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Thread: Pandemic Cooking

  1. #1
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Pandemic Cooking

    Pandemic Cooking.

    “A man can live for three days without bread, but no man can live for one day without poetry”, was an aphorism of Baudelaire.

    Who, indeed, on this august literary forum would hesitate between an ode and an omelette, a sonnet and a souffle? Yet the position is not entirely Philistine; cookery is an art.

    We seem over the years to have gravitated from one extreme to another. Take for example the illustration of food in cookery books. The subject of a work of art has, of course, nothing to do with its beauty, but still there is always something depressing about the coloured lithograph of a leg of mutton in a Victorian cookery book. Today, the portraying of food verges on that of culinary porn; when in reality all we might really need is a recipe for making Brussels sprouts edible.

    I think that at the current juncture, the real difficulty that we all have to face in life, is not so much the science of cookery as the imagination of cooks.

    There are those who should for their iniquities be turned into pillars of salt if not knowing how to use this essential ingredient. But at least they have tried. Then there are those, who have discarded their heritage and subsist on take aways, chicken in a bag, or McDonalds. Perhaps the pandemic lockdown and self-isolation will spur on some improvement.

    Recently I was researching Victorian recipes, and came across one book entitled “Dinner and Dishes,” the author of which went under the rather sinister name of “The Wanderer.”

    As you can imagine he was not a stuck at home kind of character. In it, he describes how he had travelled extensively. He recounts that he had eaten back-hendl at Vienna and kulibatsch at St. Petersburg; he has had the courage to face the buffalo veal of Romania; he has serious views on the right method of cooking those famous white truffles of Turin of which Alexandre Dumas was so fond; and, in the face of the Oriental Club, declared that Bombay curry is better than the curry of Bengal.

    Sounds like a man after my own heart.

  2. #2
    Inexplicably Undiscovered
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    /Sigh/
    All I need is somebody to get some groceries. But I can't help feeling guilty when asking a loved one to risk his or her life just so I can get some ingredients for risotto. (Let alone toilet paper.)

    Still, the grocery store workers aren't any less brave than hospital workers. All essential workers deserve our gratitude. (That includes postal carriers!)

    Stay well, NitLetters!

  3. #3
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Hi, Aunt Shecki,
    I hope you have found someone, who is already out in the street, to run small errands for you. I live at about ten paces from grocery and supermarket, but where I live people who can, specially if over 60, are beseeched to stay at home. But some of the stores send the ware. And yes, all essential workers are brave, without them quarantine would not be possible.
    Stay well, too!
    @Manichaean,

    By your title I expected some exotic but practical quarantine recipes and I get "The Wanderer"!!
    On a more modest note I am trying to cook dishes I didn´t try for ages. My most recent experiment is cooking rice without fat and salt.
    It works when using an anti adherent pot. However, when transfered to the fridge it blends into a grub to the moto "Closely united we win any contest".
    But if one warms the grub with a bit of water one recuperates the grains.
    Anyway the quarantine is stimulating your creativity!
    Stay well !
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  4. #4
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Hi Danik

    One of the stimuli of this pandemic and self isolation is that it is either: forcing those who live on McDonalds / takeaways to start cooking, or giving time for the creative juices of those who aspire to culinary heights.

    Today I'm trying for the first time " Plov", a Russian lamb pilau. Bit like a East European biryani I think.

    Stay safe.
    M.

  5. #5
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Hope you enjoyed the dish, whatever it is made of beside lamb.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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