28 June, 2010

Sorry in advance. -Gets on Soap Box-

I told myself that I would never use this platform to push any serious agenda. Turns out I lied. I lied to myself. I got pretty angry with myself over the whole thing and had to give me a stern talking to. I felt pretty bad about lying to myself, so I apologized to me and ultimately ended up forgiving myself. I can't stay too angry at me for very long.

I am reading "Under the Banner of Heaven" by John Krakauer (Mostly because I am still looking for "Anger Management for Beginners" By Giles Coren. I know it is on Amazon. I don't shop there.) and I am taken aback by how bizarre the whole situation is. It reads like the tale of a frat-party gone wrong. One guy gets it in his head that he wants to sleep with a new lady that isn't his wife, so he tells people: God came to me and said I could have lots of wives. I know it sounds strange, but God says it is okay. 
But because it is pretty dodgy, and he knows it, he doesn't tell anyone for years. Just sleeps around, picking up these new "wives". Eventually, word gets out (How can it not when you are juggling a dozen "wives" and still hitting the local brothel every week?) and the locals were a little pissed. They end up killing him over it. 

Years later, another nutter reads the bit that God says it was okay, and starts doing the same thing *. (Screw the law! God said I get lots of wives) Well, his wife wasn't really into it, so she left him. He got a little bitter and ended up killing his Sister-In-Law. (It was all HER fault!) 

The whole thing makes me shake my head at religion. So much that I am stating, here and now, my religious beliefs. I am a Pastafarian. I belong to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I have been touched by his noodly appendage and I see his work in all things. I believe that when I die, I get to go to a heaven where I will dress in the Traditional Heavenly Costume of the Pirates and there will be strippers and cold beer.

I have been a Pastafarian for a while now. It makes as much sense as anything else and the tenets of the religion coincide with my own. I wasn't going to preach, but reading this book about the crazies has put me over the edge. I apologize if I put anyone off, but these are my beliefs. Please do not trample on them. 

* A lot of Nutters actually. I suppose if you can justify sleeping with 15 different women (although some of them are only 12 years old) by saying God says it is okay, and God is smarter than the Gub'ment, then who is going to stop you? Not the brainwashed members of your nutty cult, that is for sure. 

22 June, 2010

What has two thumbs and never blogs?

This Guy.

Okay, I fell off the planet again. I cannot blame illness or anything else. It is summerish and I have been out drinking WAY too much. Oh, and I was in Wales and they don't have the internet there. (If you have been there or are Welsh, Shhh. Don't let on that it is a real place)

I was actually only in Wales for one night and it was lovely. So Green. No wonder Edward I rode over there and set up camp, proclaiming that the first born shall henceforth be the Price of Wales. Okay. the Sticklers among you will say, "but Edward the II was the Earl of Chester and Flint. He wasn't the Prince of Wales." and to that I say to you. Shush. It started with Edward the First in 1301. It didn't take off until the Black Prince (Ed the V) was dubbed. New fads take time to catch on, especially when there is no cell phone service in Wales.

On to the 'meat' of the blog for today.

Last night I went out to a cooking class in Parsons Green, a place aptly called The Kitchen. It was a vegetarian Indian Menu composed of Spicy Lentils, Bombay potatoes, Lemon Rice (Elumichai Saadam) a Raita, and Dosai. I am told it was a Classic Thali Meal. We were greeted by a lovely lady named Rachel who gave us wine and chatted with us while we waited for the late-comers. Eventually, we met up with our Chef (Jimi Gill) who whipped up a nice Lassi to start with and gave us an overview of what we would be making.

He put us to work right away chopping the hell out of some white onion. Turning it into a paste more or less. We asked if we could grate the onion or toss it in the processor and were promptly --although not in a Ramsey-way-- told that the processor was a bad idea. It produces a lot of onion juice that can turn your curry bitter. Who knew?
So we chopped and chopped until he was satisfied with our work, (this is a cooking class, you don't just get to drink wine and watch. They already have that, it is called Television) then he brought us around to the cooker to show us how to toast spices and build up the layers of flavor that were going to be our Lentil Curry.

After the lentils were stewing away, we whipped up the bombay potatoes, the riata, and the rice then we all tried our hand at making the Paper Dosai. They proved to be impossible. We tried them in a cold pan getting warmer: The stuck like glue. We tried a warm pan: Stuck. We tried a hot pan filled with boiling butter: Sort of stuck. To quote our Chef, making Dosai is "Fucking Hard". Not sure what we were doing wrong, but we gave up and ate the other stuff. It was delicious. Just spicy enough that the riata kept you on an even keel. Nothing like a Vindaloo that you only order on a dare.

In short, it was a grand time. If you are in the area, you should try it out. Tell them I sent you and I am sure you will all get no special treatment. I am not famous. I will leave you with the greatest pic I saw at Tintern Abbey. "The Devil Tempting St. Bernard." I think something else is going on here. You be the judge.

02 June, 2010

Just a thought

I was looking at my blog today and wondering why I never write about drinks. The bloody thing is called Tea And Whiskey, yet I never write about tea or whiskey. Which, if you think about it, is quite odd because I really do love both of those things. I love sipping on a hot cup of tea. I love the ceremony that goes into making a lovely pot of tea. I used to make teapots almost exclusively back in my pottery days at Blossom Hill Crafts. I enjoy all types of tea, from the smokey, brush-fire taste of a Lapsang Souchon to the grassy-bitter hit of green. I don't quite get white tea. I think it tastes like hot water from Arizona, but I don't hate it.

The same goes for Whiskey. I love the stuff. Irish, Scotch, American, Bourbon*, even Asian. I wish I could drink it all the time. I might be one of the only people that go into the liquor stores and just read the labels, look at the colors, touch the pretty bottles. I am also aware of the fact that some of this is the sign of serious alcoholism, but I prefer to think of it as a love affair with Whiskey. It has been my favorite drink since before I was allowed to drink. I like to blame Uncle Clint for that one. (Happy Birthday Clint!) When The Man with No Name would step up to the bar and order a whiskey in that raspy voice, all eyes on him as he tipped the glass to his lips and poured the shot in without grimacing, I was hooked.

I have even gone so far as to make my own Whiskey when I lived in the South. (Don't tell the Gub'ment) Let me tell you, you have not been drunk until you have been drunk on 140 proof home-made liquor. (And yes, that was the first label)

I am not promising that I am going to start effusing on the tiniest details of various cocktails, but I might slip one or two into the mix. Just to make sure I can keep the name of the blog going. What fun is it if we don't talk about Tea or Whiskey?

*Bonus points if you can tell me the difference between Bourbon and Whiskey.