that is the word for breakfast
in roman

like in roman times
with gladiators and aqueducts

or rather latin
i should say

i' ve been reading about roman cuisine
on the internet
and elsewhere in books
made out of paper

roman cuisine has a lot of charm to it
i see roman culture as the first serious attempt in civilisation to live lavishly and in luxury
and not only the people on top do this but also those in inferior social strata

except the slaves
they get porridge and sewer-rats
if they are lucky

anyway i stumbled upon a description of a meal eaten for breakfast
cooked it up
and it was colossal

crafty use of word intended

let's call it
fried pancake with honey and dates
or google translate it to
cum melle et frixam subcinericius tempora

which doesn't sound right
but what do i know?

authenticity had to be sacrificed
as i did not have anyone to slave at my bidding
i had to prepare and toil to cook up my own breakfast
then i had to clean up afterwards
with my hands
like a lowly serf
a self-serf

also the wheat i used was refined white flour
two millennia ago they would have used something like wholemeal flour

but if for bacchus's sake we imagine that
i ordered my least favorite dark-skinned houseboy to pick out all the fiber-y bits and ground husks from the flour
by hand
with two bits of sticks
for hygiene
we'd be back on track with history

got some flour and
added water and pounding

till a thin dough disc magically appeared

i heated some olive oil in a pan

browned the monster on both sides

drizzled a few teaspoons of honey on top

a sprinkle of chopped dates

garnished with glass of milk

and feasted like a roman domus' pater familia on sunday morning

the photos don't do justice to how tasty this this
the dough fried in olive oil really brings out the sweetness from the honey and dates

the romans didn't have frosties and pop tarts
but they sure knew how to start their day with sugar laden beauties such as this

the rest of the day would then be spent fucking and watching people kill each other

also from google translate:


not for the faint of heart!

i wake up this morning from twelve hours of sleep
however still knackered

yesterday after a pizza marinara at cross keys in mellieha and after rewatching Hot Fuzz
you know
because of the recent london riots
and because of a minor internet meme claiming that simon pegg's character's transfer from london to the countryside was one of the reasons behind the ineffective policing...

anyway it is 22:30 on a saturday and i go to sleep
calling it a night this early
is partly because of eating the whole pizza
and it's partly what i did before that

in the morning i bought long fins for free diving later that afternoon

that afternoon:
snorkeling for about three hours
half of the time with a friend's harpoon and chasing a big fish
under a big rock - unsuccessfully
wasting my breath and my energy
later catching an octopus
which is not bad for my first time
but i shoot it three times
first time it runs away
second i miss
third time success but the octopus crawls up the harpoon to my hand and scares the shit out of me
i get it to shore...

not bad for my first time
i leave the octopus with my friend and go get that pizza

anyway this morning i eat toast and a red bull for my late 11 am breakfast
this makes me feel kind of ok but still a bit recovering

i digress
it's not the forgone octopus
not the cross keys pizza
not the red bull breakfast
it's the meal i cook for my late 3 o'clock lunch which i want to talk to you about:

heart of lamb

i've recently acquired a new camera
and i am freshly trigger happy
so i've accompanied the following recipe with visual aids

i seasoned the heart with salt and pepper

then sliced it

then golden browned some garlic

then those heart slices too

i briefly fried some pumpkin
and added a cup of nero d'avola or two

then covered

i pestled some parsley, dried chick peas, raw garlic, pepper, and some hard amsterdammer cheese i had in the fridge

when the pumpkin got tender i removed it and dusted it with the previous grind

i simmered the heart
in more wine and covered till it tendered and reduced
the more this is done the softer it gets
the heart of a full grown sheep can remain chewy since it has gone through lots of beats
it would be best to get a young lamb's

and in the end
i added some fresh sage and cooked for another minute


as i digest
i listen to some Yelle
i don't usually enjoy listening to contemporary pop music
but i'm a sucker for women singing in french

what i have learned today is that a heart of lamb makes red bull feel like sugar pills

and now i am finally energised

Meal in a can

for when the fancy shit
don't cut it...



holy fuckin' moly
i went to bahar ic-caghaq
to swim a couple of laps over a nice turquoise stretch in a shallow bay
i' m sure you know the part
right behind the water park
a turn around from the ice-cream kiosk

after the paddle i put myself in ignore-the-ice-cream-cravings mode
and drove myself out to the coast road
just before that however
on the side i saw a familiar image i had been deprived of for ages

a man wearing shades despite it being seven in the evening
tinkering over a shiny steel grill
the hot dog stand of hot-dog stands

when i digested this mental information
i paused at the crossroads for an awkward 30 seconds
luckily no cars were queuing behind me
so i decisively reversed to an open space immediately adjacent to his stand
the man
the legend

some years had passed and they showed a little on him
the hot dog stand was the same
the condiments increased in number but my favorite
the lea & perkins chilly sauce was nowhere to be seen

a little disappointed but extremely happy nonetheless
i asked him to make me one
and progressed to chat away

i asked him about the university days
and if he still rolled his mobile business there

he told me about how when papillon left their undeserved canteen operation, the new guys who have food selling rights in the canteen and on the surrounding premises didn't want him setting up anymore
no way, no how

he took a four year break apparently and
he now sells hot-dogs in bahar ic-caghaq on thursdays and sundays

the hot-dog is not as excellent as what it was back in the old days
maybe he has lost his touch
maybe he is out of practice
maybe it is the creative process of memory that fucks things up in the ever present
maybe the hot dog is still good and it is the salty water in my mouth that fucked things up

to those that remember
sandro had the best hot-dogs
and this was the best food for a while on campus

on those breakfast-less early mornings
when you've just learned that the lecturer didn't show up or something

when not even a coffee could sooth the cold lifeless 8am to 9am
sandro's hotdog could

when you ate something foul tasting from the canteen
sandro's hot-dog was there to bring your taste-buds back to their senses

when university's stress ate through your heart
you ate through sandro's fucking hot-dog to make yourself whole again

if you were broke
out on your last singular lira from that month's measly stipend
sandro's hot-dog

if you had a free lesson
sandro's hot-dog

if you had a double-lesson
sandro's hot-dog

if you didn't feel like a lecture
sandro's hot-dog

if you wanted to celebrate a B plus grade that just came out
sandro's hot-dog

if you were disappointed at getting a C when you worked your ass off in the assignment and sucked up to the lecturer all fucking semester and did exceptionally well in those despicable tutorials
then confronted the bitch by email and was left with a reply to the tune of "C is not such a bad mark anyway!"
sandro's fucking hot-dog

sometimes after you ate sandro's hot-dog
you'd go for another sandro's hot-dog
cos that's how shit should roll
cos that is only when you know that there's something fucking right and consistent in this cold soulless universe
sandro's fucking hot-dog
that soft steamed bun
that grilled factory-formed sausage
those fried onions
that sweet-salty, jackson pollock tribute on the top

i remember my freshers week hazily
i didn't even apply for any of the credits i needed that semester
before i had decided what career path i was going to embark on
i had already eaten five of those hot-dogs
then i chose communications
ha ha
joke's on me
before i knew what major i was going for
i had majored in sandro's hot-dogs

wait a moment

...i just realised that this doesn't really add up
because i think i was still vegan back there in time
not sure what is right
but in any case i prefer these new hot-dog infused memories

where was i?

at the end of those dopey two weeks
me and two friends
let's call them arnold and daniel
came up with a startling discovery
with the help of daniel who was in second year by then
we came upon the inevitable conclusion that sandro and roza
the stipend lady
where one and the same

daniel had introduced me to the wonders of sandro's hot-dogs
he was lost in a trance like state smelling away at a freshly bought hot-dog
telling me how good it was
losing himself over to his senses
making verbal love to the damn thing
mouthing the phrase
"sandro's hot-dog"
over and over in zombie like fashion
and that's when i stepped in and bitch-slapped him straight and ordered him to get a hold of himself
in front of his friends

he still promises me that he will have his revenge one day
for the public humiliation i caused him
one day when i least expect it
out of the darkness daniel will pop out and be the cause of terrible embarrassment

back to the sandro and roza intrigue

the rationale was solid
to our knowledge
had ever seen the two people at the same time
in fact sandro always was in operation when roza's office was closed and vice-versa
i swear on my life that this is true

we asked around and nobody had seen them together....

e v e r

this evidence is further strengthened when one considers roza's affection to the campus cats
and sandro's tasty sausages

it was the perfect setup
you see
as roza would groom the cats
fatten them
let them crawl all over her office desk
when student hours are over she would lock the door
strike the poor tabby over the head with an arch lever file
loaded with student info sheets
transform into sandro
throw dead moggy into a freezer and go sell fresh hot-dogs
made from processed cat meat the night before

calling his business
"sandro's hot-dogs" was the perfect disguise
as "sandro's hot-pussy" might have raised a few eyebrows and blow his cover

the sandroza conspiracy

i wanted to propose this as a thesis subject towards the end of my course...
never did
and still regret it

the following year i went to japan
during that time there
i searched high and low
but no hot-dog could compare

the japanese are good at making raw fish
and they make a mean bowl of rice
they're good at being polite and friendly
and at making tentacle porn
but they can't make a good hot-dog
even more so
the worst hot-dog i ever had was in japan

one time in japan i had a dream that i was tasting a hot-dog better than sandro's
but then all of existence collapsed on itself
and ceased
i awoke in a panicky sweat
pedaled to the nearest seven-eleven and fed the inner hot-dog-craving demons the most expensive, and hence the best tasting, obento box

sandro with his calm hard working ways
is the zen master of wieners in a bun
there where bread and sausage meet
lies sandro's art
from grilling and steaming
sprouts his enlightenment

sandro is back
look for him
he is out there
his hot-dogs await


sheep's bollock: part deux

and the verdict is:


rumble rumble


it was ok
texture was very light and the tissue tears easily under your gnashers
it was not disgusting at all
except for the last bites
i think a whole testicle is a lot for one person

it should be shared among a group
a few slices each
as part of a bigger meal

not that it gets worse the more that you eat of it
but its just that i get put off larger quantities of certain foods
for example, i love sashimi
and i love oysters
but i wont eat a dozen pieces
more than four is an overload
same goes for this

the taste is a little bland and not very exceptional
of course my recipe could be improved
but in of itself
a sheep's bollock
has little to contribute to the spectrum of tastes

the texture is what makes it
if anything

i m not saying that it doesn't taste of anything
it does impart on the sense
a generic meat flavor like chicken breast
but then mildly nutty

that was monday night after i wrote part one
tuesday night i bought and fried myself a french 500g t-bone beef steak
it helped wash the ghost psychological taste of bollocks
from my being

and so i leave you with this little gem of foodie wisdom:

t-bone is better than testicle!


a meat called sweet; put to the test: part one

today i purchased my most daring ingredient yet
so daring that i am not yet sure if i have the balls to go through with the undertaking
i've wanted to try this for a while

in barcelona
i had briefly toyed with the idea
the opportunity did not present itself and i did not pursue it further than it needed
mostly because i chickened out
heavily discouraged by the inescapable but considerable dash of instinctive disgust

today while buying lamb back strap and some cans of baba ganoush from the syrian butcher in san gwann
opportunity rang my doorbell

i recently embarked on a long time coming low-carb diet
i needed to stock up on protein foods
what i ended up buying is probably very protein rich
i wondered what else to buy so i inquired further as to the syrian's wares

i pointed to a bag at the back of the display counter
and asked what was in it

he laughed...

circumstance made itself present
was i to grab destiny by its stones?
or should i cower forever?
promise myself a lie disguised as postponement?

anything this butcher has recommended
i have gone back for more

first it was the back cut of lamb
a loin perfect for grilling and barbecuing
a princely cut among the red meats

then it was the heart of lamb
simple to cook and ranks only second to certain animal livers among offal

and lastly his homemade lamb meat casseroles and falafel mixes: spot on

i manned up
put my life in his hands
(hands soaked in the bloods he cleaved from many a halal-slaughtered animal)
-give me just one of them
i decided

he reassured me that it was good and easy to prepare
- fry it up with an onion!
he suggested

back home
before i tossed it in the fridge
i feared the smells of freshly milked ejaculate or worse
a sweaty crotch
there was only one way to know better
i sheepishly convinced myself that i should get testy
i opened the clear plastic bag
and sniffed at the sheep's testis...

...luckily i was wrong
the smell was not unpleasant
it was much like the smell of turkey ham or ricotta
you can make out something fresh and cold but nothing foul or distinguishable in the least

please stay tuned for part two
were i cook and eat the lamb gonad and describe it to you

tomorrow that testicle is gonna brown in hot butter and garlic!!

(and most probably then simmer in a reduction of cranberry juice, bardolino)

till tomorrow!