Sunday, March 04, 2007

Some meaty issues

Being a vegetarian some questions that I constantly face are
"Being a mallu how come you are a vegetarian?"
"How do you manage to survive in different places since you travel a lot"

For the first question the only answer is it's a matter of choice. Second question probably deserves a little more explanation. The longest I have stayed out of home is in Munich, Germany. I somehow managed breakfast and dinner without much problems (read as survived on cornflakes/fruits/bread/chocolates/nuts or even cooked if I got some good company). But for lunch the only choice was company canteen. Always when it's time for lunch I used to have a funny feeling like how you get during exam days - "what's in store? " or "what's my fate today". Anyway I used to gather all my courage n march to the canteen,enter and stare at the menu:

It would read something like this:

Brathuhn
Eintopf
Eisbein
Karpfen
Kartoffelsalat
Knödel
Matjestopf
Maultaschen
Reibekuchen
Schinken
Schnitzel
Schweinebraten


Spaetzle
Wurst Salad
Brotknodel
RoteKohl
Schnitzel Holstein
Jagerschnitzel
Sauerbraten
Schweinsmedallions mit Sommermajoran
Schweinhaxen
Bratwurst

And the feeling that I get would be "WOW looks really good. Nice rhyming words!!" How am I supposed to select from this?? The only way out used to be to go by "looks". (If some of you are wondering why couldn't I ask the people serving there, the problem was they speak only German and my German was too pathetic. Many a times I had attempted but it confused both the parties. Sometimes some counterparts would be kind enough to tell me what it contained or what I should avoid. But mostly I had to manage myself). Anyway coming back to choosing "food" - Couldn't pick any spicy/complicated looking stuff. So a safe option used to be Potatoes, potatoes n more potatoes (in all forms - fried , deep fried, boiled , steamed , raw , mashed, salted ). Else a little bit of vegetables which had a natural look (mostly just boiled) or a piece of bread. And then the most delicious part - the desserts. The dessert collection was really impressive and me being a sweet lover used to indulge royally. But even that wasn't really safe as some of them contained alcohol! Luckily I always managed to take the sweet ones ;) (This also explains why I blow up unlike others who shrinks after an abroad trip)

But while travelling around, finding a suitable place to eat out used to be a problem.. Within Germany I could manage somehow since I can ask for "Pommes frites" , "Gemüse Burger" or "vegetarisch Pizza". But non-german speaking areas used to be the "probleme". So to some places we carry food. But again that was not a pleasant option. I remember how we carried lots of bun n fruits to Sicily(Italy) and by the fourth day we were feeling sick even at the sight of it. We were longing to get back to Rome to eat something spicy

But yeh not everything have gone smoothly.. I have had my share of bloopers as well. Once I was picking up chocolates for home. And there I saw these nice looking red n black chocolate bars n in went some 10-20 of them. Actually that was expensive as well but I thought it will be some exotic ones. Once I reached back home I tried out one n eeks it's bitter n have some funny filling too!!! (Can u guess what it was??). All of them promptly found their way to the waste basket :(

Another one happened in Paris. Since it's a famous tourist spot, we were so confident that we would be able to find Mac Donalds or at least some english speaking people. So didn't take any precautions(read as didn't carry any food), but alas we couldn't find either. We were in Notre Dame and too hungry. A survey of the place revealed that almost all shops sell something called Crepe(A famous French dish. can be considered as a variety of Indian Dosa) in different flavours , but they will mix egg. Somehow that trip was toooooooo tiring and JK was not at all keen in exploring for an alternative. His argument was that anyway I eat cakes n ice creams which contains egg n so can have this also..

Next one in UK. When I landed there I felt really odd. Suddenly I could understand the language and even read the sign boards around me!!! Yeh everything is in English n I know that language!!!! May be with that confidence I went and ordered a veg burger combo in Mac Donalds. They promptly handed over the bag too. As usual I finished off the French fries and started to attack the burgers. One bite n hey something fishy (or meaty).. I had a closer look. The stuffing inside was a white single piece thingy, deep fried, like a hard dried log. Anyway since I was too hungry I didn't bother to question them(and I'm not sure whether it would have made any impacts too) and so removed the filling n ate the bun..

And yet another similar one in leh. During our trip we were so used to eating momos and so when we stopped in a daba, P went and ordered a plate of momos. He didn't specify what since by default they used to give us the veg ones. One bite and Pint realised it's pork. Luckily coz of my eating style I hadn't reached the filling..

May be I'll conclude my post with a cooking blooper. This happened some years ago. 4 of us were staying together out of which me n another girl were veggies. We never used to cook non-veg and rarely if we cook egg, it was always the other two who managed it. Then my other veggie friend got a long term onsite and she decided to convert to a non-veg. As a first step she decided to make egg. Unfortunately that day the other two non-veggies had gone out and we both clueless females were trying to make Omelet. Both of us have only seen the cooked form but had no clue how to make it. We knew what all goes in it but the big question was whether to deep fry, shallow fry or make like dosa!!!! Finally we decided to make it shallow fry (Our theory was it looks oily so there should be a little more oil than dosa kinds). And you can imagine how it would have turned out to be !!! When our other roomies returned they were shocked to see our experiment results. They just couldn't imagine how we managed to spoil a simple omelet like this !!!

7 comments:

Krishna said...

I like your omlette story ;) you know what, even now when you cook I wonder what is that going to be at the end ;))) But yes, honestly I miss those days you invite us to test your culinary skills - it's like going out , say for a bungee jump. You never know whether you'll finish it safely - but that is the exiting part of it ;))

Dhanya said...

KK, That was really rude.. :(((
How many times I have served u ppl n this is what I get... hmmm whattodo this is a thankless world.. ;)

Anil said...

KK... I read your Bungee Jump feeling. I differ in my experience. For me, it used to be the "Thorn and Leaf" like experience, where I am the Leaf. Hope you got the punch line. Ha ha ha ha.. That was on a lighter part. But I really appreciate her willingness to cook a freshly slaughtered bleeding Kozhi (chicken) for all of us, even though she hates the smell, taste and look of a kozhi without feathers and skin on it :) Three cheers for this scientific cook and Yes, I don’t mind one cheer for this assistant too :)

Dhanya said...

Kuttettaaaaaaa u too Brutus :(((((

GEETHA said...

we will eat and then give comments (TBD)

sandeep said...

very rarely i see people who can cook a 'kozhi' but cant eat an omlette :)

me being a very pure nonvegetarian keeps wondering what will happen if one of the veggies end up taking a bite of chicken :) is it that bad if u eat it by mistake???

Dhanya said...

@ geetha : I stopped feeding thankless people :P

@ sandeep : It's easy to cook a 'kozhi' n not eat it.. You can experiment anything n everything you can think of :D
Think it depends on person to person. For me, I don't eat coz I don't like it. So it's just an unpleasant feeling like having a bad medicine ;) But for people who don't eat for religious reasons I have no clue..

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