China in Berlin

I decided one day last week that I wanted Chinese food for dinner. His excellency, the captain of the constabulary is not big on Chinese food but sometimes he can be persuaded to experience food outside his realm of particular tastes (I mean, he eats steak tartar fer chrissake) and I googled “best chinese” or something like that and came up with many options. Peking Ente (Peking Duck) came up on several lists and looking at reviews could see only glowing praise of the food. The bad reviews were complaints about not getting enough dumplings per order or not being told in advance about their credit card policy.

Not being one to worry about dumplings per order or credit cards in general, I chose it. The setting was not glorious. Brightly lit and no table clothes but the servers were all Chinese and the crowd had definite Chinese bent to it. But the food—OH MY GOD, the food was exquisite. Herr Captain of the Rice Brigade turned his nose up slightly at the quality of the rice but the eggplant was right straight out of this world, the dumplings were delicious (and I had no quarrel with the qty), kung pao chicken was terrific and the crispy duck was good…not great I’d have to say…but the rest of it was so good we went back a few days later for lunch.


Biryani, but really, raita

I made biryani for my friend Annette this past weekend. I think even the Royal Indian Mounted Police would have approved (grudgingly)—it was his recipe anyway—I did make some minor adjustments but don’t mention that to him. But my raita is what really made the meal.

We barely had room for the chocolate cake. The favorite dessert of the Maharani of Jaipur.

Adventures on ICE

We were on the ICE train to Paris from Frankfurt. We were hungry and the menu in the bar car was pretty limited. I’m not sure if he was just that hungry, if this was some sort of foraging exploration or if he was trying to be funny. What I do know is that this was a first outing for the Royal Indian Mounted Food Control Police vis à vis currywurst.  

I can do a very good imitation of the snort of disdain he gave me when I told him I’d eaten it for lunch last spring. As one might imagine, this is a serious violation of the rules and regs of the Royal Association of Indian Food, a breech of comestibulary decorum, as well as code transgressions, and contravention of standards and dictates…as regards me anyway. And to be honest I can see why. It’s sliced hottened up wieners with ketchup and curry powder. In culinary terms, well, there are no culinary terms here.

He liked it. (What’s not to like?) The next day when we were outing and abouting he was feeling peckish, he recalled it wistfully. I’m certain Ganesha will have something to say about this.

Best meal so far

That is not a spider. It’s star anise. A continuation of the globe trotting we had Indian food. At home. Turkey tikka masala. It was awesome. While it seems that using turkey might be breaking some or other Indian food law, it was delicious and no one was arrested.

His mother made the lime pickle and it was worth the trip from India.

There was a problem in the refrigerator

I didn’t really want to go snooping in the refrigerator because it’s, you know, not polite. Plus, frankly I just really didn’t want to find out. But you didn’t need to poke around to know that something had gone off. And when I say off, I mean off-the-rails-watch-out-for-vultures off. So I made excursions into the fridge quick and to the point. No standing in front of the thing with the door open, humming Die Fledermaus while trying to decide if I was just peckish or full-on hungry, and would it be a Dagwood sandwich with multiple condiments or a pickle? I went in there and got the hell out.

Imagine then, cocktail (and wine and cheese) hour rolls around and the The Royal Indian Mounted Police waltzes into the living room with this alarming object on a cutting board. On the one hand at least I’d discovered the source of the problem, on the other…well, I was going to have to eat it.

This was one of those times when you wonder who the hell first put that in his/her mouth. If you hadn’t noticed it on the table, you’d be looking at your shoes to see if you stepped in something (although this being Germany, it is highly unlikely that would be happening).

While I was trying to contain my joy at the discovery of the problem (actually I was trying to decide if I could reasonably claim fatigue and go to bed at 6) he sliced into it and ate it. Despite the fact that I’d have been perfectly happy just eating the other cheese, a very nice St Marcellan, I figured if he can eat it I could too. And then there was the issue of him mocking me mercilessly if I didn’t at least try it so I threw caution to the wind…I mean, I knew it wasn’t going to kill me, it just looked like it.

It was sublime. Just exquisite. Mild and creamy/crumbly and perfect. Oddly, the St Marcellan which has no odor was a far stronger tasting cheese.

And now I can stand for hours in front of the refrigerator humming whatever the hell I want except that I’ve made the startling discovery that if you leave the door open too long the thing makes a seriously annoying sound not unlike an air horn.

Irish Cream tiramisu

The Chocolate Sommelier had 5 bags of chocolate chip biscotti she dumped on me. I had a quart of leftover Irish cream that the Royal Indian Mounted Food Control Police made at Christmas. (Yes, it is still good). Initially I was thinking some sort of bread pudding deal but then settled on tiramisu. I’m not sure why and if the RIMFCP were really doing his job he’d have stopped me. It wasn’t a whole hell of a lot of work although there was an inordinate amount of post preparation mess, of course, but biscotti isn’t what’s usually used in tiramisu and there’s a reason for that.

It tasted fine. But the texture was off. Biscotti essentially turn into mush like graham crackers. It was more like pudding. Now that I know how to do it (it was super easy) I’m going to try it again and instead of mascarpone I’m going to use cream cheese. It’ll reduce the cost and no one will notice. Least of all the meddling RIMFCP.

So many rules were trounced

I could hear the Royal Indian Mounted Food Control Police scream before rushing to hop on his Royal Lipizzaner stallion and blitz the US/Norwegian border to slap me with all sorts of food transgression injunctions. I used leftover mechouia and a whole hella Indian spice. It took 10 minutes. It was awesome. The raita was amazing.

The Turkish store

We traipsed over to some other neighborhood in Oslo that seemed to be considerably less Norwegian than I am familiar with, to go grocery shopping at the Turkish store. We took the T Bane and I am happy to report that if needs be, I could do this myself and find the store (tooth sucking emoji). This is my idea of a fun outing. The Turkish store, is a quick 10 minutes from the digs of the Royal Indian Mounted Food Control Police. The neighborhood is otherworldly and the place itself is filled with all sorts of wildly unfamiliar food items from produce and canned goods, to deli food, household cleaners and bakery. Sort of like a very tightly cramped supermarket but not one in any American neighborhood.

Maybe because of the tremendous variety of this store, or more likely because is really cheap compared to other Norwegian grocery stores (an avocado is 90 cents here compared to $2.50 at Jacob’s where I know the butcher) it was completely jam packed with people and the check out lines were gargantuan. 

Visiting the place was interesting, checking out, a little less so. I didn’t do that part, the RIMFCP did. I sat on a bag of something flour-like and watched the melee.