Saturday, September 19, 2015


Take out... way out
It really should never have happened.
Growing up with WASP parents the
only Chinese food we ate was Chow
Mein. Therefore I never had an inkling
of the art, complexity, nor diversity of
eastern cuisine. It was only later in life
that I discovered what has become my
preferred fuel. Whether Japanese, Thai,
Chinese, Vietnamese, Malaysian, or
Indian - I can't get enough of the stuff.
My only problem is that we now live
in central Montana. Which means east
hasn't met west. And they don't deliver.

Home cookin'
Therefore whenever we get away we
try to eat as much pan Asian food as
possible. Calgary is quite diverse with
a broad range of ethnicities. And like
prisoners just out of the big house, we
are catching up for lost time. Dining
on whatever we can't get back home.
Last night we over indulged in sushi.
And while it wasn't the best we've
ever had - it was damned good. No
uber maki combinations. Just good
old fashioned comfort food like mom
used to make (if she was Japanese.)

Curry up will you?
Tonight it's Indian for the second or
third time. It's complexity of flavors
never fail to amaze me. While I try
my best to occasionally cook a la
India - it's never the same. That's the
problem with a white bread boy like
me attempting culinary explorations
into anything but traditional european
cuisine. Much like any other skill -
practice makes perfect. Sadly sans
the right ingredients, enough time,
and ample patience... I'm afraid I'll
never reach Mumbai via Montana.

Pale by comparison
One could attend cooking school and
quickly become well versed in almost
any exotic cuisine. However the best
way is to learn from your mom. Ethel
was not in my opinion the world's best
cook. Unless one adored overcooked
boiled or broiled WASP cookery - it
was best to stay out of her kitchen. At
times she tried to expand her horizons.
Yet honestly, almost every attempt to
differentiate was inedible at best. So
while I'll never spurn Roast Beef and
wYorkshire pudding, I've moved on.

Dim sum and then some
Upon our return to Montana we'll
miss these last days of easy access
to "ethnic" cuisine. We're fortunate
that we have a Chinese restaurant
in Lewistown. Post many attempts -
we've convinced the owners that all
we want is to eat what they're eating.
No deep fried chicken nuggets with
extra sweet and sour goop. Instead
we love fresh, simple, healthy, and
authentic Chinese food! Nothing is
lost in the translation as we're now
one big happy family combination!

Border patrol
Post years of being treated like illegal aliens
most of America has finally joined us on our
culinary quest. Now our local grocer has an
"ethnic" aisle, several varieties of hummus,
and bitter melon in it's produce department.
Hence we all can go global deep in the heart
of Montana. However beware of the risks of
ethnic exposure. "Asian fusion" is a mutant
force that must be avoided. It took centuries
for regional chefs to perfect these venerable
cuisines. So why should some Iron Chef in
Lewistown be allowed to change the recipe?
Please, no curried Thai biscuits and gravy!  

Eat your heart out
The curry is always greener on the
other side of the world. Rather than
staying close to home and sticking
with the status quo, take a bite out
of life. How can you know what
you're missing until you nibble on
it?! The best way to expand your
culinary boundaries is to sample
whatever, whenever, where ever.
After all, what do you really have
to lose except the chance to satisfy
your hidden appetite for adventure?