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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

DSC07730The Queen of Queenstown

there is a burger bar in town that seems to be beating all boundaries of culinary fare. I refer to the legendary Fergburger bar in Queenstown, New Zealand . A seemingly insignificantly tiny space on one of the main thoroughfares which attracts a wild horde of ravenous diners for the legendary burgers it serves from hour to hour . Legend has it the space only closes for 3 hours cleaning  before it is up and serving again from dawn to veritable dusk.

DSC07733Cue the Queue

Due to its extreme popularity ,it goes without saying that this is a place at which you have to queue to be served . Queue busters regularly patrol telling you how long you are likely to wait . Our time was a mere 15 minutes until being able to place our order with a follow on 15 minutes to receiving said order.

DSC07734What is the Fergburger  Love all about ?

it is a simple formula of course – all you need to do is make a high quality , delicious, and  outsize burger – slightly spicy -served in a homemade bun with all the salad and sauce you can handle. Make some tasty Fries to match and you have  a winning formula fuelled with a cult status to boot.

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burma2013 335Snacks to go on the train…. the smallest stop in the middle of nowhere and a veritable army of sellers with loaded trayful of munchies leap on and their market cries echo through the train as they ply their wares ….cripy parings so awfully chilli hot the fear and the craving to eat them work in a strange harmony of doom …… ….

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packets and packets of strangely unappetising crunchy stuff ….feeling hungry ? how about a crispy bat wing or delicious crunchy locust ?you bet ! lost your appetite ? funny that….

burma2013 474The Burmese must have a very sweet tooth as the achingly sticky sweetmeats you see piled like glutinous mountains of tooth decay are neverending and numerous wherever you are .. cloying coconut, unctious unknown unfurling circles of doom for dental care….

bagfuls of crunchy nibbles are tantalisingly hung like lianas across all shop fronts leading to the inevitable trail of swirling crisp packets across the countryside..and during the course of our travels we sampled a beguiling array of poppadoms cooked in raging oils to fine super heated sand . Snack attack gone mad…

But up high in the orange groves the citrical heaps of oranges are like jewels strewn on the ground. The Ladies picking them choose wellingtons as their preferred choice of footwear as they toil up  steep embankments with baskets of oranges the size of rubbish bins carried by their head straps. The men choose their tasks with assured ease and laid back indolence.

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Coconuts fresh from the tree are wonderful and surpisingly full of sweet milk….burma2013 299

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A short blog to introduce you all to an amazing whole wheat oven baked snacky cracker :Llamas.

These are positively yummy and can be enjoyed at any time … but particularly when watching Strictly Come Dancing. Another real positive is the fact that they actually look like mini llamas. Cute or what !!

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Intestinal flora and fauna : the ugly truth .

There is probably one thing you can continure to drink with impunity throughout any stay in India and that is Lassi. Simplicity itself, it is a gorgeous yohurt drink, and when made properly can be a smooth silky frothy yoghurt shake of a thing .. when made in a slapdash way can be a watery torpid soup.So it is simple and can continue to be made back at home . Take some yohurt , blend it up with milk and drink it. Even when the dangerous bacterial bacillus get you down in India ,(an inevitable consequence )  a lassi is pretty much the only thing you can face across the breakfast table. This time around our trusty driver Prakash treated us to the best lassi ever bought from a suspiciously tidy little kiosk in Jaipur (the oldest lassi maker in the world I think) . Served in a beautifully conical handcrafted terracotta pot it was amazing ! struggled to bring the pots home and I can see them here on my terrace strangely foreign and bereft of their colleagues.There were piles of them in the shop towering like mini towers of pisa !

lassi come home

Of course there are different types of lassi available , from the sweet and salted to the rather more racey “Bhang” variety . The Bhang version being the same thing blended with marajuana.. which is readily available in some rather wacky Bhang shops and a certain dubious pizzeria in Pushkar. I am not sure where the “bhang” comes from .. but is probably the description of your eyeballs after you have partaken of the same and bang goes your life from henceforth. Talking of the pizza parlour (too grand a name for it although it had a rather authentic looking pizza oven  ) we were treated to the rather dodgy way of getting around the delicate issue of  an alcohol ban within the town limits.Cerveza beer arrived wrapped in a tin foil shroud accompanied by a tea cup from which to drink it. This same thing happened on our trip last year when in Jodphur we were invited to order “coffee” (kingfisher beer) and it was served in mugs.We also got on rather well with a very miaowy cat here which rather liked L’s pizza crust.

Another beverage to which we are particularly partial when in India is the wonderful and strangely spicy Chai.It is an exotic tea with a difference created by boiling  cold water, milk, sugar,tea and spices in one pot (of dubious  cleanliness ) and creating a murkily opaque super sweet concoction.In earlier times this was served in a cute little terracotta cup which one would dash to the ground after drinking and all would be well with the world and ones constitution. The ground would be littered with vicious shards of terracotta but hey !! Today it is often served in eerily unclean and gloomy looking cups with a most unhealthy pallour and certain charming grubbiness.The trick is to avert ones eyes from the insanitary kitchen arrangements . No ill effects from the various chai pitstops although we did have to visit a charming pharmacy in Pushkar for cough medicines , lozenges and cold remedies. Here are the  pharmacy boys in situ !

say aaahh!

say aaah !!

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snapshot of loveliness

There is nothing more sure and more focused than a crowd of Cologne marketeers as they weave their unerring way towards a gluhwein stall in Cologne. We were there and we were borne along by that throng of happy revellers into the arms of the glorious and all warming mulled wine grottos. Yes indeed we have sampled the best and the worst of the Cologne tinctures and deemed them all to be perfectly acceptable as a christmas tipple of choice. It is all about the atmosphere isnt it .. the unending trill of the christmas songs , the ominous waft of the oil of a thousand Ribeskuchen (probably not spelt that correctly )but the gist of it is :potato grated into a glutinous flattened rosti which is then thrown into a seething boiling  bucket of hot oil and served with apple sauce) (despite the heartattack certainty , it does taste pretty delicious even though I say it myself and tastes ten times better in a cold winter setting) another important point to note is that Cologne is probably the only location where you can wear a Norwegian pullover and a down jacket and not swelter half to death with heat stroke . And then of course there are the hot pork rolls and thuringer sausages and a veritable cornucopia of  greasy , heartstopping fare coupled with the tooth aching gingerbread hearts slathered in tooth breaking icing in a multitude of unnatural enumbers and colour palettes. Love it !!

India , my India !

And I loved even more the quasi rajasthani tent set up near the Ludvig Museum serving all manner of tasty snacks.

Cosima von Bonin exhibit

Cologne was not all about eating, Paul and I also managed to grab some culture and two exhibitions “Me myself and I” an exhibition of photo potraits of Picasso  and Cosima von Bonin’s Cut ! Cut! Cut! for Museum Ludvig’s Sloth section Loop#04 of the Lazy susan series . Music stunning … could feature in Paul’s christmas stocking !!!

all about Christmas

Back to reality at home and the disappointing let down of an advent calender without any christmas puppies in santa hats, kittens in stockings or baby donkeys in the snow. I’m bored of bling and  baubles, tired of timeless tat and tinsel  and cursed corny crackers !tally ho for Christmas !

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