Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Am I Weird?

When I go to my own profile and click on my own interests to see what(who) is out there, I get the strangest results. I am yet to find bloggers who has similar combinations of interests as me. My interests are by no means unique, but this goes to show, everyone’s combination of interests is (or is that are) unique. (I have an excellent English vocabulary, but you’ll know I’m not a native by the grammar mistakes). But browsing through blogger profiles, I am making a few subjective deductions. I am a believer of the Christian Faith (not fundamentalist though). I always thought that it my interest in Science Fiction is a bit misplaced. Man you will not believe how many bloggers out there have Science Fiction as well as Christianity listed in their favourites. Am I the only one who finds it strange. I am encouraged though. If I look at many (not all) profiles which include Christianity as interest, I come across a lot of well balanced people. People with diverse interests, people with normal interests, people with unusual interests. Yes, as believer in Christian faith I also believe there are scary people out there calling themselves Christian. I honestly think it is the few minority fundamentalist groups which gives religions like Christianity and Islam a bad name. I know many Muslims and none of them are crazed suicide bombers. But back to the topic. I am not a very good South African male. I don’t like Rugby, Cricket or Soccer. This limits my conversation topics immeasurably in the company of other South African men (Black, White, Asian alike). I like bbq and beer, but I have nothing to say standing next to the bbq fire with a beer in my hand. My sprawling solo-conversation on the peculiarities of Pop Culture usually does not go down well in such a setting, unless the fellows are suitably inebriated not to care. I also notice that people are starting to get uncomfortable once I start talking about food. I have encyclopaedic knowledge about food and cookery. (I’ve actually read the Larousse Gastronomique cover to cover at least twice. My wife are getting really disheartened when I come home with yet another tattered cookery book from a second hand bookstore. She does not understand that it is not any old cookbook (such as the free microwave cookbook you got with your Sharp in the 80’s). I am talking out of print classics here. I can still kick myself for not buying Escoffier’s Ma Cuisine when I had the chance. I am now searching for “The Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Cooking” by Anne Wilan (Published as La Varenne Pratique in the States) La Varenne Pratique is still in print, but I want METRIC MEASURES. For some reason converting from Imperial to Metric does not work for me. I’m sure it works the other way round as well. You have to cook in the measures the book is written in, other ways success goes down the drain in the translation. Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Cookery is extremely popular with Cook’s and Chefs in SA, so it is really scarce over here. I managed to track a Second Hand copy in the UK, but postage from there to here makes it out of my monetary league. Why do I want books like that when the weird and wonderful abounds? Well, when you look beyond what is all the new rage, you’ll find even food fads are based on certain basic principles. Nigella aptly puts it in one of her books. She says that one cannot be adventurous with food if one cannot even manage the basics, such as roasting a chicken (successfully). My measure of a good cookbook is that it needs to give you instructions such as your mother or grandmother did. Some cookbooks are scientific and without personality. You’d be able to make the recipe without it turning out a flop, but it will lack that certain something. Your grandmother would have told you that you must use so much flour, but the dough for this recipe should be quite stiff, so if it is not, add a little more flour. In another recipe your grandmother would stipulate – so much flour exactly, no more no less. Good cookbooks combine science with art and emotion. If you are an excellent cook with a natural aptitude, you’d be able to make a purely “scientific” recipe into something truly delicious, but even for experienced cooks, a cookbook should inspire. It is the difference between a map and a well written travel guide. Somehow I managed to get from Science Fiction to Cookbooks…

8 comments:

Glugster said...

I'm a big Science Fiction fan, but I'm a Atheist. Makes more sense?? LOL. Sometimes however, people who list Sci-Fi as one of their interest are purely popular science fiction fans, and don't delve any deeper than watching some "cool" movies like "Matrix", etc.

The way you are about cook books is the way I'm about Science Fiction books. I just can't stop myself. I've got to have more. And don't think that I'll for one minute sell the book, whether I read it ever again or not. I'm also on the hunt for those elusive ones. Right now I need to buy a new bookshelf as I have run out of space.

I completely agree with you regarding recipes. I have never been able to follow a recipe word for word. I always somehow manage to add my own touch. And what I like about the likes of Nigella is that they use everyday ingredients in their food that you can buy in any supermarket. Want to use pealed whole tomato in your dish? Why not use the ones you can already buy in the can. It just brings it down to the level of the man on the street.

Geez, I can write a lot of nonsense. Stop me now!

Glugster said...

Just read my own previous comment. Maybe I've got ADD too!!! LOL

angel said...

a master of the subject quick-change, just like my damien! LOL!
i am a christian, and i love fantasy fiction and science fiction... admittedly, sometimes i wonder how the two could go together, and i don't have a definitive answer...
but then you get something like the narnia stories that so many people believe is influenced by the author's christianity, which i think is absolute tripe. you can't tell me his witches and fauns are good when the ones in terry pratchett books or happy rotter aren't.

Spear said...

glugster

Yes, quite. Some people will say that they love Sci-fi, such as independance day etc, but they do not know who Isaac Asimov or John Wyndham is. Btw, I like old school science fiction especially golden age sci-fi from the 40's and 50's. I have the coolest sci-fi short story collections, most of which I found at a second hand bookstore.

You're not writing nonsense. I do not often comment on other people's blogs. I am not interested in sport, but I love listening to other people getting passionate about their interests, and your blog really well written.

I actually wrote a short story for the SA Science Fiction Association's Nova Short story competition, but because of my constant procrastination, I missed the deadline. Or mabybe not, I cannot remember wheter it was start or end october, I must check actually

Spear said...

angel

I cannot agree more!

Glugster said...

Oh yes Angel, don't forget that Liewe Heksie is evil. LOL

Hard Spear, I'd love to read what you have written so far. You actually promted my newest post and got me thinking about writing my own story.

Spear said...

Glugster

I am undecided about your request to read what I have written. Much like most people I wish to remain anonymous as a blogger (Having said that, I think I share so much about myself here, that I may become reconisable on this blog). So I am hesitant to publish my writings on this blog.

The other thing is that I am like most others with ADD hypersensitive to criticism. Though I have come a far way in not taking things personally any longer.

Still with the anonymous issue, this is also what makes people hesitant to e-mail fellow bloggers directly. However, I created an e-mail address specifically for this purpose - hardspear@hotmail.com. If you have an anonymous (I do not know enough about IT to be able to know whether I am traceable or not through my "anonymous" hotmail account) you can drop me a mail and I'll reply with some writings. Oh... seems as if I am not that undecided any longer.

Should you not feel safe doing this, believe me, I understand.

angel said...

oh NNNOOOO!!! liewe heksie is evil!!?!