Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A Rising Man (Sam Wyndham series)

A punkah wallah is not the latest burger from Carl's Jr.. It translates to "guy with the fan" who hits a pedal that operates a ceiling fan via pulleys and ropes. He lives in your house and that's all he does! My siblings had me doing some odd tasks when I was a child.  I was not unlike a weird servant you didn't notice until you felt sweaty or inconvenienced.  *startled* "Crap, you're still here? Go run upstairs and clear the blockage in the laundry chute " Me: "OK!" *runs at top speed* Gets a series of increasingly heavy books to throw down the chute....now they are stuck..gets broom--angle is all wrong..Me: "It's broken!" 

Set when Kolkata was Calcutta and the Brits were holding by a thread to their colonial empire in India. A British detective from Scotland Yard with a wealthy, smart Indian cop make an unlikely crime solving duo. Can their bosses set aside the politics and conspiracies constantly making their job harder? Can't they break the rules....just to do their job? Coming to a bookstore near you. I've been watching a lot of 80's action movies lately.

Like a lot of detectives in modern mysteries, Sam, our Scotland Yard detective is hot mess. Literally and figuratively. (It's very hot there--the heat is a like a character.)  Post-war PTSD, a widower...and a crippling opium addiction. He's been in India for a whole year and has never been to the bathroom. Well technically that's not in the book....but it's also not not in the book. Admittedly. most authors don't have characters taking a poop. Except in that book Everybody Poops.

More than a mystery series it has Ghandi-stirrings, uprisings, military issues and race issues. It's a finely researched series and I've read the first three in this series and none are lame.

I'm positive I've included a Pimm's Cup on this blog somewhere but a variation is perfect for these books: Sparkling Pimm's Cup: add 2 ounces of Pimm's No.1, 1/2 ounce lemon juice, 1/4 ounce simple syrup to Collin's glass and stir. Add ice and club soda or ginger ale and two dashes of Angostura bitters. Garnish with a cucumber peel.   

Monday, May 6, 2019

Hippie Food

I live in a town that thinks putting beans on spaghetti chili sweetened with chocolate topped by a pound of cheese is the "healthy"option. I'm not the only one who thinks well made "healthy" food is comfort food. I really like tacos and queso but also then hate myself and then then my body is like...why you do this?

Hippie Food is a non-fiction book about the history of the health food "movement." It was really interesting in parts but also could be drier that alfalfa sprout sandwich on Melba toast. There was some real characters. Did you know Jack LaLanne exercised every day? Well, he didn't the day before he died at 96. That's probably what killed him. While the author did cover The Source Family but he barely scratched the surface of the depravity of that group. (There is a documentary that is pretty good) The food at their restaurant still sounded good though. Do I support a sex-crazed megalomaniac? What about if they had a homemade avocado and roasted vegetable sandwich with homemade dressing? I think you know what my answer is. I don't even have that option in chili-town. Is it to much to ask for a debauched tax-evading cult to set up a restaurant with grain bowls?

There is a whole history of food co-ops and how Whole Foods started I mean...I guess I care. Some people almost fell into success and other people had a combination of bad luck and anti-commercialism based rebelliousness.  I guess an anarchy based business plan is not going to get you far with the bank's loan officer. Unless there is a punk-rock bank I don't know about. I don't know about you but Bad Brains Bank sounds awesome.

You have to read this with some healthy based cocktail.  It counts as health food right? Komucha Moscow Mule: combine 2 ounces of vodka, 3-4 ounces of ginger or gingerberry kombucha and the juice of a half a lime in a highball glass and garnish with a lime wheel.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

And Then There Were None

 And Then There Where None is LIT.  I don't mean literature, well, it could be construed that way too, sure, but "lit" as in the half-time show at an NBA final. You know, like gorillas dunking on trampolines. Perhaps that's hyperbole but this book is surprisingly intriguing. I did not "solve" the mystery because it was weird. Think if at the end of halftime you realize that's not a guy in the gorilla outfit...that is a gorilla trained to dunk.

This is a stand alone novel so you don't have to make any commitments and you don't need much context. It's not even long. It might be helpful to know that spending the weekend on an island in England might involve a lot of rain. I think you already know it's not the foam parties of Ibiza on the islands off the coast of Great Britain anyway.

I managed to not be spoiled even though this was written 80 years ago--so I'm not going to say much but it's short read and totally worth the time.

This cocktail is a freaky twist on a classic which fits well with this book. Gin Old Fashioned: 2 ounces Aviation gin, 1/4 ounce simple syrup, 2 dashes orange bitters, 1 dash Peychaud's bitters.  Add to a old fashioned glass and fill with ice and stir. Garnish with an orange wheel and a lemon wheel.