I really mind if people muck about with food… illiterately.
~ A. A. Gill
Will you read my blog even without pictures? Yes? Yes? Oh, come on! I’ll try to make it pretty even without the glossy images… time has been speeding by and I have hardly stopped to breathe, let alone take pictures – but I do so miss my camera – and I will try to take a few pictures to accompany my next post.
Meanwhile… well, where to start? So much to be happy about. Last Wednesday, I went for dinner with my dear friend Jian – to exuberant Gina’s – and Jian approached the menu in a way my friends seldom do. Actually, I don’t think anyone I know has ever done it this way. He asked me to pick what I’d usually not order. I was reluctant, but only for about five seconds – between us, we ordered the gnocchi quattro formaggi (gnocchi with four cheeses – gorgonzola, parmigiano, mozzarella and cream) and pizza agnello (with lamb, garlic potatoes and freshly roasted sage) to share. Hearty food and lots of great conversation – I like!
Actually, I think browsing the menu and then picking the thing you first twitched an eyebrow at feels so adventurous and is a great experience to open oneself to. It makes you think about your food and preferences more; it makes you willing to take risks in other areas the next day…
…But I am getting ahead of myself. The gnocchi was rich – oh so rich, like the robe of a King – creamy and cheesy, a warm garment on the tongue. It was tasty, but I cannot deny that I was VERY glad that we were sharing the pizza and pasta, as this would have been too much for just me! The pizza was nicely flavoured, though I had to squint to catch a glimpse of any lamb at all? This was my second visit to Gina’s and I would probably go again – probably on a rainy and windy evening when all I want is somewhere to thaw my frozen body and cold mind – Gina’s is warm in every way.
Friday, I discovered that even half a glass of champagne renders me useless for anything related to work. Unfortunate. What I did wake up for though, was that session with Al Brown and A. A. Gill… both people I was glad to discover.
I was tickled by the fact that they went fishing – not the fishing bit, but that it involved Al Brown, who wrote “Go Fish” and A. A. with the surname of “Gill”. :-) As far as it went, I loved the dynamics between them on stage, and what struck me was Al’s generosity, courage and humility, and Adrian’s candid way with words, fast-working mind, and the way he seemed to grasp life firmly, as if life were the bulls of a horn… and needless to say – I couldn’t stop smiling at the way every remark that escaped their lips about food couldn’t help but betray their love for it (just the way it should be!) I plan to delve into their work soon.
Other notable quotes from A. A. Gill:
“You have to decide who you want to be when you are sober”; “the place makes the people”. The place making the people is an interesting thought – but I thought afterwards, how true – or, at least, the interpretation of a place makes a person. It’s probably not something unique to me, feeling colourful and flirtatious in Spain, materialistic and busy in Singapore, friendly and inquiring and eager to hang out in markets in Morocco… a post for another time.
Le Weekend saw the arrival of my friend Ian, curly fries, cocktails, a potluck lunch, Kath’s rice salad, new faces, too much coffee, a dinner at Hulu Cat (composed of popcorn chicken, dumplings, bubble tea), and just… lots and lots of food and conversations. I also went to see “Peace Please” at the Writers’ Festival… thoughts on that one still in the pipeline.
Yesterday, I went to the library after work and spent an hour trying to forget my stomach’s existence as I flipped through a cookbook on Moroccan cuisine (keftas, tagines, cake with orange flower water and all – mmm!) and Tessa Kiros’s “Twelve”… and then dinner saw the bubbly Francine and I curling elegant pasta around our forks at Portofino… I love the fact that the pasta stayed smooth and constant and unclumpy throughout the entire course of our dinner. I can only aspire to do that in my own homemade renditions of pasta!
And much as I want to continue this post, I suspect that if I do go on, it won’t just be my eyes which are closing… so… good night!
PS. Oooh… and before I forget, I’ve been having the best things to take for lunch this week: celery sticks with Istanbul dip from a stall at La Cigale and… Kath’s rice salad! I’ll see if she will let me post her recipe for it here. :-)