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The Lounge: Chat. Relax. Unwind. > FOOD! What is it for you?

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message 1: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Well, we have discussed about many things already, including drinking, but what about food? Is it more for you than just sustenance to keep alive? If you look at it, food and cuisine are significant parts of most cultures and countries. You encounter it in books, movies, television programs and in everyday life. Personally, I love eating, I like to cook and I enjoy writing and reading about food when a scene in a book calls for it. Nearly every time that I had to write a paragraph where food is mentionned or described (as part of a structured story, of course), I have to pause and go raid the refrigerator.

So, what is food for you, both in real life and in books?

message 2: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16085 comments I'm not a connoisseur, but food indeed should be enjoyable not just a petrol that keeps us running-:)
Besides, usually goes nicely with the drinking.
But with it also lies a great danger. First, I'm not sure how humans are adapted to abundance rather than scarcity, and to inactive lifestyle (except for those who have physical, dynamic work), hence - overweight with all the paraphernalia.
Second, all those coloring, conserving and other additions, E-s, etc may not be the best intake for our bodies.
I don't think diet awareness should kill fun of enjoying eating, but probably total ignorance is hardly good either.

message 3: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments Having just had a lovely lamb chop dinner, I can happily say I really enjoy food.

I think it's important to avoid gluttony, but avoiding enjoyment out of a sense of diet awareness seems to be overkill, and something that is currently all too common. Everywhere you turn it's about 'good' food, 'bad' food, and 'clean' food. Clearly, we shouldn't head in the opposite direction either.

And I did grow up on Enid Blyton's books, so I have a fondness for ginger beer, and the whole idea of pop biscuits! (Simply scrumptious!)

message 4: by Holly (new)

Holly (goldikova) I love trying new recipes, shopping for the best ingredients and the process of prepping and cooking.

Right now I am part of a fundraising project with our local library. We are calling it the "Lost Restaurant Cookbook". What we are doing is collecting recipes of the favorite dishes that were served at local eateries that have gone out of business. As well as tracking down people who might still have the recipes, I am also the test cook. This has been a lot of fun combining local history, cuisine and publishing.

message 5: by Michel (last edited Aug 14, 2018 06:49AM) (new)

Michel Poulin One of my pleasures in life is to learn about new dishes from around the World (mostly by watching culinary shows on TV, like Anthony Bourdain's show) an then try to replicate them. To me, the presentation of the food counts for little: even if it looks like s..t, as long as it tastes good, I will be in heaven. Taste is the premium quality in food for me. I loathe this business of 'Nouvelle Cuisine', where the chef takes minutes to carefully puts drops of sauce around a micro-sized piece of meat in an 'artistic' way, then charges you an outrageous price for a plate that leaves you still hungry. That's for rich snobs, not for true food lovers! Imagination also is a big factor for me in cooking. When a thought comes to me while cooking, telling me 'what if I add this?', then I try it. Most times, it comes out great.

The one thing that does not attract me is super-spicy food: I am not very tolerant of 'hot' spices, so I am cautious when dealing with 'hot' recipes, like chili con carne (like but in mild variant), Indian and Thai spicy recipes. By the way, I learned the hard way that the best thing to calm the burning sensation from too spicy a dish is milk, lots of it.

What are my favorite dishes? I could honestly answer 'any dish that tastes good', but that would be the lazy way out, so here are some of my favorite dishes:
- To go to the 'Reubens Delicatessen' in downtown Montreal and eat one (or two) huge smoked meat sandwiches, with tender, juicy, fat and tasty smoked meat piled four inches (ten centimeters) high between two slices of rye bread (don't forget mustard). Feel the meat melt in your mouth while fat juice rolls down the corners of your mouth!
- A full plate of pork back ribs, with either potatoes or rice. Instead of the more popular way of cooking ribs on top of a BBQ grill, I do it in a simpler, less fat way: I use a big pot with double bottom that would let me steam the meat, but I don't stop there. First, after filling the bottom part with water and putting it to boil, I pile in the bottom vegetables (potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.), put salt, garlic and other spices on them, then lay in multiple layers my ribs (or chicken legs for a variant), which have been marinated/spiced in advance, then let the whole pot steam for 60/90 minutes. This way, the fat and juices from the meat (with some spice in them) drips down through the layers of vegetables, impregnating them with the taste of the meat. At the end, you have incredibly tender meat that is rid of most of its excess fat, plus vegetables with great taste. The bonus in this? It is the water in the bottom that has collected the juices, fat and spices from the meat, turning it into a super broth that makes excellent soup later on. You just need to refrigerate that broth and then remove the top layer formed by the fat to have the best soup broth ever.

Hungry yet?

message 6: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11797 comments I live alone, so most of the time eating is refueling, BUT when I have guests I like to try new things, and sometimes I like to try and recreate something that I liked in the past, but for one reason or another there is no recipe easily available, e.g. as noted above, from a place that has gone out of business. But I doubt that anyone would call me a connoisseur.

message 7: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Now that we discussed (a bit) good food (more to come), let's just discuss a bit about bad food, just for fun. What I have in mind is naming and describing some of the more despicable items of military rations known to soldiers during and after WW2 as described in the small but entertaining book Fubar F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition Soldier Slang of World War II by Gordon L. Rottman Fubar F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition: Soldier Slang of World War II . Here we go!
- Airship and Clouds: Australian sausages and mashed potatoes.
Aldershot Cement: Actually nickname for British Army cooks, which says something of the quality of their food.
- Alter Mann: 'Old man' in German. German Army nickname for Italian-issued tinned beef served in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. Also called 'Arsch Mussolini' (Mussolini's ass).
- Armored Diesel: mixture of triple whiskey, lemon juice and sugar on ice.
- Artillery Punch: Potent mixture of rum, rye, brandy, champagne, wine, tea and fruit juices, known to kick like a recoiling breechblock.
- Aviation Beer: A French beer, also called 'P-38 beer', because you drank one and peed 38 times.
- Battery Acid: K-ration lemonade so awful that it was used as cleaning fluid.
- Biscuit Burgoo: Porridge made from crumbled biscuits rather than from oatmeal.
- Blackstrap Coffee: Thick, strong coffee with the viscosity of molasses.
- Bombo: Cheap Australian wine drunk by the gallon.
- Bug Juice: either insect repellent or home-brewed alcoholic beverage (both equally potent).
- Bully Beef: Tinned corned beef. Eaten and hated by most British Commonwealth soldiers in WW2, along with U.S. Marines in the Pacific.
- Canned Willie (also, Monkey Meat): the infamous Australian canned bully beef hated by all U.S. Marines who served in the Pacific in WW2.
- Cap Badge: Bone in a soup or stew. About as tasty.
- Chook: Powdered eggs.
- Churchill-Pimmel: German for 'Churchill's dick'. Nickname for blood sausage.
- Cocksucker Bread: French 'baguette' bread.
- Dago Red: Cheap wine from San Diego sold to local servicemen.
- Dachschwein: 'Roof pig' in German. Nickname for a cat.
- Dog Biscuit: K-ration crackers.
- Dog Food: Canned corned beef hash found in C- and K-rations.
- Goldfish: Tinned sardines.
- Grappa: Italian brandy...of sorts.
- Graveyard Stew: Weak stew with little or no meat, mostly bones.
- Greasy Dick: Griesedieck Brothers beer.
- Horst Wessel-Suppe: German for 'Horst Wessel soup', a meatless, flavorless soup with nearly nothing in it.
- Jungle Juice: Home-brewed liquor.
- Kennel Ration: Army meatloaf or hash.
- Lysol: Cheap, sharp-tasting French brand of absinthe liquor, had qualities of the disinfectant of the same name.
- Monkey Balls: Canned kadota figs.
- Monkey Dicks: Vienna sausages, referred to their taste.
- Mussolini-Kartoffeln: German for 'Mussolini potatoes', nickname for macaroni and spaghetti.
- Quatschschwein: German for 'balcony pig'. Nickname for rabbits raised on balconies and roofs by starving German civilians at the end of WW2.
- Seagull: either describes chicken served on Sunday in Marine mess halls, or prostitute specializing in the unique requirements of Marines and sailors.
- Soldat buterbrod: Russian for 'soldier's sandwich'. Ironic nickname for a single slice of black bread.
- SOS (Shit On a Shingle): The ever-popular creamed, chipped or ground beef on toast.
- Stalintorte: German for 'Stalin's pastry'. Tasteless but filling German Army-issued black dry bread.
- Wassersuppe: German for 'water soup', describes nutritional value of such soup.
- Wimpy Special: Hamburgers served in Austria, named after the Popeye cartoon character Wimpy.

message 8: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16085 comments -:) Cool stuff, Michel!
Grappa is actually not bad.

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