Posts Tagged ‘Crimea’

An apology to Mr Putin. (food for thought)

September 5, 2014

imagesCees Hamelink

http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/25981/53/

“Dear Mr. President Putin,

Please accept our apologies on behalf of a great many people here in the Netherlands for our Government and our Media. The facts concerning MH17 are twisted to defame you and your country.

We are powerless onlookers, as we witness how the Western Nations, led by the United States, accuse Russia of crimes they commit themselves more than anybody else. We reject the double standards that are used for Russia and the West. In our societies, sufficient evidence is required for a conviction. The way you and your Nation are convicted for ‘crimes’ without evidence, is ruthless and despicable.

You have saved us from a conflict in Syria that could have escalated into a World War. The mass killing of innocent Syrian civilians through gassing by ‘Al-­‐Qaeda’ terrorists, trained and armed by the US and paid for by Saudi Arabia, was blamed on Assad. In doing so, the West hoped public opinion would turn against Assad, paving the way for an attack on Syria.

Not long after this, Western forces have built up, trained and armed an ‘opposition’ in the Ukraine, to prepare a coup against the legitimate Government in Kiev. The putschists taking over were quickly recognized by Western Governments. They were provided with loans from our tax money to prop their new Government up.

The people of the Crimea did not agree with this and showed this with peaceful demonstrations. Anonymous snipers and violence by Ukrainian troops turned these demonstrations into demands for independence from Kiev. Whether you support these separatist movements is immaterial, considering the blatant Imperialism of the West.

Russia is wrongly accused, without evidence or investigation, of delivering the weapons systems that allegedly brought down MH17. For this reason Western Governments claim they have a right to economically pressure Russia.

We, awake citizens of the West, who see the lies and machinations of our Governments, wish to offer you our apologies for what is done in our name.
It’s unfortunately true, that our media have lost all independence and are just mouthpieces for the Powers that Be. Because of this, Western people tend to have a warped view of reality and are unable to hold their politicians to account.

Our hopes are focused on your wisdom. We want Peace. We see that Western Governments do not serve the people but are working towards a New World Order. The destruction of sovereign nations and the killing of millions of innocent people is, seemingly, a price worth paying for them, to achieve this goal.

We, the people of the Netherlands, want Peace and Justice, also for and with Russia.
We hope to make clear that the Dutch Government speaks for itself only. We pray our efforts will help to diffuse the rising tensions between our Nations.

Sincerely,

Professor Cees Hamelink “

Vive la France

July 11, 2013

Zaporizhian-Cossacks-300x233
Vive la France

Somewhere in the bowels of this blog is a piece about a meal of ‘Boeuf de Tartare avec un oeuf’ (beef tartar), I was unwittingly exposed to while in France. It was in the city of Montpelier to be precise… It caused some hilarity when my ignorance about the world of ‘gastronomigue de France’ was so mercilessly and brutally shown up.

A few weeks before this momentous and shameful event we had flown into Marseille only to be marooned at the airport. The French farmers were angry again and had surrounded the airport with their tractors, sharpened scythes and red faces.

No one could get in or out. We had organized a French Citroen to be rented some weeks before in Australia. We were given the keys at the Marseille Hire-car desk but apart from opening the doors and sitting in the car, we could not drive anywhere thanks to the boycott. I turned the key and tried the engine. A few times going brrrm, brrrrrooom, but that’s about all. The car was brand new and had just done a few hundred meters. It was also the smallest car we had ever sat in, more like putting on a jacket than stepping in a car, but it was automatic. For me having to change driving on the right, automatic was tres important.

One farmer took pity on us. Nothing has ever beaten the sheer friendliness and French ‘fraternite and egalite’ of that farmer ever since. Perhaps he recognized the farmer in me? Anyway, he moved his tractor and beckoned a friend of his to lead us to freedom. Alors, alors he kept saying. We drove over a small kerb and along the edge of the runways passing countless stranded planes, followed by a dirt track and voila, we were near the highway towards Montpellier. He waved goodbye and we shouted ‘merci beaucoup’, followed by a heartfelt ‘au revoir. I had exhausted just about all my French.

A few weeks after:

We were seated in a below footpath restaurant on a cobbled stone narrow street in Montpellier. The atmosphere was muted as were the lights. Couples were holding hands and whispering sweet nothingness while picking at their greens and patate de frites… Helvi ordered a sensible filet mignon done rare, and I softly asked for a beef tartar done ‘medium’ s’il vous plait. The Garcon laughed heartily. I did not think it was that funny.

Helvi, ‘why do you always play the fool? Pardonez moi, I asked? She answered me, ‘beef tartar is raw meat’. No, it’s not. It is beef very rare and tenderized as it used to traditionally done under the horse saddles of wild Mongolian Tartars in pursuit of Cossacks deep inside the Crimea. It is the rarest of meat but only just cooked for a minute or so.

The horrible truth was soon delivered to our table. Helvi was right. A massive blob of raw mince and a raw quivering egg on top was facing me across from a triumphant Helvi. I told you, she sweetly smiled. I don’t know why I thought it was tender steak, but we all sometimes carry lifelong misconceptions, don’t we? I genuinely thought the term ‘beef tartar’ came from an historical fact.

Helvi also drove home another truth about those wild Tartars riding on horses and saddles laden with steaks underneath. “They ride their horses bareback, no saddles.” Can you even imagine riding a horse that way sitting bare-bum on your steak tenderizing it all day? They eat a lot of cabbage as well, she added mischievously?

It just never stops.

Beef Tartare avec un oeuf

June 1, 2012

Boeuf Tartare avec un oeuf.

Posted on August 3, 2009by

The Geoffrey Russell Nightmare Special

 

The walk around Montpellier resulted in needing to have lunch so we dove into one of those intimate little lunch and dinner places that seem to appear as soon as one gets hungry, especially in France and even more so in the south of France.

We were shown our seat and left to ponder the menu including a wine list. The atmosphere was intimate with lighting subdued and with all sound reduced to a sotto voce. The garcon in white jacket and with the right un-pretentious manner, putting even the most belligerent customer at ease, came around our table to take the lunch order. The choice by Helvi was a sound one, a piece of top side beef with vegetables and ‘Pomme de Frites’. She was asked for her preferred choice of the ‘boeuf’ to be rare, medium or well-done.  Medium was her choice.

I had chosen the ‘Beef Tartar’, and told the garcon to have it ‘medium’ cooked as well. He laughed heartily but I did not really understand the finer points of his laughter until after the dish arrived. A plate of raw minced steak with a raw egg in the middle of it was what finally turned up on our dimly lit table. There was nothing cooked about it, never mind the ‘medium’ part of it.

I bravely finished the plate but Helvi sensed my lack of enthusiasm and asked if everything was alright. I confessed my total ignorance of beef tartar and thought that the dish was a kind of steak done rare. A bit Russian perhaps, with images of horse riding Tartars doing the cooking of the meat on a fire after a fierce battle deep inside the Crimea.  This embarrassing dereliction of culinary knowledge has been a source of endless mirth and enlightenment to our friends when the tale of medium cooked ‘beef tartar’ at Montpellier gets re-told by my beloved wife. It has been an ice breaker at many a social evening.

In the case of readers being surprised by this embarrassment, please consider that so many of my friends probably think nothing of eating vegemite, a food so horrendous to look at, so terrible to contemplate inside its brown jar, that I feel justified in making slight of this minor slip up.

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Boeuf Tartare avec un Oeuf

March 20, 2011

Boeuf Tartare avec un oeuf.Posted on August 3, 2009 by gerard oosterman

The Geoffrey Russell Nightmare Special

The walk around Montpellier resulted in needing to have lunch so we dove into one of those intimate little lunch and dinner places that seem to appear as soon as one gets hungry, especially in France and even more so in the south of France.

We were shown our seat and left to ponder the menu including a wine list. The atmosphere was intimate with lighting subdued and with all sound reduced to a sotto voce. The garcon in white jacket and with the right un-pretentious manner, putting even the most belligerent customer at ease, came around our table to take the lunch order. The choice by Helvi was a sound one, a piece of top side beef with vegetables and ‘Pomme de Frites’. She was asked for her preferred choice of the ‘boeuf’ to be rare, medium or well-done.  Medium was her choice.

I had chosen the ‘Beef Tartar’, and told the garcon to have it ‘medium’ cooked as well. He laughed heartily but I did not really understand the finer points of his laughter until after the dish arrived. A plate of raw minced steak with a raw egg in the middle of it was what finally turned up on our dimly lit table. There was nothing cooked about it, never mind the ‘medium’ part of it.

I bravely finished the plate but Helvi sensed my lack of enthusiasm and asked if everything was alright. I confessed my total ignorance of beef tartar and thought that the dish was a kind of steak done rare. A bit Russian perhaps, with images of horse riding Tartars doing the cooking of the meat on a fire after a fierce battle deep inside the Crimea.  This embarrassing dereliction of culinary knowledge has been a source of endless mirth and enlightenment to our friends when the tale of medium cooked ‘beef tartar’ at Montpellier gets re-told by my beloved wife. It has been an ice breaker at many a social evening.

In the case of readers being surprised by this embarrassment, please consider that so many of my friends probably think nothing of eating vegemite, a food so horrendous to look at, so terrible to contemplate inside its brown jar, that I feel justified in making slight of this minor slip up.

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