Sunday, April 17, 2005

How to while away the time

Yesterday, the chop suey stir-fry was postponed until dinner time.Why? Well, since I've got a brand new G4 and broadband, I can't stop surfing the web, which has its advantages when my other half is away, and as I've got vacation coming up, as well as maternity leave in a few months... After a bath, it was already time for me to visit the local cinema. You see OH and me are fervent supporters of seeing films in their original version, now it's not so easy to practice because we have different mother's tongues and now live in my country and in a smallish city, where there is only one cinema that will show such films, and they tend to have a passion for Asian movies, and neither of us can understand Asian languages, so OH wouldn't be able to even read the French subtitles. All this to say that I use his time away to watch either *exotic* movies or French ones. So yesterday it was time to hit the town before I could say "stir-fry". Undeterred by this contretemps and already on an Asian vibe, I popped into a local Vietnamese deli and grabbed three chicken patties and a spring roll. I had wanted to go there for a long time, attracted as I was by the pink façade and being a lover of Vietnam food (I loved eating at Le Bambou in Paris' Chinatown, a tiny overbooked place where the homely but delicious cuisine was offered at very reasonable prices and if you happen to be in the neighbourhood, do not miss the fried hors d'oeuvre platter, the rice with three treasures and the yam and sago in warm coconut milk for afters).
In Palais Bahn Bao, the chicken patties were made of diced chicken breast (not shredded leftovers) in a batter flavoured with the typical flavour of shredded Thai basil, the spring roll, eaten without sauce in the cinema, you see, still managed to refresh my palate and mingled the aromas of shrimp, roast chicken (this time probably leftover, but who cares), fresh mint and the crunch of mungo sprouts. That and a banana filled my tummy until tea time.
The film was quite good (in French : Va, Vis et Deviens). The story is that of a Christian Ethiopian boy whose mother sends him away with Jewish Ethiopians to be rescued by Israel during the Moses Operation in 1984, and his subsequent life in his foster family. Do see it if you can, it's in favour of tolerance and diversity and not too emotional.
Later came tea time and I had a friend coming around to share some news and the Madeira cake, still perfect after 48 hours. Then it was time to chop chop and fry. The thing about wok cooking is people alwasy think it is a time-saving method, as the vegs shouldn't cook too long in order to retain both their vitamins and their crunch, but it's the chopping that undermines the concept, and unless you have good kitchen knives, you'll waste your patience, especially if you're cooking for more than two people. Anyway,it ended up tasting great and the proportions I gave yesterday yielded two nice portions, so I have leftovers for one of next week's lunch.

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