Posts Tagged ‘Squid’

The deep fried squid was a bit fishy

September 29, 2016

41yjSAQeq1L__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ oosterman treats

We had promised to try again a restaurant in Mittagong. Mittagong is next door to Bowral and has that Australian old town feeling. A couple of pubs with original fronts together with few mansions still indicating a former glory. Apart from that, our dog JRTerrier Milo has a bitter enemy but behind the safety of a solid glass shop front, inside which electrical globes and lights are sold. The dog behind the glass is menacingly black and huge. A large and formidable Labrador-German Shepherd mix. Milo is pulling maniacally in order to get as quickly as possible to the shop, ready for a blood curdling killing. Each time we visit Mittagong with Milo it follows the same ferocious procedure.

As he pulls us on his lead towards the shop with the monster dog you can sense the tension in Milo. He crawls flat tack hugging the street’s shop fronts till we arrive at the front-line of Milo’s enemy. He wants the attack to be a total surprise. Milo’s feet are scratching the footpath. He is so keen. The huge dog is peacefully unaware of what is to come and asleep behind the entrance when Milo arrives. Instantly all hell breaks loose. Pedestrians scatter into the kerbs. There follows about five seconds of a terrifying ferocious snarling. Teeth are bared and clatter against the glass. Hairs are upright. I am afraid the glass door will shatter. I drag Milo past the door and all is back to normal. The frightened pedestrians might say; ‘my goodness,’ resume their walk. Milo had his fun.

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Milo contemplating biting a bit.

 

But, as we had a nice meal in that restaurant before we thought to give it another go. It is an unlicensed place and perhaps café might be a better description. It is unpretentious and no one greets you effusively or shows you a place to sit. There is a mishmash of different seating arrangements, including soft chairs but also hard benches with long tables. You can fill your glasses with water from a large bubbler on a table with selections of all sorts mustards and sauces. It serves food on ceramic plates. I think serving food on wooden boards might be on the way out. I am not sure about the Himalayan salt shakers. This world and its fashions is now so fast and becoming more and more incomprehensible. It is not surprising so many elderly people withdraw and retire on park benches having a private little sob before bravely continuing on.

I ordered the same dish. Deep fried squid on an Asian salad. Helvi had trouble choosing. The café prides itself on serving alpaca-meat dishes. The friendly waitress suggested to Helvi to try it. Helvi told her as an anecdote that we used to breed alpacas. ‘It would be like eating our own babies’ Helvi answered with her glorious smile. The waitress laughed and understood. I suggested to try a beef steak dish with chips and salad. But, as so often happens. New people were running it and the food wasn’t as good as expected. My squid smelled a bit fishy on arrival. The deep frying did not deter the squid from telling me it was well past its prime, and much to its credit gave me a fair warning. My hunger, as usual, wasn’t brave enough to leave the squid well alone.

Helvi’s steak was also not the best. A little sinewy and a bit teeth defying. The chips were fair and she shared them with me. That was nice. The salad was a bit mushy. The lingering on its own behind the counter for a couple of days did not enhance or make it any more Asian.
Anyway, we all had a good time. Milo greeted us with his usual welcoming wagging tail. I reckon his fight with the black dog always cheers him up.

He loves going to Mittagong.

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Life is but Ginger and Dates.

April 1, 2014
Ginger and date cake

Ginger and date cake

As the the overall economy edges down, patronage of cafés and eating out are going up. Economists point this out and the stats proved that the change in our consuming habits were in equal proportion. You wonder what the connection is. Here, where we live, dress shops are closing down or if not, the owners look forlornly towards the street hoping for customers. The customers however are next door sipping a short black or a macchiato before sauntering off to the charity shops that sell second-hand top brand names at $ 5.50 a pop or $12.50 the max. Money saved is spent sipping coffee or munching on deep fried salt & pepper calamari with fashionable red and greed lettuce leaves and chopped Spanish onion. Happy dogs are tied to the tables forever hopeful of a spare piece of Apfel-kuchen or beer battered squid.

We walk past one such café almost daily with our JRT ‘the incorrigible Milo’. Today, while waiting for the traffic light to turn green, H pointed out a man deeply immersed in his food. The immersed in his food man was sitting directly next to where the cars were driving. The patrons in this café are seated inside as well as on the footpath. The outside patrons are shielded from the sun by white umbrellas. The traffic separated from the diners by heavy concrete barriers and some greenery.

I noticed him, the enthusiastic eater, as well. His jaws were firmly locked on whatever he had partially managed to stow inside his mouth. In between he managed to masticate, eyes manically focussed on his plate. His wife/partner or girlfriend looked on in amazement. Such was his level of concentration.

I was in awe.

“That’s how you eat too”, I was told after we reached the other side of the intersection. “Like an animal”, she added. The walk was taking a nasty turn. Milo sensed it and looked up. He is acutely attuned to our marital squabbling while crossing streets.

I have to admit; my eating habits sometimes include an unnecessary concentration on the plate directly below my chin. H often asks me; “can you look up a bit and converse with me.” “I am your wife.” I then stop eating and rack my brains off in finding something amusing to say. I am overwrought with guilt and that’s not helpful in steering the lunch or dinner into something in a more entertaining direction than just the forking in of mouthfuls of squid or potato wedges.

Our dietary habits are different. I eat as if in an emergency. H has more of a slimming or keeping slim attitude towards food intake. She maintains and remains a svelte figure much admired by many but achieved by few in our age group. My problem has always been putting and keeping weight on, no matter how much I ate, I remained somewhat slim. As a child, but after the war, when food once again reached our tables, I used to skim cream from the bucket filled with milk. In those days milk was delivered by a person called ‘the milkman’. He had a horse and carriage. He would go from door to door selling just milk by the litre. My mum used to shout down the stairs “4 litres today please milkman”. The milkman had a long handled steel scoop which held exactly a litre which he used to fill our green enamelled bucket with.

When the accusation of my animalistic eating habits had calmed and cooled a bit, I offered to have a latte with a ginger and date cake. “We can share the cake”, I added, always considering her keenness in remaining svelte. “Yes, that would be nice”, she smiled happily.

All was well.