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mongo_jones

eG Foodblog: mongo jones - how to lose friends and annoy people

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i think it depends on how many posts per page you're set to display--the default, i believe, is 30.

and i don't mean to crib about doing the blog--it is a lot of fun, and interesting to boot. today is going to be a slow day food-wise though: we're eating leftovers for lunch and going out for ribs with friends for dinner. they're parents of young kids, however, and need to eat dinner at 6.30 (!) to get home to their baby-sitting, visiting parents. we'll probably have to eat lunch at 11 to be hungry again by 6.30.

but in the spirit of recent polls, you can help us choose leftovers to eat if you like...yeah, that'll be real exciting!

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... going out for ribs with friends for dinner...

Where to for ribs?

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today's breakfast fruit:

an excellent, excellent nectarine (still not a mango though)

nectarine.jpg

and proof that i don't just photograph cups of tea, i also drink them

teaempty.jpg

if the producers of e's "true hollywood story" ever come around (this would be right after they get done with their 15th instalment on stephen baldwin), you can confirm that yes, i drank a cup of tea every morning--that's how wild and wacky i was.

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... going out for ribs with friends for dinner...

Where to for ribs?

um, let me check my email...

some place called lulu's kitchen in something called the steel yard? is this for real or are they luring us to our deaths? usually i don't like to eat in places named after people's kitchens (if not a kitchen, what else? lulu's portapotty?), but i suppose it is better than eating at places named after industrial space.

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:laugh::laugh::laugh:

OMG Mongo ... as if the blog weren't enough! That was tooo funny! Great way to start off Friday.

If I can pipe in on the "good food / small town" discussion ... from where I sit it's not just a question of demographics (i.e. affluece) but how liveable a city is as well. I'll use Vancouver, BC (my hometown) as an example. This is by no means a poor city, but we're not as affluent as say Toronto in canadian terms.

Yet the food here womps ass! My explanation: Vancouver is a very desireable place to be. Natural surroundings, good access to ingredients ... and many great chefs move here to take advantage of that.

If you look about 300 mi. into the intertior of BC you'll find Kelowna. It sits right in the middle of our wine region, and while it's no Napa valley, the Okanagan is producing some amazing product. Kelowna's population is about 150 000 compared 2 million in the Vancouver "region". The number of quality restaurants in Kelowna about 10 years ago was negligeable ... but today, thanks in part to the wine industry it is growing quite nicely. Off the top of my head, I can think of a couple instances where vancouver chefs have moved to the Okanagan to take advantage of the surroundings.

Great blog!

DA

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some place called lulu's kitchen in something called the steel yard? is this for real or are they luring us to our deaths? usually i don't like to eat in places named after people's kitchens (if not a kitchen, what else? lulu's portapotty?), but i suppose it is better than eating at places named after industrial space.

Be careful. Be very careful...It was reviewed last week in the camera. Headline:

Southern discomfort

Lulu's needs some time to simmer

Knowing what you think of many of the "award winning" restaurants, this should be interesting. (I've not tried the place.)

The steel yard's one of those new housing/retail blends: give boulder more high density/affordable/too expensive places to live and work projects.

edit to move some weirdly placed periods.


Edited by afoodnut (log)

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Be careful. Be very careful...It was reviewed last week in the camera. Headline:

Southern discomfort

Lulu's needs some time to simmer

.

Knowing what you think of many of the "award winning" restaurants, this should be interesting. (I've not tried the place).

hmmmm if the review is right we're going to have some very good food and some very bad food. i'm not usually worried about service and the other stuff.

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having spent a lot of time in this blog talking about and photographing various kinds of indian home-cooking i find myself again thinking half-heartedly about an entrepreneurial fantasy i used to have: find a small town (ideally a college town) with enough of a population that will support indian food and which has an adventurous palate and open a small prixe-fixe menu restaurant. say 15 tables and two 3-5 item menus a day (one vegetarian, one fish/meat). given that the competition would be against the local cookie-cutter buffet the lunch would have to be priced at no more than $8 ($6 for veg). the difference from the buffets would be the kind of food offered, specials like rotating regional menus, lack of cream, no two dishes cooked in the same sauce etc. etc. and the portions would be not tasting-menu size, but actual serving size. dinner might be say $10-$12 with a couple of bucks more for extra special items (like particularly expensive seafood).

one thing that something like this has in its favor from the point of view of a kitchen is that a lot of indian home-food actually tastes better later rather than immediately after it is made (especially meat dishes) once the flavors have settled down and meshed fully. having the prixe-fixe would allow cooking in bulk in the morning for lunch and then again in the afternoon for dinner.

then again i have no idea if the economics would work and/or if this would fly anywhere except in the virtual world of egullet. like i said, fantasy.

edit: to clarify second fantasy menu


Edited by mongo_jones (log)

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people, i know the blog is important but my simpsons, complete 4th season dvd set arrived today and let no one say i don't know my priorities.

not to go off into a simpsons sub-thread here but the 4th season has one of the greatest food-episodes of them all--the one in which homer sues "the frying dutchman" for not letting him eat all he can at their "all you can eat seafood buffet". mmmm simpsons dvd set...


Edited by mongo_jones (log)

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Mr. Jones, I would eat in your restaurant at least once a week. How do you feel about the South, Tennessee in particular?


Victoria Raschke, aka ms. victoria

Eat Your Heart Out: food memories, recipes, rants and reviews

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then again i have no idea if the economics would work and/or if this would fly anywhere except in the virtual world of egullet. like i said, fantasy.

Hey, I'd eat there too. Even if I knew you didn't have any meat, or creamy sauces. But I'm a freak. Anybody who can go 15 pages into a blog like this is, by definition, a freak.

And restaurants can't subsist on freak patronage unless they're in Freak Central, i.e. Cambridge, MA or Berkeley, CA. So once you're surrounded by enough freaks, you're not in the bucolic little town any more.

Sheesh, I'm Mr Buzzkill.

Anyways, a food question for Mongo:

I don't cook whole fish dishes. Can't get reliable product in a town where supermarket fish counters will sell you a stinky fish without compunction. But there are Pakistani and Korean stores that deal in whole fishies.

Is frozen whole fish reliable that far from the ocean? Do you get picky at the Indian store, looking at which ones might be freezer-burned, or is the quality consistently good? Were those croakers frozen?

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Hey, I'd eat there too. Even if I knew you didn't have any meat, or creamy sauces. But I'm a freak. Anybody who can go 15 pages into a blog like this is, by definition, a freak.

And restaurants can't subsist on freak patronage unless they're in Freak Central, i.e. Cambridge, MA or Berkeley, CA. So once you're surrounded by enough freaks, you're not in the bucolic little town any more.

:biggrin: (we really need a ROTFL icon.) There's a thing called the Boston-Boulder-Berkeley nexus. To wit: vast numbers of freaks pass through Boulder on their way to/from the other B-towns. Be assured that there's no shortage of freaks in bucolic Boulder.

And Mongo, be sure to order the corn/fish-cakes at Lulu's. (Appetizer, comes with blackened salmon -- give the salmon to someone else and eat all the fish-cakes yourself.)


"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside." Mark Twain

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Hey, I'd eat there too. Even if I knew you didn't have any meat, or creamy sauces. But I'm a freak. Anybody who can go 15 pages into a blog like this is, by definition, a freak.

And restaurants can't subsist on freak patronage unless they're in Freak Central, i.e. Cambridge, MA or Berkeley, CA. So once you're surrounded by enough freaks, you're not in the bucolic little town any more.

as the sea-captain says to the crowds, after settling homer's all you can eat lawsuit and installing him as an attraction in his restaurant: "come for the freak, stay for the food!"

and not that i'm ever going to be able to open a restaurant, but there would be meat.

I don't cook whole fish dishes. Can't get reliable product in a town where supermarket fish counters will sell you a stinky fish without compunction. But there are Pakistani and Korean stores that deal in whole fishies.

Is frozen whole fish reliable that far from the ocean? Do you get picky at the Indian store, looking at which ones might be freezer-burned, or is the quality consistently good? Were those croakers frozen?

we buy our fish from the large korean store in aurora (a denver suburb), and it almost all frozen. the croaker comes from very far away and is always frozen. you should feel relatively comfortable with the general cleanliness and state of the store--the places in l.a and denver/aurora i have bought such fish from are all very good and reliable. on the other hand there's a market in boulder--right by my indian grocery--that has a very scary frozen fish section (afoodnut has interesting stories about it which only the fear of lawsuits prevents her from sharing on egullet).


Edited by mongo_jones (log)

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:biggrin: (we really need a ROTFL icon.) There's a thing called the Boston-Boulder-Berkeley nexus. To wit: vast numbers of freaks pass through Boulder on their way to/from the other B-towns. Be assured that there's no shortage of freaks in bucolic Boulder.

yes, i wanted to say this many hundreds of posts ago when someone said something about boulder and things changing after the end of the hippie era: there's many people here who'd be surprised to hear that the hippie era has ended. i'll say again: naropa university is home to the jack kerouac school of disembodied poetics.

And Mongo, be sure to order the corn/fish-cakes at Lulu's. (Appetizer, comes with blackened salmon -- give the salmon to someone else and eat all the fish-cakes yourself.)

thanks for the tip! i welcome others.

in a bad planning move (dinner is less than 3 hours away) i am currently eating some of my green mango chutney as i type. i don't know if i ever reported back on the chutney: the syrup is great but the mangos themselves not so much; they may have been a little too big--they've imparted a nice sourness to the syrup but have absolutely no character left now. like eating slices of cold zombie flesh. mmmmm cold zombie flesh...

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Mongo - I went a searching for Flavours of the Spice Coast, by K.M. Mathew. I found a couple copies but nothing was priced less than $50. Amazon actually had used copies near $70! Is it just me or is this a little steep for a 105 page book?!? Any thoughts?

And... Since you lived in LA and I currently do, can you recommend a grocery that carries most of the items that have been mentioned in your dishes?

To note: I am utterly wasted from catching up on the 8 additional pages of blog that accumulated since I last checked in but so devoted to not missing anything that I'm still in my office well past closing time. I'm torn between waiting for more entries to show up and going home. Help!

You're doing a great job! Thanks!


Tastes pretty good, needs more salt

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Mongo - I went a searching for Flavours of the Spice Coast, by K.M. Mathew.  I found a couple copies but nothing was priced less than $50.  Amazon actually had used copies near $70!  Is it just me or is this a little steep for a 105 page book?!?  Any thoughts? 

And... Since you lived in LA and I currently do, can you recommend a grocery that carries most of the items that have been mentioned in your dishes?

To note: I am utterly wasted from catching up on the 8 additional pages of blog that accumulated since I last checked in but so devoted to not missing anything that I'm still in my office well past closing time.  I'm torn between waiting for more entries to show up and going home.  Help!

You're doing a great job!  Thanks!

wow--$50 is a lot, though i guess that's for a hardcover. don't do it. get vijayan's book instead: $20 at indiaclub

unlike the mathew book it doesn't have pretty pictures but it has more recipes, and more importantly it has far more sociological context for understanding the food and who eats it. ideally you would have both books--they work well together--but if you only had one i'd recommend the vijayan. many of the same recipes too. or similar anyway.

l.a groceries. my haunts were the following: india spices (or something like that) on pico two blocks east of crescent heights, and very close by, new india sweets and spices on fairfax 1/4 block north of pico. the latter also does decent vegetarian food. but right next to the other one on pico is one of l.a's hidden gems: india sweet house. the best alu parathas and chola bhaturas and sag panir in california--all made in a honest, rustic punjabi style. (but whatever you do don't get their dosas--that's like going to a mexican restaurant and getting a cheeseburger.) some decent sweets too--especially the laddus and gajar halwa (stay away from the gulab-jamuns etc.). their sev-puri is also awesome.

and today was a slow day at the blog. not just me--i think people in general are a little tired.


Edited by mongo_jones (log)

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Dr. Mongo:

I just wanted to report that I made your chicken liver curry last night. It really worked :shock:, and was wonderful!! :biggrin: ...........and maybe even better as leftovers for today's lunch. I accompanied it with "Monica's Cabbage with Black mustard seeds (Muttakos Poriyal)", from RecipeGullet, which was terrific as well.

Tomorrow I'm trying your okra recipe. I found some lovely fresh okra in an Indian market up near the university in SLC (who would have imagined an Indian market in Utah, eh??..........much less, OKRA :wink: ).

Thanks again for the great blog!!

Bill


Bill Benge

Moab, Utah

"I like eggs", Leon Spinks

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bill,

i'm very glad it worked for you--and yes, it will taste even better tomorrow. to tell the truth i was a little nervous about your unleashing that on your family as a liver curry is pretty hardcore! but i obviously underestimated them. the okra i know they will like.

and thanks for reading along--things have slowed down in the last two days. i'll probably cook again tomorrow, and if there is interest i'll post one last set of pictures.

regards,

mongo


Edited by mongo_jones (log)

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mongo-

you've heard it before, but you really have an incredible blog. i want you to know that you've inspired me to do two things: 1) make my very first egullet post. yay! and 2) cook my very first curry. i made your nadan fish curry last night and it was delicious. i wish i had doubled the recipe because the hubby and i polished off the whole pound of fish, and now i'm craving some. one thing though. my curry turned out much more watery than yours looked. i even removed the fish before it was done to cook down the sauce. it still was pretty loose though. is that how it should be?

thanks for much enlightenment.

-dexygus


dexygus

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mongo-

you've heard it before, but you really have an incredible blog.  i want you to know that you've inspired me to do two things:  1)  make my very first egullet post.  yay!  and 2)  cook my very first curry.  i made your nadan fish curry last night and it was delicious.  i wish i had doubled the recipe because the hubby and i polished off the whole pound of fish, and now i'm craving some.  one thing though.  my curry turned out much more watery than yours looked.  i even removed the fish before it was done to cook down the sauce.  it still was pretty loose though.  is that how it should be?

thanks for much enlightenment.

-dexygus

dexygus,

i'm honored on both counts. as for the curry--the main thing that matters is how it tastes. my own rendition this week was somewhat different than previous versions: i browned the onions more and so the sauce was darker. if yours was more watery it might be i'm using a smaller cup measure than you. but if it tasted good who cares?

let me know if you try and like any of the others as well.

regards,

mongo

edit to add: the fish curry recipe is not mine but a traditional one recorded in vijayan's "essential kerala cookbook"


Edited by mongo_jones (log)

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Hey, the effect of Mongo's blog is rippling the world over. Here's the story in Lyon, France.

(click)

And apparently they have invented a way of entering into the mind of the blogger -

(click)

:laugh: you are responsible for one new keyboard, lol, I just snorted my water

and I can tell that site will be responsible for much procrastinating!

on with the blog ^_~ more pictures would be wonderful Mr M


Spam in my pantry at home.

Think of expiration, better read the label now.

Spam breakfast, dinner or lunch.

Think about how it's been pre-cooked, wonder if I'll just eat it cold.

wierd al ~ spam

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And apparently they have invented a way of entering into the mind of the blogger -

(click)

man, that's some responsibility--i guess i'd better not do that spam and wonderbread sandwich i was considering for breakfast...

one last cooking itinerary for the blog:

rajma--red beans

alu-gobi (bengali style)--cauliflower and potatoes

cumin scented potato/sweet-potato medley

these will be eaten with the remnants of the wonderful easter chicken roast--thanks to everyone who voted for that and made me make something new that will now be in our regular rotation.

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i made your nadan fish curry last night and it was delicious.  i wish i had doubled the recipe because the hubby and i polished off the whole pound of fish, and now i'm craving some.

dexygus,

i forgot to ask last night: did you manage to locate kokum or cambodge or did you substitute tamarind or some other souring agent?

mongo


Edited by mongo_jones (log)

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i forgot to ask last night: did you manage to locate kokum or cambodge or did you substitute tamarind or some other souring agent?

mongo-

i was able to find black kokum. i think i will experiment with the amounts because i'm not sure if i tasted it.

i really want to try the mackerel, yellow croaker, and okra. i plan on making at least one this week. i'll let you know if they turn out. the chicken liver also looks very good, but alas, i don't eat poultry or mammals.

thanks again,

dexygus


dexygus

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