Monday, February 21, 2005

Crab, Pork with Clams and Port

Portuguese cooking is interesting - lots of fresh sea food (especially shell fish), pork and lots of slow cooking. We went to Lena's mum and dad's (she is the one marrying James - see picture below) for dinner: stuffed squid (onions, squid tentacles, rice, spices), pork with clams, fish cakes to die for (cod, but so light they just melt in the mouth - super).

Christina (Lena's sister) and her husband Rui were there too, so a nice evening. James told us the story of him buying a crab at Save on Foods. It was wrapped in a brown paper parcel, claws firmly closed and tied. When James got to the check out, the girl at the till was "totally freaked out that you'd bring a live crab here!" and couldn't check it through - James had to do it for her. Just another example of the coming generation being so deconstructed.

I told the story of going to Urban Fair (now no more, but once a gourmets paradise), picking up a celeriac and strolling to the check out. "What is it?" I was asked.

"No - that's green and its pronounced celery - what's this ?" as she pointed to the celeriac.
"Its called celeriac"
"No, that's green - I've already said this.."
"Yes, but this is a completely different vegetable - its called celeriac and its a root vegetable - soups, mashed with spuds.."

- so she finally looked it up, blushed and acknowledged that I was right.

Christina was saying that the most common mistake is to confuse sweet potato with yams, which is good because yams are much more expensive.

I have just finished the third and final volume of the Graham Greene biography by Norman Sherry. It is an excellent account of a man one cannot but admire - a fighter, fearless and brilliant novelist and play-write.

Now, I am looking for a good detective story - more later.

On Sunday we have the Oscars. Our annual ritual of reviewing the years best films and getting a sense of where the industry is at. It needs help, in my view. A poor year overall for film, though it got better in the last six weeks of the year. Predictions later.

Now, time to watch the TV series I have been following about the occupation of the channel islands during the second world war by the Germans. Excellent series on Masterpiece Theatre (KSPS - PBS Television) - recorded on one of my two DVD recorders.

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