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Showing posts from April, 2009

Chilled Monkey Brains at Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation

Primate Parfait, anyone?
Hailed as the greatest fan film ever made, Raiders of the Lost Ark: the Adaptation is a shot-for-shot remake of the first Indiana Jones movie, made in the eighties by two teenagers and their friends for $5,000 in their backyards.

Forgotten for ages, thankfully it was rediscovered 15 years later and became a hit in the US, featuring in Vanity Fair and the Today Show.



The poster
Fans include Eli Roth, Quentin Tarantino and even Steven Spielberg himself and it is with his (and George Lucas's) blessing that last night I was lucky enough to see the UK premiere of this labour of love, held in aid of Medicinema, a wonderful charity that provides cinema screenings in hospitals.



Special entrance and everything

The organisers had gone all out to get us into the spirit. We were greeted with "poisoned" margaritas and ushered into a bar surrounded with displays of original storyboards and props from all of the Indiana Jones series.

I spotted Indy's whip, the Sa…

Crazy Crisps, Peculiar Potato Chips

It's not too late to vote for your favourite wacky new crisp flavour in the Walker's "Do Us a Flavour" Crisp Election - the deadline is Friday 1 May. I voted for Crispy Duck & Hoisin (review here), Charlie Brooker hated pretty much all of them, but you might like to back Cajun Squirrel, Builder's Breakfast, Fish & Chips, Onion Bhaji or Chili & Chocolate.

Walker's aren't the only people to push my potato chip boundaries lately. I picked up these Blair's Death Rain crisps last time I was in Japan, though they're available in certain delis and shonky newsagents here.

Made by Blair's, the Home of Extreme Food, flavours are Habanero and BBQ - the BBQ was very salty and MSG-ey but at least edible, the Habanero like hitting myself in the face with a rusty stiletto (that's not a recommendation).




These next two came from Selfridges - Beer Chips were apparently invented by some cigar fan and come in "Hot Potatoes - Spicy Bloody Mary p…

Acacia Omelette - Cha Om Pom Pom (Recipe)

So last Sunday, I picked up a lovely bunch of acacia leaf from Tawana Thai supermarket for just one of your English pounds.


Proper name Acacia pennata, known as tsu boht in Burmese and cha om in Thai, acacia leaf tastes like heaven, but smells like absolute hell.

My husband calls it "poo weed".



In fact, the sulfurous vapours are so noxious that allegedly Thai people won't put it near mynah birds, lest the poor creatures become overwhelmed by fumes and drop dead.



The Burmese, Thai, Laotians and Cambodians all eat acacia leaf in pretty much the same way, either blanched and dipped into various sauces, or fried up in an omelette.



It needs to be prepared pretty carefully though - tsu boht literally means "rotten thorn" in Burmese - just look at these beauties to see why:




However, if you put on a (gas) mask and some gloves, you're ready to rock.



Acacia Leaf Omelette (Burmese: tsu boht jet-u khaot jor)
(Thai: Kai jeaw Cha-om)
Serves 2
A bunch of acacia leaf (sold as cha om …

Polish Meat Stops Zombie Apocalypse

There's a really big part of me that's a paranoid survivalist. In my cupboard under the stairs, there are wind-up torches and radios, sacks of rice, candles, the works, all to help me stave off the zombie apocalypse. I once even tried to buy a box of Army ration packs off eBay.

I have a particular fondness for canned meats. How can I not? - in the news, there was even a couple who'd got a canned chicken for their wedding and they opened it 50 years later for their golden anniversary and it was still edible. Pek is a favourite, as is corned beef, though I never really liked Spam.

Anyway, I struck meaty gold when I found this selection of beauties in a supermarket on the Cut in Waterloo.



I love getting Polish meat from the deli counter anyway, especially sopocka, boczek, wiejska, and kabanos, so I figured the canned stuff was worth a punt.

Clockwise from top right, I bought a jar of bigos, a pack of boczek, a tin of debicka, a pack of golonka and a jar of gulasz. In the middle i…

Happy Thingyan! Burmese New Year

So Monday marked the start of Thingyan - the Burmese New Year Festival, which this year runs from 13 to 16 April.

Related to Songkran, the New Year Festival in Thailand, Thingyan is a wonderful festival where young and old alike give alms to monks, pay respects to elders, hold great feasts, take part in dances, go to open-air shows, and most notably lob gallons of water at each other! Thankfully April is the hottest time of the year in Burma and so likelihood of hypothermia is fairly low.

However, actual Thingyan celebrations can be hard to come by in the UK. Therefore, my family and I decided on the next best option and went to the Songkran festival last Sunday at the Buddhapadipa Temple in Wimbledon. The grounds are beautiful, the Wat (Thai temple) itself is spectacular, and we had a great time.

Here's a picspam to show you how fab it was:


Gilding the Buddha


Traditional Thai dancing


Tawana Supermarket


Mini Thai Princess Contest


Khao Kriab Paak Maw stall


Chicken scratchings (these were r…