Saturday, 19 March 2016

Zen, chickens, and curry.


                           Afficher l'image d'origine

I suppose our first very good friends, when we moved here, were two lovely Parisian ladies who then owned the house next door (oh how I wish they still did), Janinne and Odette.

It never crossed my mind that they were lesbians; it wouldn't have made the slightest difference anyway, other than seeing them as slightly more interesting.

They were people of taste and culture. They were Zen Buddhists, and worked on translating ancient texts into both French and English. Their house was impeccable, and the garden perfectly coiffed. There was never anything out of order; they were a very organised couple, and a pleasure to have as neighbours.

One day their dog got amongst our hens and killed one. Odette promised, in her very authoritative manner, to replace it; and we thought no more.

Several months later we were invited to dinner, and were informed that we would be eating the replacement chicken (frankly I'd been expecting a live one to join the flock). Janinne had made a chicken curry, and they were very concerned that it would be far too hot for us English whimps.

As it happened, we would hardly have known that it was a curry at all, there was no curry flavour, and absolutely no heat. I remember saying to Lady Magnon that we should invite them over for a pukka vindaloo one day, but she thought they might explode.

I think our so-called 'replacement chicken' was wasted.



41 comments:

  1. Such a nice story, i like it.

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  2. I really enjoyed this story.

    cheers, parsnip

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  3. It might have been okay for me. I'm a curry wimp!

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    1. You would have to have been a non-curry-eater to have enjoyed this.

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  4. Have the lovely neat ladies been "replaced" by the not so pleasant orange wall neighbour? I find the curry sold in our supermarket to be too mild. I buy it from the African/Asian stores. Greetings Maria x

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    1. I'm afraid so. It all used to be so quiet, smoke free, clean, etc. Now, not the same.

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  5. ...perhaps it's always as well to have a little curry powder concealed about your person, just in case !
    Would have suited me, too, I'm not a curry fan.

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    1. I had a friend who never went anywhere without a small manual pepper grinder.

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  6. It's snippets like this that I love about blogs. A memory shared.
    I have to have garam masala with mine if I've made it for the girls.

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    Replies
    1. Garam masala is the icing on the top.

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  7. I like a bit of heat but not so much you can't taste what you're eating. Lovely tale Cro.
    Arilx

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    1. We like ours reasonably hot, but not to the extent of pain.

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  8. I use a lot of spices in our food, probably far more than the French could handle.

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    1. The French palate has never had to confront Indian spices; we chose our colonies more wisely.

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  9. I'm cooking two curries as I write! One a hot vindaloo, the other a milder but very tasty one with coconut milk. Both are beef. They'll go in the freezer and my son and daughter will take most home with them when they visit at Easter. I do love anything with chilli!

    Cro, did you ever get around to making the chilli sauce recipe I sent a link to? I made some recently and it's very popular.

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    1. I did make some of your sauce. I only made a small amount, but have kept the recipe. Very good.

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  10. I bet their plates were clean..

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    1. Everything about them was clean. I think always being seen as immaculate must be a 'gay' thing.

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    2. I have no doubt it was.

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  11. Ah neighbours - what a wealth of information could be written about them. I often wonder how the so called neighbours view us too.
    Nust say your sound impeccable - do I take it you are not so keen on your present ones.
    You sound much better - hope you are feeling it too.

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    1. J and O originally sold to the parents of the present lot. The parents were fine, but the offspring a very different matter. We're both feeling a bit better today thanks.

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  12. Our French neighbours always seem a bit amused and doubtful about the meals we cook. Philippe and Patricia are very traditional and I suspect they have never eaten curry. (I love mine medium hot, erring on the safe side.)

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    1. Curry isn't really part of the culture here. Very different to the UK, where I believe it is now No 1 favourite.

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  13. Funny how old Empires take on the food of their colonies. France has Tagines, of course, the Dutch have Indonesian curries, but us Brits are the ones known for Indian curries, with or without chips.

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    1. Actually, now I remember, the best curry I have eaten was in a Vietnamese restaurant in Paris, but it was not hot.

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    2. That's the other thing; all Chinese restaurants in France are Vietnamese.

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    3. What do they call the Vietnamese ones?

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  14. All the Chinese restaurants have Mexican cooks around here. I never got that. Don't like the taste of curry. Thought it was an English thing. So who was the dog with a pheasant in his mouth?

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    1. We eat curry at least once a week, often twice; I couldn't live without it. It's a stock photo, it just reminded me of seeing their dog walking off with one of my hens.

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  15. Lol i dont understand their logic

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  16. I typed a thesis for an Indian town planning student in the 1970s. He taught me to cook vegetable curries and which spices to use; there was not a tandoori in sight and I do not remember him ever using the word. I can still cook a decent curry but very rarely do so these days.

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    1. Tandoori ovens are a restaurant thing; not something you'd have at home. I always grind my own spices, etc.

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  17. We have discovered that the French idea of hot or spicy is barely spicy at all for us.
    The other day we found ourselves sitting next to a table of four French men tucking into curries in an Indian restaurant in Derbyshire. They didn't appear to have chosen the wimp options so maybe the French do like real curry, given the chance to try it.

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  18. I feel for you and your 'wasted chicken' Cro, though I have to admit to smirking a tad at your telling of this story.

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  19. I didn't think Zen Buddhists (or any Buddhists) ate meat.

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