Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Food ramblings

So in my continuing quest to be more useful around the kitchen, I cooked up what I've always thought was a great Sunday dinner -- roast beef, potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, with some assistance on the vegetables. Oh, and a boatload of gravy. Always must have gravy.

This put me in the odd position of having to explain to my Chinese friends and family what various odd foods were. ("You put gravy on it.") Normally, I'm the one asking what X food is and how you eat it. I think, in 8+ years of loving Vicki, I've probably eaten one of every animal on Earth in one form or another. Plus a whole bunch of parts of animals that some people wouldn't consider food.

But I have, by and large, enjoyed everything I've eaten. So I'm always kind of flummoxed when I encounter a certain kind of provinicalism of the gut. Y'know, the kind of person who's repulsed by the unfamiliar, who refuses to eat anything that isn't recognizably from their tribe. But fucking everything is unfamiliar to somebody.

A Yorkshire pudding, literally something I grew up with, is an odd little creation. More than that, it's not immediately obvious why it should go so well with a roast beef dinner. But it does (did I mention the gravy?) and there weren't any left when we started cleaning up Sunday night.

A certain writer, who's already gotten too much attention in past weeks, had some choice words to say about the Chinese, their hygiene, and their food. All I can say is that the sickest (non-alcohol induced) I've ever been in my life was after eating at KFC, and in my years of immersion in Chinese eating I've never seen the kind of pickiness that is accepted as normal in white families but now drives me absolutely batty when I see it.

Last week Vicki and I concluded that our wedding will have a Chinese banquet, after my step-mother kindly averred that we didn't have to worry that much about her shellfish allergy. We'll still try to not kill her and all, but that was our only real concern -- her allergy, not the quality of the food.

Anyway, bit of a ramble. Chinese food is good, so are a bunch of other foods, you should keep an open mind, and unless you've sworn off any fast food at all, the grocery men on Spadina are the least of your concerns.

Oh, and roast beef is good.


Vicki said...

Who is this writer you speak of? I bet he's a greasy bread-eating white man that smells like bad milk and doesn't know that his steak and chicken wings once had heads. 8 )

I'm so happy you're gung-ho for a Chinese banquet. (Gung-ho being the Cantonese word for "conceding to whatever I wish," of course.)

Anonymous said...

Side note: google tells me that Yorksire pudding is a batter of flour, eggs, and milk cooked in drippings from meat, and then served with gravy. So some of the same effect as biscuits with gravy, but better because some of the meat flavor is cooked into the biscuits?

john said...

Basically yes, but if you cook them in a cupcake tin they form these convenient little dimples in the biscuit perfect for flooding with gravy.

Niles said...

a yorkshire pudding is the same 'quickbread' recipe as a popover at the muffin size. All depends on what you toss into them as sauce that makes side dish or dessert. The magic is the puff to a hollow eggy shell out of the hot oil.

celestialspeedster said...

I enjoyed your ethnic dishes, especially the Yorkshire pudding, but I still don't understand how it can be called 'pudding' since it is clearly a pastry.

It is worth noting that Chinese travel shows frequently spend as much time in restaurants as they do showing the sights.