Just a little indigression on food to avoid posting food pics and waffling on in a most nostalgic way on FB.
As you all know by now, E@L and Izzy (SPGica domestica) and her beau Danijel (how many frackin' guy called Dan does E@L know? fuck!) traipse off around the world a coupla times a year. Summer here, summer there. Often with Odette, Izzy's sister, as well. Absolutely the best times of E@L's recent life.
We've done the Croatian coast, Cambodia and Laos, Tuscany, Belgium, and Cebu. Probably some other unforgettable places that E@L can't recall just now. All fantastic. E@L only had two heart attacks on these trips. One involved an inappropriate lust attack in Hvar and the other involved an inopportune angina attack in San Gimingaino. Won't tell you which was the more painful.
Cat, Izzy, Danijel, Odette: Split, Croatia
Arty-farty camera tricks: Luang Prabang riverside, Laos
The front lawn/breakfast/dinner nook in Tuscany
Six types of lobster: ?Antwerp, Belgium
The ferry from Negros to Cebu, Philippines
And now, as in soon, as in a few weeks, we are going together to Malta.
At first, like you, E@L be thinkin': Malta? Meh.
But as it happens he had recently read Empires Of The Sea, about the 16th century siege of Malta, amongst other nautical shenanigans involving the Ottomans and the Kerniggets Hospitaller the Hapsburgs, and found it fascinating - educational and entertaining, erudite and mildly erectile. And speaking of which, of course, as E@L twigs eventually, Thomas Pynchon's V. is set for a considerable chunk of pages in Valletta (as imagined from his Baedeker and library researches of the place) - so E@L reread that not unsubstantial tome. And realised there were several obliquely prurient scenes that he used to masturbate to as younger man. (Hmm. Not on the plan to revisit those periods of his life, but hey, whilst the tissues are handy...)
The reason for this trip to Malta, much less sensually, seems to be that Valletta was used in some outside shots as Kings Landing in Game Of Thrones, first season.
These friends of mine are obsessed.
Another of the things that Izzy and D are passionate about, as are all cool people, is good food. Or at least expensive food. And home-cooked expensive good food. On our trips they usually have a hit list of top places to eat and sometimes we have to book in advance to get seats, but also they like to experiment in the kitchen - with food, E@L reminds you correctively - when back home in their cozy nook in The Hague just up the road from the Escher museum.
We experimented with poached eggs last time E@L was there, for example. And roast carrot soup and jellied tarragon infused vodka or something...
All sorts of activities in The Hague (note the crisp sage leaves).
So E@L is currently working up a dinner plan for New Years in response, when they (E@L presumes) come to Singapore for a few days prior to our next Southern Hemisphere trip.
The experiment tonight was Roast Cauliflower Soup, with a few of his own crispy sage leaves on top. Why the fuck not.
Step One: put the oiled up cauliflowerettes into the overheated oven and burn the fuck out of them in 15 minutes. No photo, lots of smoke.
Step Two: walk to shop and buy new head of cauliflower.
Step Three: oil up, etc, but don't have the oven as hot and keep checking!
Step Five: add coconut milk and whizz around in the Kenwood Over-The-Top-Complicated (it was on special) Food Processor what E@L used for the first time today.
Step Six: Put in bowl and garnish with brown-butter crisped sage leaves and a rescued roasted flowerette and observe how it looks for all the world like hummus.
Tasted very good, but it was too thick and the cauli was still slightly rice-like. Maybe E@L didn't put in the complete 3 cups of chicken stock, or maybe the cauliflower was oversize for the proportions of the liquid... And perhaps one could mash it through a sieve or something to make it look smoother.
Followed up by some lamb chops supposedly encrusted in thyme and rosemary salt, cooked to grandma's specifications (i.e. well done so you can eat the crisp fat without gagging) and with some simple steamed veggies (and a dobbed knob of butter).
Mmm-mmm. Definitely maybe the start of a menu for the anticipated end of year dinner party at E@LGHQ.
Keep checking your mail for the invite.