Monday, 30 April 2018


Silk and Spices Festival in Bukhara, Uzbekistan Mysterious caravan route and ancient way of communication of...

Silk and Spices Festival in Bukhara, Uzbekistan Mysterious caravan route and ancient way of communication of peoples, the Silk Road continues to hide its secrets ...

For several millennia, spices from India, and costly silk, whose secret was jealously guarded during several centuries by Chinese emperors, delight the eyes of all of us.

Even if tens of centuries have passed, history respects the value of silk and traditional knowledge workshops Uzbek silk.

At the heart of the desert between the red sand dunes, one of the real emeralds of the Silk Road survives the city Bukhara. This pearl is ready to dazzle the eyes of travellers for three beautiful days of summer, thanks to the festival Silk and Spice, where you can discover the legendary city of Bukhara and the phenomenal beauty of the East.

It is a festival of handicrafts where will be shown the masterpieces of the best professionals from all over the country. Also, thanks to folklore groups, theatre companies and musical performances, the city will be bathed in a festive atmosphere that will prevail you.

During these few days, the beauty of the mosaics, minarets and joyful music will harmonize with the mood of spring. We invite you to come see the festival, which will leave on you an unforgettable memory of the bright colour of silk and subtle taste of spices.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

How do you like my new Cover picture?

How do you like my new Cover picture? "A recipe has no soul, you as the cook must bring soul to the recipe.” Thomas Keller

Monday, 23 April 2018

Spices There are three ways to use spices:

Spices There are three ways to use spices:
Tempering: fry in a small amount of hot oil.
Cumin seeds sizzle, mustard seeds turn grey and pop, fenugreek and urad dal brown, curry leaves and bay leaves darken.
This is done to flavour the oil before cooking, or sometimes the flavoured oil is used to dress the finished dish.
The whole spices also add texture to the dish (especially the crunchy dal and mustard seeds).

Flavouring: Dry, ground spices are added during the cooking process.
Some are added early so that their colour or flavour permeates the dish.
This includes turmeric, chilli, coriander and cumin powders.
Some are added late, just before the finish, so that their aroma stays fresh.
This includes garam masala which is a mixture of several warm ("garam") spices including clove, cinnamon and peppercorns.

Toasting: Dry roast on high heat, taking care not to burn spices.
Whole red chillies and fenugreek seeds darken, grated coconut turns a bit golden, and whole spices like cumin and coriander lose their "raw" smell. Typically, spices are toasted prior to grinding them into a dry or wet spice mix.

It is not unusual to use all three forms of spice in one dish! The result is layers of delicious complexity and flavouring.

Monday, 16 April 2018

To Kill two birds with one Stone

To Kill two birds with one Stone
My second dilemma concerns a second set of two chickens, however these chickens are alive and even more troublesome. These two chickens, apparently vagabonds of some kind, wandered onto the grounds of the monastery earlier today.

They were drunk and rowdy, and disturbed many of the other monks during post-breakfast meditation.

I asked them kindly to leave us in peace and find refuge elsewhere, but they refused and became belligerent.
They both swung their wings at me as if to punch me, but fortunately they were quite drunk and immediately fell, unconscious, to the ground.

As they were comatose, I quickly grabbed them by their talons, placed them outside the monastery walls, and locked the gate.

However, they both regained consciousness mere minutes later, and since then, have been trying in vain to fly over the gate.

To make matters worse, they seem even more belligerent, and their drunken vulgarity continues to disturb our meditations.

“So I ask you, wise Master, what is the correct path of action?”

To which Lao Tzen Tzang replied:

“By killing two birds with one stone, you shall kill two birds with one stone.”

“And how shall I do that?” asked the pupil.

You must find the biggest stone in the garden. Also a twelve foot ladder.
Take these to the front gate, and carry the stone to the top of the ladder.
When the chickens are not looking, drop the stone on top of them.

Then cook them for supper.

“But, Master, what if the stone is too heavy to carry up the ladder?”

“Then you must find a slightly smaller stone that is not as heavy.”

“But, master, what if none of the stones are big enough to kill both chickens in one fell swoop?”

“Then find a stone you can fit in your hand.
Aim for one chicken and throw the stone in a sidearm motion, as you might throw a curveball.
The stone should ricochet off of the first chicken and hit the second chicken as well.”

The pupil followed his master’s advice but, alas, once again proved himself grossly incompetent.

He carried a large stone to the top of a ladder placed next to the front gate, but just as he was about to drop it, one of the chickens flew up and pecked him in the eye.

The young monk lost his balance and fell, dropping the rock on his own face.

Though as dumb luck would have it, the chickens saw this and laughed until they choked to death on their own vomit.

The young monk may have lost several teeth, but that didn’t prevent him from cooking and eating a delectable sesame chicken supper.

And for the first and second times in history, two birds were killed with one stone. Also a ladder.

Originally shared by Shen Yun Official Account

Idiom: Shooting Two Hawks with One Arrow 一 箭双雕
In the West, we say "to kill two birds with one stone," but in ancient China, archery was the way to go.
Meet Zhang Sunsheng: a well-trusted strategist and a talented archer from China’s Northern and Southern dynasties (420-589 C.E). Zhang was charged with escorting a princess to the northwest, where she would be married off to the neighboring Turkish clan. While in the Turkish kingdom, the king became so impressed by Zhang’s archery skills that he invited Zhang stay as a special guest of honor. Thus, Zhang spent the next year on holiday, and often accompanied the Turkish king on his hunting expeditions.
One day, the pair spotted two hawks flying overhead, squabbling over a piece of meat. The king handed Zhang two arrows and asked him to take down the intimidating raptors, one after the other. Zhang carefully strung his bow, aimed closely at his first target, and let go. But much to even his surprise, he struck both birds in one stroke, accomplishing his task with only half the effort.
Now that’s what we call efficiency!

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Get cooking ;)

Get cooking ;)

Originally shared by Jon “the chef” Hole

Invention of cooking made having a bigger brain an asset for humans

Humans' move to a cooked diet, possibly first adopted by Homo erectus, and their bigger brains yet smaller bodies, left spare energy which allowed further rapid growth in brain size and the chance to develop the big brain as an asset rather than a liability, through expanded cognitive capacity, flexibility and complexity.

Human guts are about 60% of the expected size for a primate.
The small size of human guts (combined with our having the same basal metabolic rate as any other primate, relative to body mass) means that we have some spare energy, which contributes to explaining how we can afford a relatively large brain.
And the reason we have been able to evolve small guts is that we have been able to rely on eating our food cooked.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

“When helicopters were snatching people from the grounds of the American embassy compound during the panic of the...

“When helicopters were snatching people from the grounds of the American embassy compound during the panic of the final Vietcong push into Saigon

I was sitting in front of the television set shouting

Get the chefs !

Get the chefs !

Calvin Trillin New Yorker’ magazine
Thank +Azlin Bloor :)

Originally shared by Azlin Bloor

Street Vendors, Vietnam

You can't miss the huge number of street food vendors on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), selling a variety of local Vietnamese favourites, like:

* Gỏi Cuốn (Fresh Spring Rolls)
* Bánh Xèo (Savoury Pancakes)
* Phở (Pho Soup Noodles)
* Bánh mì (Baguette sandwich)

You'll find a Vietnamese page on my site, full of recipes. Link below.

There is an unofficial 3 tier system to the street vendors in Saigon:

Top tier: vendors with a storefront, which they either own or pay rent on. Quite often, these are tiny little coffeeshop style establishments, with the vendors also living within the space.

2nd tier: vendors who tend to operate at the same spot day in day out. Their equipment consists of some sort of a mini catering trailer or box that is attached to a vehicle. Some even leave their trailers on the spot, all locked up of course, for the night.

3rd tier: these guys are extremely mobile and move from day to day; their method of transportation varies from a motorbike/scooter to a bicycle to their own two feet. The lady in the image has all she needs attached to her bike. Others pack a table, some chairs, cutlery, crockery and their food onto a single bike before going off and settling on a spot for the day.

Then you have travelling hawkers called gánh hàng rong in Vietnamese. They carry a long bamboo pole on the shoulder with a basket or pot on either end, selling a variety of foodstuff. It could be a full meal in the form of rice or noodles with vegetable and meat dishes or fresh fruit and vegetables or even dried foodstuff. You'll find more pictures in my Travelling with 4 Kids Collection.


Cerne Abbas Giant This be where I am.

Cerne Abbas Giant This be where I am.