Monday, December 28, 2009

Cous Cous - So Bad They Named It Twice

Hello all, welcome back on this, the first Monday after the season. It's been a good one over in these parts. C's here, A and K have been in and out, and things have been fun, festive and food filled.

Cooking has been a thread, and a pleasant one at that. I'm fond of attempting to do my thang in the kitchen and, even if I say it myself, I'm getting reasonably good at some dishes. Truth be told the dishes I'm better at tend to be the ones that have a second name that sounds like "curry", it must be something in the blood I reckon.

I'll tell you what though, cooking for one, as I usually do, is a pain in the arse. On Wednesdays and alternate Fridays I get to cook for the girls, which is nice though not conducive for stretching my culinary abilities.

The rest of the time, when it's only me hovering round, cooking a decent meal involves a lot of effort for the satisfaction of one person's enjoyment; me. And when it's only me around it doesn't really matter anyway. I could lie, just pretend that the meal was gorgeous and no one would know anyhow.

Having C floating around means that I get to try out new recipes, I can flaunt my prowess on the cooker, flex my culinary muscles and generally make attempts to tickle her taste buds with my delectable dishes. She can attempt to do the same to me, and has.

The other night she made a lamb thing, a tajine I believe it was called. It was seriously delicious, in one of those melt in the mouth sort of ways. But there was a problem. It came in the shape of cous cous, surely the most evil and unnecessary invention ever, second only to the service charge on a restaurant bill.

I can't stand cous cous. It tastes of nothing except the little flavouring that's sometimes added to it in the cooking process. It has the texture of sand and the succulence of feathers. You may be interested to know what it's made from and exactly how it's made, I'm not though.

I say all of this from my position as a general lover of all things carbohydrate. Rice, noodles, pasta, hoppers and string hoppers are some of my best buddies, some of the friends that accompanied me through my formative years. Cous cous is the old enemy, the class idiot that no one ever liked.

C cooked this tajine thing and asked me whether I'd eat cous cous with it. She'd smuggled a packet of the stuff into RD Towers earlier in the week. I felt as if my kitchen had been violated but, even now it lurks in a cupboard just behind me. Knowing my strong feelings C kindly offered to make me a separate portion of rice. That was cruel, I couldn't say yes to it, I know about these women traps. I gallantly said that I'd eat the cous cous, even though I hate it.

We served our food and the cous cous had that dry and dangerous look, as though it was teasing me with little whispered taunts.

"Look at me RD, I'm so nearly rice, but I'm not". I could hear hear it saying.

I put some on my plate, added butter, salt, pepper and sauce, then tasted it. I'd managed to persuade C to add some chicken stock to it in the cooking process so I did quite enjoy the sensation of chicken stock, salt, pepper and the sauce from the tajine, it was only the dry feathery nothingness of the cous cous that was the problem. So much so that I could only eat about two, perhaps three platefuls of it.

It was strangely satisfying. Strange because all the flavouring was delicious, it was just the substance that wasn't. I suppose it was like watching and enjoying a film when the lead role is played by the actor you most detest in the whole world. I couldn't help but enjoy it yet would so much have preferred the lead to have been played by Tommy Lee Jones, Miley Cyrus or one of those other thespians types.

Despite that I shan't be repeating the cous cous thing. When C does leave here I'll probably make her take the packet of cous cous with her, or give it to charity or something.

While I remember why on earth is it called "cous cous'? I mean why the same name twice? It's not New York, which in reality isn't so good they named it twice. Rice isn't called "rice rice", I can't think of any other food that's got a doubled up name. I suppose Reggae Reggae sauce might squeeze in but you're unlikely to have heard of that.

I'll leave you with that question. I've got a sublime beef and potato curry on the go, courtesy of Channa Dassanayaka, and I must go and put the rice on. Mmmmm....that's more like it.


Sach said...

So, what was C's present and what did you give her. Seeing that you're still alive and kicking, I assume she liked it.

Cricket Tragic said...

Actually, there was a dialogue by Seth Rogen in Pineapple Express which went as follows

...mmmm...Cous cous - the food's so good, they named it twice...


Dee said...

oh c'mon its not that bad...

Sam said...

I took the cardboard box of Cous Cous in to my hand numerous times in the supermarket and left it where it was every single time. But then again, pig foot taste excellent in Sancocho if cooked correctly. May be Cous Cous is not entirely to be blamed.

Serendib_Isle said...

If it is any consolation, may I inform you that "kus kus" also means "pussy" in Arabic slang?