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Showing posts from May, 2013

Burmese Creamed Corn with Fried Onions

Like many South East Asian countries, dairy isn't a big thing in Burma. A number of factors are involved: little pastoral land, a historical lack of refrigeration, and a respect for cattle in agriculture - milk is considered to be for the calves; cows and bulls are part of a Burmese farmer's family.

In fact, for a long time I never realised that, although scarce and extremely expensive, milk and butter *was* actually available for those in the know. Until 20 or so years ago, there were no supermarkets in Burma, and food was always bought daily - fresh from open-air markets so early in the morning I was usually still in bed. 

We even used to pack Lurpak in our suitcase for my grandparents in Mandalay - frozen and quadruple-wrapped in tin foil along with a tub of Brylcreem and a fruit cake and countless bars of Dairy Milk (my grandparents have since passed away, but we still take chocolate for the rest of the family every time we go home).
One day though - this is 15 years ago now …

Gong Bao Chicken, Burmese Style

As a child, my musical tastes were dictated by my parents. Having arrived in the UK just before I was born, their choices largely consisted of the "safe" Western music that had been allowed into Burma - for example, ABBA, Andy Williams and a certain Cliff Richard - as well as old-time Burmese songs dating from before World War II as far as I could tell.

Later on however, as we kept in touch with the family back home, our playlists began to be dominated by a man called Zaw Win Htut

I say 'a man' - he was (and still is) vaunted as a rock legend - a Burmese Bruce Springsteen at the height of his powers. I adored every single one of his songs - the ballads and the anthems - and I would lustily yell along to the many tapes we brought back from our visits to the old country.

One fine day here though, I remember very clearly we were in the car on the way to see some cousins. We had the radio on for once, and suddenly the voice of John Lennon filled the air. 
Confusion clouded…

Magnum and Cornetto Chocolates Review - They're Teeny Tiny

Much as I hate to admit it, I'm a sucker for a gimmick, especially the type sitting at the checkout at your local supermarket (yes, I know they're aimed at children, but I'm a creature of childish impulse). 
I saw these new chocolates from Wall's Ice Cream, and obviously I couldn't resist chucking a couple in my basket.
The Magnum ones first - you get three in a packet and they really do look like tiny Magnum bars. Each one is a couple of centimetres long - about the size of a large lozenge.

When you bite into the chocolate, there's fluffy vanilla cream inside (bit like creme patissiere).
The taste and texture is about as close to ice cream as not-ice cream can get, though a little artificial.

The Cornetto next. I like how there's a big warning at the top saying "No ice cream included". 
When you unwrap the silver foil, it's quite impressive how it is just a mini Cornetto. Though maybe I'm easily pleased.

The same fluffy vanilla cream can be foun…