Did I Mention Food?
Not yet, but I am about to give you an earful!
What’s Your Business?
I heard that if you own a business in the food or medical industry, you will be set for life.
I prefer food. People need it, three times a day! A constant need for the product needs a constant supply.
So, why do we travel in our daily lives?
Do we travel to get from point A to B, or to meet new people, or for our work, or change of scenes?
Do we want to try new foods?
If we travel to enjoy new food, that can be at my house, your house, a fast food eatery, a restaurant, or a picnic table.
I am not too fussy where I eat, although I would prefer not to be eating doughnuts out of a paper bag, on the street.
The table brings people together and it is friendly. It is an honor when a meal is prepared for you.
What is a wedding, after all, without the reception? What is it without sharing a meal together?
This is a bonding between the two families united in marriage.
You have to have food!
The smell of food brings back the memory.
It puts you in the same time and place when you had the meal……..Smiles all around.
Here’s the Conundrum
Do you remember the meal or the food?
The MEAL is the setup, the place we meet, and the ambiance. Were there people nearby or was it private?
Did we stand or sit?
It satisfied our personal contact.
We talked…..We laughed…….We had fun.
The FOOD is what satisfies your body – and your spirit.
It’s the energy you eat, and the nectar you sip;
it promotes conversation.
People like to cook in pairs.
It fills you up.
I am giving the meal a nine and the food a ten.
Here’s why: I can buy the atmosphere I want, if I pay a higher price for a MEAL, that’s my choice. We choose where to go.
I have equal enjoyment in spending time with all the people I know.
The meal is contact with my friends and great conversations.
This feeds my social side, which we all need.
But FOOD stands alone. No one wants to pay for a bad meal; that makes me irritable.
When the cook loves his work, he can’t hide that. When cooking is a passion you feel the love in the food.
You glow after a good meal; you are satisfied. You feel good. That feeds your Spirit.
A FAST eater will just tackle a meal; he means business. He will try almost anything: see if he likes it.
He’s always in a hurry so it better not be too hot! That meal won’t even touch sides! His spirit is not fed. Would he remember the meal?
These Are Meals I Remember
The Queen’s Land
In England, I was served trifle. Nothing prepared me for this mix of peaches, sponge cake, sherry, and whipped cream. It is Angel-Food!
I have never had a trifle as good as that one.
It was never duplicated……It’s a ten!
Pub food is delicious bangers and mash, or bubble and squeak, shared with townsfolk; a cozy fire in the inglenook.
Dogs lay next to their chairs, soaking up the warmth of the fireplace.
As a working man, you can catch up with your neighbors. You “order another” and can stay or leave anytime.
There are no rules here.
There is free live music every Friday and Saturday night! It’s best not to start the dancing off unless you are prepared to dance all night.
The pub owner knows your family members by name. You are with your people!
Enter the language police: The breakfast I ordered, offered 2 “rashers” of bacon.
What did they have to do to the bacon to make them rashers?
What was I afraid of?
The English countryside is beautiful, and the sense of history is amazing.
British humor is funny, dry, and current. Stiff upper lip and all.
You may not ever leave. Take in the sights, and eat the food.
Paper Plates In China
Language can be an issue when ordering dinner!
What may work at your friendly neighborhood Chinese restaurant is not the same as ordering dinner at an eatery in Hong Kong.
Mistakes were made and I take full blame for this one.
Everyone else wanted to go to Mcdonald’s!
When we found the right place for us, we pointed, nodded, and our wish was granted.
The cook was a happy, smiling man. He wanted us to try everything.
He was proud of what he served.
People nearby were quiet, looking at us sideways. They noticed our clumsiness using chopsticks. They were snickering.
Dinner took longer than usual. It was all so nice, I could not eat fast enough. Literally. I really needed a fork!
I have since learned that it is a compliment in China when we learn to eat with chopsticks.
Quite frankly the food tastes better that way.
On an early Sunday morning, in the Canadian Rockies, we hiked 2 1/2 miles up the mountain to a tea house at the fire-station-look-out.
After that 90-minute trek, we climbed a further 36 steps to the front door – aagh!
All food and water had to come up by horseback.
Why didn’t someone TELL us there were horses?
We earned our bacon, eggs, and coffee!
We were hungry as bears.
In the tearoom, our “dining window” looked out onto a glacier. We were in the sky, and the view was incredible.
Eagles glided on their backs. One flicked a small branch into the air and caught it in his beak.
Just showing-off for his audience!
In Greece We Trust
In Greece, we island-hopped everywhere.
When getting off a ferry we followed the aroma to the trailers by the wharves, selling souvlaki on fresh bread.
People lined up and I was afraid there wouldn’t be enough.
Le chef anticipated this and did a super job feeding all of us.
Souvlaki is grilled lamb on a skewer. The smell left you weak, and it was delicious and cheap.
It brought tears to our eyes.
The cook greeted every person with a positive word. Like a psychiatrist, he provided mc’sessions for tired commuters.
While in Greece, you have to try the vine leaves stuffed with ground beef and rice.
It’s a local staple.
Africa, Horn Of Plenty
I was not prepared for the food in South Africa.
The strong Malay influence introduced me to bobotie (ba-boo-tee). It is minced beef coupled with reconstituted dried fruit, baked in a savory custard, with just a hint of curry.
Served with saffron rice, chutney, fresh warm baguette, and red wine……Hungry yet?
Koeksisters! This is a light dough, braided and deep-fried.
While still hot the confection is dipped into a thinned honey.
The honey is absorbed into the dough, and it drips down your arms as you eat it…….Bath is optional.
Young unmarried women would say, “I can make koeksisters”. Anyone who does this successfully promises to be an excellent wife.
Can’t be that hard! I tried it and was thoroughly disgusted with my results. I’ll never be a great cook!
Surrounded by oceans, the seafood was delicious. We ate Lorenzo Marques prawns – like, a really BIG tiger shrimp!
I had been out of the country for years and wanted prawns.
I was offered peri-peri sauce. I took the mildest one because it had been a long time.
I only used a few drops – it took my breath away!
Braai = Barbecue: the Braai, is the main lifestyle on the weekends. I thought we had nailed it in the west with barbecue.
Make room! These men were braai-kings!
Grandfathers passed down their tips to their children. They knew how to make their own sausage and biltong……NOT to be confused with jerky.
When it is time for 2 o’clock tea, and a lady enters the room with a tea tray, every male over 10, will jump up to take that tray and carry it, to-the-table.
Mom: “how long did it take you to get used to that?”
Me: “about five minutes, Mom.”
I can’t help but be grateful for the people I knew for all those years. They are who I shared all those wonderful meals with.
Without them, the dinners probably would not have tasted so good.
The Food Always Brought Us Together!
Still, it was always the food that brought us together.
We met at a particular restaurant or cooked at home. We chose the type of cuisine we were craving.
It was often spontaneous. It never seemed to matter and it was never trouble.
We exchanged recipes for ‘Thanksgiving Dinner‘.
Just hearing the name of that holiday was enough to remember the pressure…..the preparation…..the laughter and banter…..the indulgence!
Don’t Put Off The Indulgence!
Use the china, crystal, and silver. Pull out the tablecloths, and add some chairs.
Dig out your favorite menus, and shop for extra ingredients.
Start cooking early so the air is filled with the LOVE.
Turn up the music, open the windows and turn down the lights.
“Who brought all this wine?”.…..Ambiance everywhere!
What’s for dinner?
Great food is used as the medium to bring people together………It always works.
Do you remember the meal or the food?
I would love to hear your comments.
Next time: Is This ‘Free’ For Free?
Thank you ; I continue to learn new phrases and expressions upon reading these blogs ; eg Rasher which my dictionary defined as a thin slice of bacon . Hey I need more than that with my scrambled eggs .
I will leave a more “ In depth “ comment after I recover from the jet lag !
Yes Terry that was my problem first time I heard rasher. I was rather surprised bc I was not sure if I had done something wrong. Amazing how we remember certain things. Do you remember the meal or the food?