I’d say I spent all day slaving over a hot stove, but I really spent all day slaving over a warm cutting board. If you had to sum up the difference between American cuisine and that of the rest of the world in a sentence, it would be this: We throw a hunk of meat on the table, add two vegetables and a loaf of bread and call it a meal, but in the rest of the world, you add a bunch of cilantro, some finely chopped garlic, pine nuts, cucumbers and an exotic fruit you have to go to three grocery stores to find (pummelo, in this case — it’s the grandfather of the grapefruit!).
The upside: It’s real damn good.
The menu: The Soup Nazi’s Mulligatawny, chicken-pummelo salad, Jerusalem artichoke salad, meatball kebab with tahini and, for dessert, a lovely bread pudding. We had enough to feed the Israeli army (at least the ones who don’t stay kosher).
It was a lovely dinner, and a lovely birthday.
We also had two presentations, and while we’re not supposed to publicly discuss what we talk about there, I don’t think anyone would mind if I linked the website of ffF Fatih, touting his book, new this fall. No English translation yet. (He tells me the title is a Turkish idiom that translates roughly to “I’ll pay two pence more, but I want it in red,” which is sort of a metaphor for bargaining — I’ll give you a little more, you give me a little more.) It’s a best-seller in Turkey; next time your travels take you to Istanbul, pick up a copy.
And now, to toddle my bulging stomach and fat-rich blood off to bed. Thanks for all the e-cards!