What Happens When You Just Really Hate Those Bloomin’ Conservatives/Liberals?

You may notice I have been quite quiet on the blogging front in the past few months. Why? Because the news is thoroughly depressing, for me at least. Why would you want to read 170129105148-donald-trump-extreme-vetting-executive-order-01-27-2017-large-169the news when more war is happening, more horrible things are being said by different people, more chaos… What is the point of even having my voice out there if it can’t do anything to help the ocean of human suffering that’s already out there?

A few weeks ago, when our good friend Donald Trump instituted his travel ban I nearly blew my top. I like to think of myself as a not-hateful person who is pretty chill with everyone to a certain degree. If you disagree with me on something, to be honest I won’t really mind if your views differ from mine as long as you’re a good person. I know it’s jargon and something that every flipping person in the world says ALL THE TIME:

“We should respect all people’s beliefs! *three days later* ”

But I’ll be honest, most people don’t have control over government policy so if you disagree with me over the NHS or something I don’t really mind that much.

But…

travel20ban20gfx_1485837640076_7967119_ver1-0These last few months I really felt that the rubber was hitting the road. We have squabbled, we have had our petty little arguments, people everywhere have been belittled by someone or other. Liberals (people of a left-leaning perspective, aka Guardian readers) seem to have been in a state of shocked disbelief about the state of the world. I remember thinking that Britain could never possibly vote for Brexit. I remember thinking that Trump could never possibly get elected. Well here we are and the liberal establishment has no idea what to do.

But now the rubber hits the road. These things are actually happening. Now your money has to go where your mouth is. No one can sit back and hope everything just works out.

However…

The important thing though, is never slip into hate. I find it increasingly difficult not to just spew venom and people saying things I disagree with. But no one is evil. Most people have good and honest intentions. Once you get into the territory of smear campaigns you become no better than a certain orange person I shan’t name.

Many of my close friends are Trump supporters. They are not stupid, they are not ignorant or hateful people. Yet I know so many people who think they are. A friend of mine went to an anti-trump rally in central London a few weeks ago and told me that many of the posters were personally attacking trump rather than his travel ban. Once we start to hate certain individuals or vague ideas of what they represent rather than what they actually do then we are becoming needlessly bitter and hateful. If you have something to be angry about, then be specific.

I have no personal vendetta against any Brexiters I know or even for the idea of Brexit itself. In all honesty I don’t know enough to have authority on the situation and I doubt anyone does really. However I do have a problem with Nigel Farage. I would be inclined to spew venom on his personality (I’m really holding myself back here) but I should not personally hate anyone. I strongly dislike his claim that the 350 million pounds that we pay to the EU every year could be rerouted into the NHS because he disowned it after the vote. So, basically, he lied. A yearning in our country to fix the wounded master piece that is the NHS was exploited by this man. People’s votes were influenced by a lie.

Certain words that I am too polite to say come to mind. However, railing at Farage because he looks like a racist frog will solve nothing. Just because I really really don’t like him as a person, it probably doesn’t mean anything will happen. If anything it’ll make it worse as I don’t be the better person.

I saw a video of our dear friend Piers Morgan who said that Trump’s Travel Ban was not a piers-morgan-jim-jefferiesmuslim ban. Personally I disagree with him and I will say this, I do not like him as a person. However I do think that the way he was treated by comedian Jim Jefferies did not help the debate.

F–k off! Oh f–k off, it’s a f–king Muslim ban,” Jefferies exclaimed. “He said there would be a Muslim ban, there’s a Muslim ban…. This is what you do, Piers, you say, ‘He hasn’t done this, he hasn’t done that, he’s not going to do that.’ Give him a f–king chance, mate! Hitler didn’t kill the Jews on the first day; he worked up to it.”

Fair enough. Tensions were high. Morgan lends himself to being…frustrating. However Jefferies fitted directly into Morgan’s argument. He was shouting expletives, insulting him, and making Nazi comparisons. Fortunately for Jefferies he was in a crowd of like minded people but how would that argument stand up to a wider audience? Does it actually give help to refugees? Does it actually solve any problems? No. It widens the gap.

Teasing Trump for his small hands and his orange tan will do very little. I dare say accusing 170109125844-02-meryl-streep-golden-globes-2017-super-teasehim of sexism will do very little either. Bless you Meryl Streep but your speech at the Golden Globes is a textbook example of someone that can be transformed into the leftie-liberal lovies that we all seem to have so much now. Good for you, you really tore into the president there, you really destroyed him. Woohoo.

The point is that our camp is no longer our facebook bubble or our place to vent about things that don’t really affect us. Things will affect you and those around you. Study up on the reasons why you believe things. Actually look at the economics behind leaving the EU, understand why people hold certain views, and understand that the members of the other camp are not all idiots.

Focus on real issues. The refugee crisis and Trump’s attempt at the Travel Ban are examples of real world things. The NHS crisis is about people’s lives. It’s got nothing to do with Trump’s small hands or Theresa May looking like Margaret Thatcher.

Once disagreement turns into animosity and once that turns into hate, rational argument is useless. Don’t be the petty one.

How to Sort Your Life Out

turkish-pilaf

Seriously?

For goodness sake what is this? You’re doing it wrong again.

I apologise whole heartedly to all of you from the mediterranean world but heres the thing. Your pilav (rice) is wrong. Just wrong. So wrong. Wronger than wrong.

Honestly what do you think you’re doing????

Sigh.

Ok here’s what to do. I’m going to tell you how to make Polo (p-Uh-lo, not polo as in the china-central-asia-800-080512sport) another life saving dish from Central Asia. Sometimes called Plov in Kyrgyztan or Uzbekistan but in Xinjiang, China, it’s called Polo. And it’s the real deal.

Get lots of rice. I mean lots.

Get yourself some mutton. Not lamb, mutton. I’ve already told you this but I just have to keep telling you. However, don’t just get normal mutton. Make sure it has plenty of fat and gristle on it. Be sure to get really nice wads of meat, but also some of the most fatty bits of sheep you can find.

Get some carrots. Get some onions. Get a whole blooming clove of garlic. Also get some raisins if you’re brave enough. Finally you’ve got to get your cumin. cuminseeds

CUMIN IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SPICE IN THE WORLD. IF YOU AREN’T USING CUMIN JUST GENERALLY IN YOUR FOOD YOU REALLY NEED TO RECONSIDER YOUR COOKING.

Also none of this chickpea rubbish. Ugh. Why would you put chickpeas in this dish?

Ok… you’ve get the stuff you need. Let me show you what you will be making….

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I know right? Isn’t she beautiful? Wonderful rice dripping with a red gold grease from the succulent mutton. As the dish cooks all of the juices from the meat are absorbed into the rice and carrots, creating a dish that is endless in succulence and deliciousness. The sweetness of the carrots slightly offsets the saltiness of the dish, creating a wonderful combination. The mutton itself should be tender and juicy, best eaten with the hands if you can. A topping of spinach is ideal for this dish.

a053As a side I would recommend bansantze, a light, vinegary, salad like dish that goes very well with the heaviness of the Polo.

It is eaten usually on a large plate that is shared between several people. The rice is heaped onto the platter and each person will hollow out an area of the mound for themselves. The mutton tops the lovely pile and can be eaten at any point in the hollowing out process.

What you have here is another example of perfection. A delightfully tasty dish that is full of surprisingly subtle flavours along with the pure glory of greasy stodge. When done just right the dish does not appear stodgy or fatty at all, but bursting with all round ready_4deliciousness.

Central Asia knows where it’s at. For goodness sake mediterranean cuisine (and everyone else) sort your rice dishes out.

Try doing so at Food.com or BBC good food

You’ve Heard of Marmitegate but Worse is To Come

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I remember the night of the Brexit vote. It was a truly frightening time for me. I had no idea what was going to happen, I had no idea what my future would be like or what the country would be like. David Cameron was busy yammering on about something and Boris was too.

“What am I going to do?” I said, “Surely if we leave the EU I will be doomed!”

Then the next fateful day and my greatest fear came to being. Our nation’s finest product, our nation’s most wonderful invention, conceived of in London’s Brixton area, was cut off from its main production area.

Reggae Reggae Sauce is not produced in the UK but in a factory in Poland. Lord protect us. The lifeblood of chorizo pastas and barbecues everywhere is at risk. With Brexit Reggae Reggae Sauce will surely become extinct from our shelves.

How will we get hold of Reggae Reggae Sauce now? How much will the prices rise? How much uncertainty do I really need in my life? How will we survive without this product? How will we possible be able to have that sweet blend of Caribbean flavours in our food? How will we do what it says on the bottle?

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“Put Some Music in Your Food”

Oh silence is not golden it is dark!

For the un-itiated I will let Levi Roots site do most of the talking but once again I need to educate you. Reggae Reggae Sauce is a sauce created by Levi Roots, a Reggae musician and entrepenureal chef who made his name on the TV series Dragon’s Den in 2007. His unique blend of spices created a sweet, tangy, yet slightly peppery product that is ideal for Caribbean dishes but is extremely multi-purpose as a condiment and a staple sauce.

spicychorizopennepas_84044_16x9Of my own experience and recipes I can tell you life won’t be the same. Here’s one thing I’ll tell you won’t be the same without it. Chorizo pasta. How will we possibly be able to add that crowning glory to this already beautiful dish? The sourness of the tomatoes and the sweetness of the sauce along with the meatier taste of the chorizo are accentuated beautifully by Reggae Reggae Sauce. Alternatively it’s a superb addition to barbecued chicken. How will barbecues ever be the same Theresa May? Have you declared war on barbecues?

Oh cry beloved country! This is what we have reduced ourselves to, a Reggae Reggae Sauce-less world! First the great marmite scare of 2016, who knows? A greater catastrophe may yet be looming over the horizon. I am already panic buying, creating an ark of Reggae Reggae Sauce lest we be thrown into darkness.

I have experienced much hate over the years for my love of Reggae Reggae Sauce. I attempt to sing it’s praises and I am shot down, I attempt to tell the world of this joyful product and I am left in the dust. The unfaithful do not have eyes to see so they are worthless to me! Yet soon they may yet see their folly. Repent all ye who do not appreciate putting music into your food! Don’t be one of the unbelievers when judgement comes and all Reggae Reggae Sauce is abolished from Britain!

We may yet live in a reggae reggae sauceless Britain. Silence will reign, no longer shall we be able to put a little music in our food.

You’re Most Likely An Idiot and Here’s Why

lagman
Courtesy of Ottawa Uzbek Cook

You’re all idiots. You’re all ignorant fools. Your lives are just missing that one ingredient, and you know why?

No lagman.

This is a thing that you need in your life.

I completely understand if you don’t have it in your life. Innocent sheeple who have no idea what they’re doing are not to blame for their misgivings. I completely understand if you haven’t even heard of it. How could anyone know about an obscure dish from a tucked away corner of the world?

Well don’t worry. I will tell you about what it is, why you need it, and also how to get it.

Lagman is love. lagman is life. It is the food of the gods, the sustenance of the wise, and the joy of Central Asia. It is a simple yet amazing dish found (to my knowledge) in Northwest China and Kyrgyzstan, an every day dish made by the Uyghur people, a Turkic people from Central Asia.

Imagine your bog standard pot noodle and those thin wiry noodles. Now completely forget those you idiot. Standard dry egg noodles are as shower clogging clumps of hair are to laces of purest gold.

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Real noodles are little short of purest gold. They are much fatter than fake noodles, probably similar round surface area to a plastic straw but twice as long. They are much more smooth as well and if prepared well are moist and succulent. To feel one’s teeth sink into such a delicacy is nothing short of heaven. By far better than the worthless contents of plastic packets lining supermarket shelves. Homemade with the loving care fit for raising the sweetest puppy or a precious child, these noodles are a work of art. Forget actual silk, this is what the silk road was really about.

Now imagine, the human mind may find such loveliness hard to comprehend, a whole pile of these. Yes a whole pile. A bowl full to be exact. I know what you’re thinking, how could such pure wonder be concentrated into such a small space? Believe me it’s possible.

Oh but it doesn’t end there. Imagine these noodles covered in the stir fry of heaven. Tomatoes, green beens, Chinese cabbage, potatoes, peppers, onions and garlic, all the most sacred of vegetables are lovingly added to the best stew on the planet, nigh in all existence. All fried in oil until succulent. However as if these vegetables aren’t enough for sheer perfection, picture another thing for me.

Mutton. Not lamb. Mutton. The meat of a sheep. A sheep. Not a lamb a sheep. You can get much more meat off a sheep than a lamb, any idiot knows this. And you want the good stuff, all the fatty bits and the most tender bits of mutton from the carcass. In Britain our obsession with lamb robs us of so much goodness. Having access to cheap mutton should be the law in this country but that’s for later.

The mutton in lagman is marinaded in cumin and chilli powder for a few hours before cooking, infusing the already beautiful meat with the true essence of divinity. The blessed stuff is the first thing one adds to the stir fry after the onions, setting the pan ablaze with a rich muttony, cuminy taste. Then all the aforementioned vegetables are added and simmered.

Take this time to reflect on your life and meditate over your previous culinary experiences…. and confess that they are all a foolish waste of your time. Then repent of your sins so that you might be worthy to accept the coming feast.

The stew is done, heavens door is ajar a few inches away from you. You get a ladle and plunge it into the pan. Then you apply it to the noodles, waiting patiently in a bowl nearby.

Your work is done.

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Heaven is before you.

I am reminded of a verse from Isaiah about the Year of the Lords Favour. Here is the first glimpse of that.

The perfect blend of spice and stodge sits before you. You will never again feel satisfied by any other meal you eat. It sits in your stomach, providing weight and satisfaction like no other dish in the entire world. Think of it as your firm rock and foundation, the thing that keeps you rooted to the good earth.

Ok.

I hope I’ve made myself clear then. Hopefully you will all educate yourselves now and seek out this goodness. Follow this link to receive the good news straight into your own kitchen, or make a pilgrimage towards this restaurant so that your life may be whole again.

Bless you all.

P.s. I’m ashamed to say it, but packeted Udon noodles are the closest thing I can come to to get these noodles without hours of painstaking labour

(Sources for the last two photos are Bois De Jasmin and Uyghur Bread respectively)