I have to be honest here; before I moved to Ireland, Curry was completely alien to me. In every French cupboard, there was of course a sticky and out of date jar of “Curcuma” or, for you and me, ground Turmeric. We didn’t know what to do with it, and I can tell you that no matter how broke you are, fluorescent pasta is not attractive!
Since I was a little boy, I have loved rhubarb in the simplest of its cooking forms: compote. There was nothing fancy about it, stewed with a bit of sugar and served for breakfast, in a big old clay bowl that would make the food safety authority scream a loud and demented “J’accuse”. Sometimes, “His Highness” like my father called me, as I was a fussy little fecker, got served some rhubarb jam instead, in a jar, from the shop! Maybe she didn’t read the label? Maybe the beautiful rhizomes weren’t in season? With a disappointed pout and an exaggerated lift of the left eyebrow, I would push the jam jar away from me, in protest, with the tips of my fingers, before being clipped behind the ears by my father’s.
I don’t know how to feel about St Patrick’s Day. It kind of gives me the hibbie jibbies. I met my 1st girlfriend on March 17th, I was 19 and it went unnoticed. But I remember, the days when I used to play Breton and Irish music in the “Glasgow Pub” in my hometown. I had befriended three young Irish students from the local I.T ( I.U.T in French). They were quite cool and I was drawn to them like a pathetic magnet, having had so much overwhelming adventures in Donegal, Glenveagh National park, where I got the gig of a two months contract plucking freaking rhododendrons off the side of a mountain… I loved it, I was me again! Back home, I was lonely, I missed the hills, the red deers, the ocean, the solitude and the social aptitude…
I had a strange dream last night; I was in a Californian pub when Charles Bukowski invited me for a bite to eat in one of his favourite place. There, were musicians and dancers, a dark wooden environment, a bit like an old fashioned Irish joint I guess. We ordered some beers first, then my companion hailed the waitress – without asking me – for a chickpeas burger and a plate of tomato and garlic beans for himself… The entertainment of my psychedelic night experience was going well. Charles and I, or Hank Chinaski as he likes to portrait himself, were enjoying ourselves… Until I asked him, in our alcoholic fogginess, if it was OK to take a selfie… He didn’t mind, but I felt I had let myself down on that one! I was so ashamed with my move, that I woke up… Leaving my host to pay the bill. Man, I have to stop eating Parmigiano Reggiano in the evening!