Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |  Volume 6, Issue 16, Tuesday, April 26, 2011



Chronicles of Sam Q

Dearest Diary,
Every child, while growing up, has a dream. Some want to be doctors, some lawyers, some writers, some plain ninjas, and princesses. But I always knew what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a teacher. So many poor hapless nannies, their children, even my pet dog Twinkie had to pass through me to get to where, only God knows.

Although my shelf life as a teacher isn't much to brag about, but those ten/twelve years of handling those lovable, adorable, pliable minds, were very fulfilling.

I have stopped teaching many, many moons ago but the teacher in me is always ever present, and comes out in sporadic spurts to help or haunt whoever is in my way. And being a Virgo does not help either.

Apparently, I have been told that we are the worst critics and cynics that humanity has ever been dealt with. I do apologise Diary, for inflicting such grievous mental scars to lesser mortals but what can I say, I do not do it on purpose. The constellation is at fault. Ask Linda Goodman, maybe she can shed some light on our behaviour.

As you know Diary, I like to read -- books, magazines, newspapers, whatever. As far as I know, any printed publication for public consumption, must be above of some sort of reproach. Imagine my dismay when I opened a local magazine (dying to tell you the name) and started reading the editorial. In my mind, I am thinking, 'You gotta be kidding me'. I hereby share some excerpts from the editorial.

"We have devise this issue....an upmarket magazine augmented with contemporary and sporadic fashion...is primarily a modern and style legion...it's aim is to be the best source of fashion accessories and beauty for the nation..."(Really?)

Finally..."please feedback to us with your opinions at blah...blah...blah."

Please picture me, stuttering, stammering and choking before I ask, 'How can they write and print such utter gibberish?'

Now, picture me, poised with my imaginary red correction pen in hand, flipping the pages with utmost concern and curiosity.

1) Some wedding pictures of some unfortunate couple, labelled under ”Reciption” (exactly how they would pronounce it).

2) On this particular page they are advertising their 'service areas'.

Introduction: Hard working creativity, “Direcy” respond focus, user friendly “canpaign” management system, and unrivalled media “musde” at…

I mean, what? Did I just wake up to a new grammatical era with new words?

3) And then a simple drink, the lassi, advertised under their banner along with “labu pani.” It took me 10 seconds to understand that, “labu pani” was actually, our good old “lebu pani.”

4) Now comes my favourite section: cooking! By now I know what to expect. So my question to them is, 'What is Kent pumpkin? Why should I bother myself, sitting here in Dhaka, about Kent pumpkin? Why couldn't it just be pumpkin? ' And short-cut bacon. Of course, of course, as if we so often cook with these ingredients. Short-cut bacon, rind less bacon, and rashers bacon.

There were three recipes which had three of these meats. Ladies and gentlemen, once again, I present to you, short-cut bacon, rind less bacon and rashers bacon. Really?

5) Then there was Mexican chilli powder and continental parsley. Cannot understand the fixation with naming the ingredients.

And the dessert section was laughable. What were they thinking? That all the ingredients were found in abundance in Dhaka? Mascarpone cheese, hazelnut flavoured liqueur, Grand mariner, (I loved this the best) Unibic sponge fingers and Savoiardi biscuits. I am doing cartwheels if I get fresh cream in the market...and...Unibic sponge fingers!

Yes Diary, I am mad. The dormant teacher in me is up in all arms. I wish I could 'feedback' them personally and give them a huge slice of my irate mind along with some solid advice such as 'shape up or ship out'.

So as I dumped the magazine with a ferocious thump into the garbage bin, a part that peeked out said 'Horoscope Quickes'.

Aaaggghhh! I will try to have a good day the Sam Q way.

Watermelon and cheese salad
1kg watermelon out into cube or slices and seeded
1 small cucumber seeded and sliced thinly (optional)
6 green onions (shallots) sliced thinly
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
125g local cheese crumbled
2 tbsp lemon juice
Fresh mint sprigs for serving
Combine the watermelon, cucumber, spring onions and chopped mint in a large bowl and toss lightly. Arrange the watermelon mixture on a large platter. Sprinkle with crumbled cheese. Drizzle lemon juice over the salad. Make sure every bit gets the lemon juice. Garnish with extra mint springs.

Green apple and walnut salad
150gm lettuce leaves (preferably ice-berg)
50gm green apple
25gm walnut halves
1 lemon
25ml olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash lettuce and soak in ice-cold water. Lightly toast walnuts and keep aside. Slice apples thinly. Strain lettuce through. Mix the apples and walnuts. Mix olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Drizzle mixture over salad.

Thai-style green salad
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tsp fish sauce
1 small cucumber seeded
1 medium carrot
1 small red capsicum
200gm lettuce leaves
1 red onion sliced thinly
1½ cups lightly packed fresh coriander leaves
1½ cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves
1 cup bean sprouts
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Combine oil, juice and sauces in a bowl. Cut cucumber, carrot and capsicum into long strips. Arrange lettuce leaves on a large platter. Top with cucumber, carrot, capsicum and onion. Sprinkle with the herbs and bean sprouts. Before serving, drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with seeds.

Spicy chicken salad
1/3 cup fish sauce
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 small chilies, seeded, chopped
2 tsp caster sugar
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup caster sugar
200g vermicelli noodles
1 medium cucumber, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
4 spring onions, sliced thinly
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
¼ cups chopped cashew nuts
Combine fish sauce, garlic, chillies and sugar in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Place chicken in a 1arge bowl, pour half the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for three hours or over night. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Cook chicken in batches until browned and cooked through. Slice chicken into strips.
Meanwhile add lime and sugar to remaining marinade. Whisk to combine. Cook noodles. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Return to bowl. Roughly snip noodles with scissors to break them up. Add the cucumber, spring onions and mint. Pour over dressing and toss to combine. Serve noodles topped with sliced chicken and cashews.

Egg mayonnaise on toast
4 hard boiled eggs, (whites and yellows should be separate)
4 heaped tsp of mayonnaise
Half a cucumber, seeded and finely peeled with a vegetable peeler
½ tsp of mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
A pinch of sugar
Toast or bread cut into circles
Mix mayonnaise, cucumber, mustard, salt, pepper and sugar. Gently fold in the hard-boiled eggs so the mayonnaise just covers the eggs. Spoon on toasts.

Apple sandwich
12 slices of chicken or beef salami
8 slices of fresh, white bread
½ pound of cheddar cheese
2 apples cored and sliced very thinly
3 large eggs
½ cup milk
Butter for greasing
Warm maple syrup
All the above ingredients can be found in the Dhali Super Shop in Gulshan II. Check out the meat sections. Very interesting.
Arrange 4 slices of bread with some cheese, apple slices and 3 slices of salami. Close the sandwich the other 4 slices of bread.
Beat the eggs with the milk. Coat the sandwiches with this mixture. Grease pan with butter. Fry the sandwich till golden on each side. Drizzle with a little warm maple syrup.

Tuna panini
3 tbsp of finely chopped red onion
3 tbsp of mayonnaise
1 tsp grated lemon rind
¼ tsp black pepper
3 slices of chicken or beef salami crumbled
2 cans of tuna in water drained and flaked
8 slices of bread
4 slices of bread
4 slices of cheese
2 tbsp of olive oil
Combine first six ingredients in a bowl, stirring well to coat. Place 4 bread slices on a flat surface. Top each bread slice with 1 cheese slice. Divide tuna mixture evenly among bread slices. Top each serving with 1 remaining bread slice.
Heat large pan or skillet over medium heat, with little olive oil and place sandwiches on oil and brown on both sides.

Magnificent madames
4 slices of fresh white bread
4 tbsp of strawberry jam
2 tbsp butter
1 cup whole milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp mustard
8 thin slices of salami
½ pound of cheese (cheddar or parmesean)
4 eggs
Heat oven. Arrange the bread on a baking sheet. Spread jam on each slice. Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a small pan, over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, then the milk and thicken to coat a spoon. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
Tarn off heat and stir in mustard. Divide the sauce among the bread slices, spreading it liberally over the jam spread. Arrange 2 slices of salami over each sauced slice of bread, evenly divide the cheese, slightly mounding it up on each open-face sandwich.
Bake until golden on top. For about 15 put butter in a small pan and cook the eggs to your liking. Season with salt and pepper. Place egg on top of each sandwich and serve hot.


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2011 The Daily Star