Thursday, January 10, 2008

CHG Favorites of the Week: The Back in the US of A Edition

Hi everybody! I’m back from India. It was grand and gorgeous and full of so many contrasts (and camels) that it’s difficult to summarize. Still, I learned a few things, food-related and otherwise:
  1. India is the best place in the world to be a vegetarian.
  2. Though Indian Hindus (who make up like, 80% of the country) consider the cow sacred, McDonald’s still exists. They just serve things like Chicken McCurry and Tikka Aloo instead of Big Macs. (We just went in to see – no eating.)
  3. You know how spices are cheaper in ethnic markets? They’re even less expensive in the actual foreign country. I got a little thingy of saffron for less than a can of Schweppes. (Of course, the plane ticket kind of makes up for the cost.)
  4. Adapting to the water in far-away places takes time. And by that, I mean it takes time spent in the ladies' room, praying your lower intestine doesn't fall out with everything else you just ate. (Too graphic?)
  5. Naan is the bread-nectar of the gods.
  6. Lassis are the nectar-nectar of the gods.
  7. When you forget about a banana for five days in your shoulder bag, it … no, never mind. I can’t explain. Too traumatic. Just know that the bag didn’t make it.
  8. It’s not a good idea to handwash a red-dyed Rajasthani shawl in a white tile bathroom. My tub looks like I was butchering a deer.
More on the trip in future posts. In the meantime, many gigantic thanks to Rachel, who covered CHG during my absence. She’s a New Year’s Day to celebrate, a chocolate-covered candy heart to give away, a bird of spring, and a flower of, er, bloom. In other words, I just wrote to say I’m grateful.

Now, on to this week’s favorites (brought to you by the makers of jet lag).

Blog of the Week

The Simple Dollar
Trent is one of the big dogs in the Personal Finance blogging world, and fortunately, he writes plenty about the economics, procurement, and love of food. A blossoming cook, he’s even launching his own site soon, so stay tuned.

Food Comedy of the Week
The Bowl At The Howling Rim Of Famous-Ity by Patton Oswalt
Patton Oswalt’s (Ratatouille, King of Queens) standup bit about KFC’s Famous Bowl is approaching legend. But he never actually tried it before this article. Come feel the pain. (Rated PG-13 for language, preservatives.)

Interview of the Week
Anthony Bourdain in Onion AV Club

Quote of the Week

“You know, the only thing worse than an American to an Italian is an Italian from the next village.” – Anthony Bourdain on why his Italian wife doesn’t like his Italian cooking. (Just dare me to write the word "Italian" again.)

Tip of the Week
This week’s tip comes courtesy of my sister, a convenience cook if there ever was one: if you’re making pasta and don’t have the time/energy/will to clean anymore dishes, instead of heating pasta sauce separately, pour it directly into the drained, still-hot spaghetti. It will warm the sauce and cool the pasta to just the right temperature.

Video of the Week (Food Division)

“Know Your Chicken” – Cibo Matto
I was a DJ for four years as an undergrad, and this was by far the weirdest song we played with any consistency. And in the college radio world, where bands like Dead Milkmen, They Might Be Giants, and Primus reign supreme, that’s saying something.

Website of the Week
Television Without Pity
At first glance, it looks like a bunch of programming summaries (which it is, essentially), but a further exploration reveals TWOP’s extensive message boards, which food TV fans use to dissect their favorite shows, rate recipes they’ve tried, and make fun of Sandra Lee. Lurk around for awhile, and see what folks have to say. It’s a solid way to get advance word and/or suggestions on a dish.

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VixenOnABudget said...

Glad to have you back!

Naan IS amazing. Mmmmm. The water aspect is a deterrent though.

shruti said...

As an Indian, I can't believe nobody told you to either boil the water before you drink it or only drink bottled water...

And I had Mickey D's last time I went (I'm a vegetarian too) and they actually have a complete vegetarian menu, as well as different servers and prep areas. It was great!

Nerida said...

You drank the water?!?!?!?!?!

Monika K said...

I'm really regretting not sending you a few cans of Schweppes so that you could buy me a pound or two of saffron....

Daniel Koontz said...

Welcome back! Can't wait to hear more about the trip and of course the FOOD!

Casual Kitchen

Kris said...

Thanks, everybody! It's good to be home.

As for the water - we knew. Oh god, we knew. And we were SO GOOD about it, we thought. But I think a lukewarm cup of tea on Day 5 got us. My friend S was hit hard, and it's the only food or drink she had significantly more of than me. We had a fantastic time, but it was a rough, rough night.

Anonymous said...

be careful of buying spices abroad especially from markets - there is little or not regulation - and sometimes there can be nasties in them. I always buy from reputable sources in the US. although it is more expensive.

Chief Family Officer said...

Welcome back! I'm glad you had a wonderful time. And thank you for your very kind mention in your Frugal Hacks interview!

P.S. Rachel was great but it's good to have you back :)