June 07, 2005

Table Talk If you want someone to know you, well you've got to do a bit of sharing, yourself. From time to time I come across something that doesn't exactly fit into a food posting. But it would make good dinner conversation. Most of these mentions will fall into my other areas of interest, travel, books, film, the arts--dance, photography and cultural commentary. The LA Times piece on the state of art criticism--with digressions into wine and restaurant criticism. Over at the Telegraph Arts BOOKS section this week was a thought piece on the "the distinction between novels and short stories." Journalist, critic and author, Philip Hensher states that the purist definition of a novel and a short story "is becoming blurred." He noticed the shift about 10 years ago as a competition judge. In his view, in the past short stories were "pretty clearly a succession of separate entities. Some collections were basically put together out of whatever the writer had been doing recently and given a unity only by one man's recurrent preoccupations - William Trevor's Angels at the Ritz, say, or most of V S Pritchett's. Other writers preferred to give their collections a deliberate unity; perhaps, as in James Joyce's Dubliners, by staying in a specific place; some, like Raymond Carver, by not venturing from a specific tone, a specific social flavour. The distinction, for readers, between the novel and the collection of short stories seemed pretty clear." Siting examples such as Ali Smith's Hotel World, David Mitchell's...
Asado, Teppan-yaki, Braai Cooking food over open flame is an activity that most of us participate in during the late spring and all throughout the summer. As mentioned in an earlier post there is a difference between grilling and bbq-ing. To further complicate things, word barbeque itself can be employed as a verb as in, “Please barbecue the meat now."; it can be a noun as indication of the equipment used, “Is the barbecue is ready, yet?”; and it can be an adjective, “We ate barbequed ribs last night.” And finally it can signal a social occasion as in "Y'all invited to a BBQ." Everywhere around the world it's called something different but it still stands for good food cooked over an open fire. Annette Kesler, the “doyenne of South African food writers”, in writing about the cultural history of barbeque states that perhaps “the Spanish were the first to give a name to the method of cooking over the coals. On their expeditions to the Americas they saw Indians cooking venison and fish over the coals, using a contraption of green twigs and termed this cooking method; ‘barbacoa’. Others say the name is borrowed from the word “barabicu” (‘the sacred fire pit’) from the Native American Timacua/Taino people of the Southeastern United States.” Here’s but a small tasting from around the world of fire: With year-round sunny skies and temperate climate South African braais--pronounced as BRY, rhyming with “eye”—is Afrikaans for barbecue and is a frequent method of preparing food. Originating in...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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