Food derived from the continents.

What is Country Music? – Music from, get this, not countries, but pastoral settings.

What is Comfort Food? – Food that makes you fat, so in essence, DELICIOUS!

What is Sugar Rush? – Have a palmful or more of candies and wait.

What is Unfriend? – Facebook version of *blowing raspberries* at someone

What is Like? – Facebook version of paying attention to someone.

What is #metoo? – Me too was part of this altercation, man!

What is trending? – Everyone, except you, is talking about it.

Who owns the Internet? – Hmmm… Google? Amazon? Apple? I don’t know, I don’t.

What are cookies? – One kind can be eaten, others stay on your computer.

What is #hashtag? – ALT+35; symbol used to set something in motion on the internet.

What is Skrillex? – You’d be amazed, its a person!

What is Gender Fluid?– People, just being people.

What is Instagram, Spotify, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest, Tumblr, et al? – Any new made-up words you come across are an app, or a website or something to do with internet.

What is app? – An application, online application, like Candy Crush. Not the kind to apply for a loan or a grant. Although there are online application forms for loans and whatnot, but those are not called apps.

What are bots? – Laziness has taken over and “robots” are shortened to bots. A lot has been shortened. BRB, IMO, TTYL, YOLO, AFAIK, SOV, ROFL.. the list is looooong.

What are emoticons? –  :-),  ;-), :-(, :-B… they started like this and now there are emoticons for which there are no words.

Why these questions? – I really didn’t know! I Googled and got answers.

 

*** No offence to anyone. I’m just old. *grin face*