Saturday, 12 April 2008

Cherry, cherry...she got the way to move me, yeh

Never mind that on Good Friday when we were in town, it rained, sleeted, and hailed in between sunbursts - at Minamoto Kitchoan, my favourite gourmet Japanese sweetshop, it was spring, and that means seasonal cherry sweets.

As gorgeous as the jellied ones were, I thought they'd be a letdown - cherries in gelatine? enh. - so I chose some other cherry-flavoured confection, only to be told I was pointing at an expertly modelled display fake, and the guy who had swaggered up in front of me had bought the last two. Hmph. So I nosed around a little more...oh, no, don't make me browse the artisanal imported sweets, anything but that...

...and I finally settled on the Hakuun-no-Hotori: milky flavored white bean paste wrapped in Japanese cake. Somehow I exercised the self-control to keep them til Easter Sunday for us to have with tea while watching The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency debut on telly.

They were luxurious and vanilla-sweet, executing a soft, smooth crumble on the tongue. Not a dipping kind of sweet, but excellent with tea. I would have liked another, but they were pricey.

Also caught up with lechatlunatique for mezze and craft- and girltalk that day, and she later led me to Lovejoys, a gem of a bookstore that sells bargain editions of literary classics, cookbooks, obscure old flms on dvd, and other assorted goodies. Thing is, it has a dirty bottom (porn in the basement), which accounts for the name, I s'pose. I could not resist The Golden Bough (abridged) for £3. How could anyone?

I reunited with Dan for the Minamoto expedition, then we headed to the Mayfair Curzon to see Love in the Time of Cholera. Nope, not linking to it, because it was bloody awful! It's my favourite Gabriel Garcia-Marquez novel, and I didn't even recognise the story on the screen.

I knew we were in trouble from the first word, as it was in English. And sure enough, it's an American production. Doomed from the get-go, with vertiginous plot-hopping and total lack of grace. Except...well, maybe except....
Javier Bardem as Florentino was outstanding. But one well-cast actor does not a good film make. Not even a passable one.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Eek! The giant papaya!

Being from New Orleans, I was stopped cold by the word Formosa, which I've only ever heard in association with termites. Formosan termites can eat through a whole house in very short order, and the Southern US is badly afflicted with 'em; you really really really hope your house doesn't get them, and you shell out many a dollar for a comprehensive prevention contract...

But. That has nothing to do with this hefty hula gal of a tropical fruit.

It was perfectly ripe: soft but not mushy, intensely fragrant, and generous in quanitity - it may have cost £2.99, but it yielded at least four normal fruits' worth. O heavenly cereal topping! O delectable yoghurt mixer! Not to mention, sensational scoop-straight-from-the-bowl snack. Dan and I had some right away with an improvised lunch of Dr. Karg spelt emmenthal cheese and pumpkin seed crackers spread with leftover black bnz. I added this little find below...

Yes, I fell for the packaging. Especially since you could choose from three goats: Flo, Ethel and Eva. Flo was a little too naive and relaxed for me; Eva struck me as somewhat vainglorious. But Ethel, with her skeptical, flat-eared tilt of the head struck me as the conscientious kind of gal goat I could trust to make me a fine bit o' cheese. And anyway, I'm a Capricorn.

I was not disappointed. The little round of goodness was crumbly in the middle, gooey near the rind, and oh-so-goaty with a touch of tang, just like chevre should be. Paired with my fine-tuned herby black bnz on the crackers, it was a divine little number for lunch.

When I snapped the pic above, Dan suggested, rather uncharitably, that I keep the camera poised for my next bowel movement as well, since surely my gentle readers for whom I was capturing every phase of Saturday lunch would like to know the 'end result'. But he doesn't even like the goaty goodness of chevre, so how can we possibly trust his observations? Indeed, we cannot.