dans la maison.

I should do this every week: went to The Movies today to watch a French movie with Dutch subtitles. French is not totally ununderstandable to me, and therefore not totally ignorable as if it were Hungarian or Finnish. So between understanding 15% of the spoken French, understanding 85% of the Dutch subtitles, and trying to find time to enjoy the actors' faces and other cinematic kinds of things: it was exhausting, the degree of difficulty magnified by the fact that the film was a very talky meta-movie about writing.

But it was mostly great, go see it. The first half especially spins out an inescapable and very suspenseful Rear Window-style Viewer Implication Trap for you to fall into. It kind of overreaches and can't make up its mind a bit in the 2nd half, and I think the ending is a bit of a letdown, but I can't say for sure because the audio disappeared very distractingly with about 15 minutes to go. Because it's a François Ozon movie, I wondered for a second if this was on purpose, some kind of a Haneke-style trick, but when the subtitles kept going it became clear there was a malfunction somewhere.

But everyone kept watching and reading subtitles, and after a few minutes you could hear someone in the rafters or behind the screen doing some troubleshooting. They popped in and apologized for the nuisance and went back to trying to fix it.

Five minutes later the sound came back and we watched the remaining 8 minutes or so of the movie, and I couldn't help imagining what would've happened next in an American movie theater in this situation: people storming the ticket counter to demand their money back, etc.

What happened instead was that, as the credits started to roll, a The Movies employee came into the theater and offered to "replay" the last 15 minutes of the movie for anyone that wanted to see it again with sound. Nobody did.


And then we came home and I made those ol'chile-orange mussels and some sweet potato fries that were actually fried, in a skillet, fried in an expensive amount of coconut oil (roughly 3 minutes per side) with some fresh rosemary and sage leaves thrown in for aromatherapy and then the whole mess sprinkled with salt and smoked paprika. Then dipped in sriracha ketchup. Worth repeating.

And then finally, a boozy and tart €0.75 reklame dessert from De Avondmarkt that I enjoyed so much, I now want to taste the real thing.


schwarzwälder kirschtorte (black forest cake).

1 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk ´

1/2 cup kirsch
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 cups icing sugar
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup espresso
1 and 1/2 lbs fresh black cherries

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 cup kirsch


wednesday i'm in love.

It's because there's someone new in my life. Here's how it happened.

This past year, 2012, as you may know, Cave Cricket #2 and I applied for our "unlimited time" residence permits here in The Lovely Netherlands. At the time we applied for the permits, there was a substantial application fee, I'm talking about a substantial amount of money, proportionally speaking, like a couple months' rent.

We applied back in March or something. We got the permits (!!!!!!) in August. Fantastic, right? Two weeks ago, Mara was doing our internet banking and was like, "Uh hey there sparky, did you like buy something for (insert approximate amount of one month's rent) a couple weeks ago? Like, twice on the same day?" Of course I did no such thing, and of course Mara would never say "like" that many times if at all, but anyway: immediately panic sets in, what the fuck did we do wrong this time, cause this is the way you think when you're an immigrant.

But then my dear roommate says: "Ah, wait. Ha. Sorry, that's money coming into our account." Which never happens, I don't blame her for assuming the opposite. I say "So someone paid us twice for something?"

The conversation went on in this vein for a while, I'll spare you the details, but come to find out: this money was from the government, specifically the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization because: in-between the time of our application for residence and their processing of that application, the cost of the application fee was dramatically reduced. And they refunded us the difference between the old amount and the new amount, directly into our bank account.

Maybe I haven't traveled enough but...what other government on earth would do this? I decided to celebrate my not knowing the answer to that question by taking this aforementioned windfall money and purchasing a new love interest, yes that's right I bought a new fucking laptop that actually seems to work and compute at normal speeds. For €500 (here it is, if you're in the market).

It feels like finally getting glasses after years of not being able to see (I guess that's what three years of netbook ownership does to you, makes you appreciate normal laptops again). It does not only one thing at a time successfully, but sometimes two or three. YouTube actually works with video and sound playing at the same time. In general, clicking on something often seems to have the desired effect. ETC ETC ETC. Eeeeeeeeeyyyyyaaay.

Oh, and: Thanks, Government of The Netherlands! You're pretty fly sometimes.



you complete me.

If, like me, you have a blog that has been going for a while, maybe you forget some things you've already blogged about and then blog about them again. I mean not the stuff about estranged friends dying, or general social incompetence, or veiled references to recurring problems...you tend to remember that stuff.

Nope I'm talkin' bout runner bean recipes. I make awesome runner beans (snijbonen in Dutch), in an Atlanta-meets-Paramaribo stylee. Soft and spicy is what I'd call them if that didn't sound completely gross. But they're great, and I never use a recipe, and for some reason I often completely forget that they're in my arsenal, or holster, or wherever I keep things to cook.

Here's the definitive reminder.


mark's really good runner beans. 

400gr runner beans, cut attractively
1 can of whole or chopped unseasoned tomatoes
1/2 cube of good, unspiced chicken or vegetable boullion
1/2 cup of water, or more, maybe a cup, enough for the beans to be submerged
1 healthy tbsp of surinamese sambal (javanese also works well, probably any sambal would work well)
1 tbsp butter

Combine all of this in a pot, cook until the beans are the consistency of, say, tagliatelle and the sauce is reduced, this took almost 90 minutes last time, but maybe I could've stopped after an hour.



barcelona whenever.

View Barthelona Whenever in a larger map.


I'm starting to remember how this works: you read about a place and then get excited about/interested in visiting that place. It totally just happened with me and Barcelona. Why does it still refuse to happen with me and Paris? I canNOT get legitimately excited about the city of lights or whatever it's sometimes called.

Just a reminder: try to duplicate the now-closed Bar Inopia's pineapple + lime zest + molasses dessert.

Here's the Guardian's list of Barcelona tapas bars, I didn't see it til after I'd made my list, good to see there's at least a little overlap. Here's this too.


Quimet i Quimet. 
Known b/c of Bourdain, but sounds unmissable anyway. This is the place with the salmon and honey tapa. Almost everything comes from cans.


Montolio Can Maño Restaurant.
Pretty unknown and locals-oriented.

Paco Meralgo.
One of the few Sunday night options, mostly great but uneven reviews. Show up at 8:30pm to get a seat.

In the market, open at 8am. A "fish or meat?" place.

Kiosko Universal.

La Cova Fumada.

Bar Tomas.
Allegedly the best patatas bravas in town.

El Xampanyet.
Either get there at 11am or 7pm. Good cava, boquerones, lomo.

Cal Pep.
Get there by 7pm to wait in line for the bar (info). Sit at the bar, not in the back room. Is near Picatho museum so good to combine.

La Vinateria del Call.
Very old wine bar.


Finally went to Vlaming (the eetcafe not the brasserie) on Friday night, and yes, it was everything everyone said it was going to be: a great eetcafe. In addition to it immediately becoming our new default non-pizza dinner out, I also totally see why tourists love this place the way they seem to on TripAdvisor: it's real, simple, home-cooked food, cooked well (well-seasoned and everything), in a chill but bustling room that's appropriately lit. Very amiable people behind the bar, and totally reasonable prices.

As you can see, we ate at the bar, and we had: steak with a mushroom/cream sauce; seared tuna with chuka wakame; frites 'n' mayo; pleasant-enough salad; above-average wine (malbec very good, pinotage meh); and the best sticky toffee pudding I've ever had. Ever. I'm licking the plate with my mind right now. Almost makes me want to have a real job so I could do this all the damn time. Heyyyyy.....maybe I could get a job licking plates with my mind!!!

Seriously I would go back for that dessert again right now.



me, mt, pah-ree, eventual-lee.

View Paris Eventually in a larger map!!!!


So my little blast of research for those doomed twentysomethings was informative enough and thus enjoyable enough to remind me that I was vicariously traveling through them and that I should really try harder to travel in my own real life, money being the greatest obstacle to this, and thus, Note To Self, I should try harder to set aside some money to travel with.

This Paris trip is the kind of trip that will never ever happen unless I first research it and plan it, so I've decided that that's what I'm going to do, because it's stupid that it's so close and I've never been there: it's Paris. I don't know when we would go, but here's where the trip planning officially starts. 

I have another of these trips in mind too actually, one that also has no actual reality-based timeframe: Barcelona, specifically to see the Gaudi buildings. The watchword for both of these trips would be: pretty massive cheapness. Like 4 days tops, frills: none, and probably not til 2014, if the world's still here. But more on that later. 



pizza v/d week.

Last night Miss KK and I shared (among other things) La Perla's pizza of the week: radicchio, smoked mozzarella, and fennel sausage. It's good.


culture smash.

View Cactus Fuck 2012 in an even larger map!!!!!!


This is the beginning of a long post designed to steer the young and sexy hooligans of Cactus Truck towards Goodness. Or at least Interesting Americana. Food Writers of America Who Are Also Somehow Vegetarian Duck Readers: let's come together and help these boyz really TASTE AMERICA.

Their moronically ambitious USA tour schedule is here; if you are intimate with one of their unfortunate destinations and you have recs for a divey breakfast or scuzzy late-night hang or anything else they might rub their curious, misshapen genitals on please get in touch. Oversaturated places like NYC, New Orleans, Olympia, Portland, Austin, etc are a lower priority than underresearched towns like Cedar Falls, Wilmington, Boise, Fayetteville, etc. I'm also going to skip most of the Carolinas cause after Charlotte they're with Jeb and that's his neck of the woods.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand lastly: I'm focusing mostly on American regional specialties b/c I think that most people they're hanging with will recommend more ethnic shit and so this is to provide some reverse variety.


For this first batch of southeastern dates, it should go without saying that at any point a stop at a Waffle House would be a good idea (have a pecan waffle and/or eggs + hash browns, can't recommend anything else).

ATLANTA (Monday)
near the venue
Community Q BBQ. Open 11 til 20.30 on Mondays. No beer, takeout's a better idea anyway maybe.
Mi Barrio. Monday it's dinner only. Known for their posole. 

on the way out of town via buford highway
El Rey Del Taco. Open 10am to 5am. Real Mexican tacos, not much English spoken. I had carnitas, suadero, lengua, and a Michelada (Michelob + clam juice + other stuff) the last time I was there.
Quan Ba 9. Open 10am-10pm. Serious Vietnamese, no English spoken, hangover cure is soup called Mi Quang Ba 9. Or Chao Ga, featuring cubes of chilled blood. Use The Chile Oil.
Gu's Bistro. Closed Monday, but Tuesday open for lunch 11-3:30, closed from 3.30-4.30. Szechuan.

I would love to send them to Diamonds, but being killed and/or having your tour van stolen on the first night of the tour seems a bit overzealous.

near the venue
Midwood Smokehouse. Open 11am-11pm. Supposedly best BBQ-like experience in downtown Charlotte.
John's Country Kitchen. Not sure of the hours, but open for breakfast and lunch. Very old-school Southern place, and cheap cheap cheap. Could see how the food might not be amazing, but the experience should be pretty unique. And if you stick with biscuits, grits, eggs, bacon....everthang should be fine.

WASHINGTON, DC (actually Silver Spring, MD, but whateva)
I wasn't going to recommend anything here until I realized where the gig actually was. And I'm only recommending these three b/c I think decent affordable food is going to be hard to find near the venue. 
Mandalay. Real Burmese food, close to the venue.
Addis Ababa. For a taste of home/Amsterdam/Addis.
Tastee Diner. A 77-year-old, 24-hour diner, closeby the venue. Need I say more.

on the way
John's Roast Pork. Open 6:45am to 3pm. Yes, the hours are unrealistic. It is right on the way up from Washington, but the schedule is probably not right. But this is Chowhound/eGullet's fave roast pork sammie in town.
Tony Luke's. If you can't make it to John's, this is the other more possible way to have a real Philly cheesesteak or a roast pork + broccoli rabe. They're open 6am-midnight.
Johnny's Hots. Hot dogs. And hot sausage, which is the thing you want to order. Open 4:30am-2pm.

near the venue, these two are just in case, I wouldn't go out of my way to eat there
Memphis Taproom. 11:30-2am. Nice-looking beers, nice-sounding beer garden, menu mixes basics like hot dogs, wings and schnitzel with more far-out shit like smoked coconut and deep-fried kosher dills. At first I thought it was on the expensive side, but I think that's just northern/Philly prices.
Green Rock Tavern. 4pm-2am. Another very well-reviewed tavern seemingly not unlike the one above (minus beer garden), except that this one has pierogi. Plus an open mic night every Monday. I mean, you're there on a Monday....

on the way to Boston
Czerw's Kielbasy. 75-year-old Polish smokehouse, you need their kielbasa and their pierogi. Unfortch closed Mondays but open 7am-5pm Tuesday.

I'd probably have to have a $20 sandwich.

You should really be having crab, but somehow I think $85/dozen is outside the tour budget. If not, there are a couple of legendary places as you approach Baltimore from the northeast, Mr. Bill's Terrace Inn seems to get the best reviews. But I imagine pit beef is more reasonable pricewise. 
Pioneer Pit Beef. One of two competitors for Best in Town. This one's on your way out of town.
Chaps. This one's kind of on your way into town.

I wasn't going to suggest anything for Chicago b/c I figured you'd be well taken care of there by the friendlies. But for years I've been reading about a couple places that I would have to try if I was there.
Hot Doug's. Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium. Often called the best in a town full of great dogs. I'd have to try the Atomic Bomb. Downside would be the 30-minute wait to get inside, pics.

I used to live here. 
Victor's 1959 Cafe. Nearish the venue, Cuban diner, maybe for breakfast. Sounds like the real thing.

Ahhh, Seattle. I used to be in love with Seattle...I've probably spent a total of six-to-nine months there without ever actually being a resident, and there are a few places that I would have to go if I returned. 
Piroshky Piroshky. A Russian bakery in Pike Place Market that is possibly the best-smelling place on earth. Poppyseed-raisin was my jam back in the day, smoked salmon was good too, in fact it was all pretty good. But the smell.....fuck.
Virginia Inn. When I was spending a lot of time in Seattle, it was pre-cellphone times. Yes. And so, maybe you remember how this used to work: if you're in a strange city with a bunch of friends, it helps if you have some kind of default rendezvous place in case you get separated. Virginia Inn was ours. There's nothing at all cool about it I imagine except for the 10 generally awesome local beers on tap.
The Lusty Lady. Very sad that this place is gone, it was a source of amusement and wonder.
OK Hotel. Geez, also gone. Bogus. I don't even want to know what else isn't there anymore.

Kogi BBQ. Korean-Mexican BBQ taco truck. Other than advanced/expensive sushi, this is really the only thing I can think of that screams "LA" to me. Problem will be chasing it around...it's at different places on different days. And when you do find it there'll be a line. The website has the schedule (some pics here).

If that fails, I'd either head to Koreatown for, eh, Korean or go to the Hollywood branch of Roscoe's.

Oh yeah and don't forget to have an In-N-Out burger at some point before you leave the west coast. They're in California, Arizona, and if you fuck that up, Austin as well.

It doesn't make too much sense to eat anything besides Mexican or Southwestern food in Phoenix.  I mean Pizzeria Bianco is supposedly the best pizza in America, and not too too far from the venue, so that could happen, but yes after my first/last visit I decided that although it was really great pizza, I myself wouldn't go too far out of my way for it. Maybe I'd go and split a Rosa if I had time. Anyway, here's what's near the venue.

Tacos Atoyac. Real Oaxacan food, haven't been there yet myself but this is definitely where I'd go today if I had time for one meal downtown.
America's Taco Shop. If you're pressed for time, this is essentially a small-chain fast food restaurant, but not shitty inside and the tacos are very good and cheap.

I think you're pretty much going to have to leave right after the show if you want to make it to somewhere like Las Cruces, NM to sleep, which you kind of have to do in order to have a reasonable drive to Austin after that, assuming you're spending two nights in Austin blah blah blah. If you do make it to Las Cruces, you should eat at Los Compas. If you do end up still being in Phoenix for breakfast, Dick's Hideaway is my favorite place to eat in all of Phoenix, yes it's a sports bar, and they open at 7am. It's not as sleazy as it sounds, in fact it's on the expensive side (probably $15 for breakfast), but it's perfect Southwestern food.

In December the boys are zigzagging across Texas a little bit. Maybe they have time to stop at one of the pretty legendary holy grail BBQ places that are in-between the bigger cities. Their path takes them from Phoenix to Austin, back to Houston, and then back east to New Orleans. Here's one person's entertaining attempt to eat at a few of the below places. The thing that years of eating and cooking and reading about BBQ has taught a brother: it's not an exact science. Places can have bad days, or even bad times of day, you just gots to hope for the bestest.

Franklin Barbecue. In Austin. Newish and consistently loved, I've read almost nothing negative about it (which is highly unusual in the BBQ debates). Brisket and ribs are supposed to be fantastic. If there's anything negative about Franklin's it's that it's impossible to eat there. You're supposed to have to get there at 8:30am to stand in line to make sure you get some food. They don't open til fucking 11am and run out of food by noon. So....I guess I would sadly skip this unless I had 3 hours to kill or a local person knew a way around the crowd. Although apparently you can drink beer while you're in line. It could be fun.

But in Austin I think would try to eat at the Texas Chili Parlor instead of standing in line at Franklin: TCP serves real Texas style chili and Frito pie as well.

Smitty's. In Lockhart, TX, this is possible on the way from Austin to Houston, and looks like an awesomely historic place. This is almost always one of the Top 5 BBQ places in all of Texas, and would maybe be my one stop if I only had one. Open Mon-Fri 7am-6pm (Sun 9am-3pm), but brisket might not be ready until 10am. You want to order "moist brisket" (not lean) or pork ribs. They do run out of food every day, but they seem to at least make it through lunch. On weekends they do pork spareribs which are supposedly the shitz.

Black's Barbecue. Also in Lockhart, also a Top 5er, the advantage here is that they're not fetishists about the ordering process or the use of sauce (Smitty's and most of the others serve no sauce). Brisket or beef ribs and cole slaw is what you want, pork isn't their strong suit.

Louie Mueller. Another Top 5 place. Brisket is the focus, but sausage and beef ribs also highly-rated. Problem is, it's a little out of the way, 25 miles north of Austin, and there's no great time in the schedule to fit this in. They're closed Sunday, open Monday at 11am.

Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q. Yes it's a chain, but supposedly Houston's best BBQ by a significant bit, but not in the same league as any of the rest of this shit. There's one on the way into town coming from Austin. They're also open from 7am to 10pm, so yeah convenient and shit.

City Market in Lulling. The last of the Top 5 on this list. It's off of Interstate 10 on the way to New Orleans. You want to order the brisket or pork ribs. Still trying to figure out what time of day you need to get there (here's another review).

unfortch nothing's really near the venue. One unusual thing about New Orleans is that there's a surprising amount of consensus about where to get really good versions of things.

Parkway Bakery and Tavern. Nearly indisputably the place to get a shrimp poboy. Or a beef po boy. Unfortunately they're closed Tuesdays, but maybe Monday or Wednesday will work out.
Parasol's Bar and Restaurant. A very close second place for beef or shrimp po boys, and closer to the venue. And open 7 days a week, 11am-9pm.
Johnny's Po BoysBreakfast or Po-Boys. I don't think anyone would say these were better than Parkway or Parasol's, but the phrase "best in the Quarter" kept coming up (the other two not being in the Quarter).
Central GroceryIndisputably the place for a muffaletta. If you have a fridge in the van get some to go, they keep for days.
ACME Oyster Bar: The place for oysters, but yeah it's also a ridiculous tourist attraction that most locals seem to actively hate. It looks horrible. Casamento's would be a less flashy option.

ST. LOUIS (Thursday)
St. Louis seems like another BBQ and diner weirdness city. Plus lots of Bosnians.

Bogart's Smokehouse. Pretty legendary, if you're not there when it opens expect a line out the door. 10:30-4pm, might have to be Friday lunch (they're open til 8pm Fridays).
Big Ed's Chili Mac. Slingers and other crazy shit. Since they're open 5:30am-2pm I guess it would have to be Friday lunch also I imagine.


I've never been to any of these next cities, but I do know that nothing else about them seems as interesting as their weird specialized evolutions of normal food.

loosemeats sandwich/pork tenderloin

butter burger, fish fry
McBob's. Beer, brats, fried fish and above all, corned beef.

reuben/runza/bierocks/cheese frenchees

basque food? unexpected but true.
Bar Gernika. Too bad you're not there on Saturday, that's Beef Tongue Day.



ill communication.

So there I was, repeatedly vacuuming my own head in an attempt to demonstrate to Mačka that there was really no good reason to be afraid of the vacuum cleaner, I think I was even saying "See? It's fine, look...Daddy's not getting hurt," or some such nonsense, when I realized (prepare for improper semicolon use): A) I was doing this in total seriousness, without a hint of self-awareness or irony, my singular goal was inter-species communication; B) I am not really my cat's "Daddy", at least non-sexually; and, C) no one else was probably engaging in this embarrassing ridiculousness right now, anywhere.


Why was I vacuuming in the first place you might ask. It was another Bao Night at Casa Moop, in belated honor of ze Noops turning 40. Everything was pretty much the same as previous Bao Nights except that we had to reboot the fkn oven midway through (it keeps overheating and tripping some kind of "helpful" shutdown mechanism, after which, wearing hot mitts, you have to: lift/pull the still-hot oven away from the wall, unscrew the back, flip a hidden switch, reassemble, and resume cooking), and Merle ze Poodle would NOT stop humping my goddamn leg at all, nearly overheating his own damn self (pic forthcoming)...the poor bastard nearly had a damn heart attack cos my leg is so unstoppably SEXXX.

Oh yeh also I made ginger-pickled beets (grated ginger, rice vinegar, sugar, salt) and did a different coconut shrimp recipe than in the past cause I was making them instead of the Mara.


lemongrass-coconut prawns.

24 tiger prawns, raw, peeled

2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled, minced very fine
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 kaffir lime leaves, shredded

2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp powdered lemongrass
1/2 tsp powdered galangal

1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 cup toasted coconut
50g coconut milk
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce, or more, to taste

A bunch of fresh coriander, chopped




Above: the men's bathroom at OCCII reminding me about the important things in life, before or possibly during my hot and unbridled DJ action (speaking of OCCII, someone please remind me that Acid Mothers Temple is there this weekend in November for only 7 euro).


Feels like I haven't had two perfectly healthy days in a row since I've been back from the US: this past week I caught your standard-issue bummer of a head cold (useless sinuses, head filled with cotton) which has now been downgraded to just a cough and a headache; and then today just when I was celebrating an imminent return to full-throttle action, I had some kind of back spasm that felt like someone was juicing my left kidney. It's still making threatening twitches whenever I move around, so now I'm on the couch again.


Made soto ayam again last night, but only the first half of it, and it was still a great "I'm sick" chicken soup. The part I left out was the whole spice paste bit, and I have to say I didn't miss it much.



i want a new drug.

We're doing SUCH a bad job of finishing our taxes. We ask ourselves: why is it like this every year? Because we're spoiled fucking brats? We're like Noodle Children. You know when you were little and your mom would take you shopping for some kind of adult accessory that you didn't care about, like I don't know, clothes seem to spring to mind, anyway, she'd be shopping frantically, trying to finish before you became Noodle Child.

You become Noodle Child when, due to profound boredom or general unwillingness to cooperate, your bones suddenly go soft and you can no longer hold yourself upright, and the only thing you can do is lay down immediately as a statement of resistance. Your mom would try to get you to get up but you had no control over your limbs, it was like trying to revive a rag doll.

We're like this about taxes, but mentally not physically. I just asked Mara if she knew what our inventory assets were for 2011 and Noodle Girl said "Mmm, mint chutney."


I need some new recipes. We made Ottolenghi's Black Pepper Panga tonight and it was great, but...I want some other great new recipes. So we're going to try this this week.

tuna cakes with lime yoghurt.

2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 shallots (75g), peeled and roughly chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
600g tuna
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 medium egg
3 spring onions, chopped
1 tbsp dried breadcrumbs (would ground peanuts work here?)
2 tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp chopped coriander
2 tbsp chopped mint
Salt and black pepper

For the sauce
½ large cucumber (75g)
150g Greek yoghurt
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp toasted black mustard seeds
1 tbsp chopped coriander



what's going on.

Currently battling my way through a dense minefield of social and/or cultural opportunities. Let's keep things under control, bitch. Tuesday was P-Woe's birthday downstairs. I spent Wednesday at the Muziekgebouw, below: the 5.5-hour Second String Quartet of Mr. Feldman. Maybe it was because of my 66% off ticket that I didn't feel I had to make it through the whole thing. I lasted 3 hours and then because it didn't cost anything (I mean, you know, we have BIMcards), I went 3 floors upstairs to the BIM where Steve Lehman's trio (all the way below) was dorkily blasting their way through old and new tunes. And I was home by midnight.


son of jerk.

I mentioned ze Barbecue Bible the other day, and yesterday I remembered the other reason I bought it: finally a reliable, refindable set of jerk recipes.

I've only made jerk a few times since living in Holland and frankly it's never really worked out, I guess b/c in America we used to tweak Penzey's jerk blend, which was easy and perfect, and dus I never had to develop my own recipe.

So I think the below recipe solves the problem. Last night I made some jerk chicken plus a pineapple-papaya salsa (pineapple, papaya, red onion, salt, lime, cilantro), something called "shogun slaw" with shredded carrots and ginger, and some sweet potatoes, oh yeah and some basic black beans. All good, and good together. Then we tried to watch Four Lions but failed b/c it wasn't what we were expecting or in the mood for, not to say it wasn't interesting.


jerk marinade (in progress)

2 scotch bonnet chiles, deveined and deseeded
4 scallions, green and white
1 red onion
2 shallots
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 tsp allspice
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup water
3 tbsp neutral oil

Process all this shit. If you're marinating fish or shrimp, an hour or two is good. Chicken or pork more like 6. This is enough marinade for a kilo of something, including enough volume for you to boil the marinade and use as a sauce afterwards.




Above: downstairs yesterday afternoon, a tribute to Sean, me outside looking in due to crowdedness. Then later that evening, below, a rare solo set from Michael at OT301 followed by a pretty hilarious Q & A with Kevin, who's probably the main reason we're even living in Amsterdam in the first place...it was the kind of day that makes you try to do a better job of appreciating or at least acknowledging the uniqueness of the environment you've worked very hard to put yourself in the middle of.