A series of anecdotes with or without any connection to the running of a restaurant.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


What happens during a lunch meeting when you are fasting?
On Tuesday, I welcomed the new chairman of our Tourism Board and two colleagues for lunch at our Pizzeria for a lunch meeting. The guy wanted to learn about the town and how it has evolved in our tourism scheme of things.
When the date was picked I never thought it would fall during Ramadhan.
Yes, I fast. I am a hypocrite! I do it as a kind of detox. No solids or liquids during daylight hours and no wine for a month.
The three guests arrived right on the stroke of midday.
One, in charge of regeneration gave an overall history of how the town got to where it is now, from a dying hub of shipbuilding and heavy industry to a pleasant tourist destination attracting visitors from far and wide.
A waitress took the food order. A healthy choice: two vegetarian pastas and a spicy pizza. I joked that I would have ordered a juicy steak!
I am sure that you'll remember the cartoon image of a hungry character dreaming that a tiny bird is transformed into a juicy Christmas turkey with all its trimmings...
It may have been my hunger but the food, when it arrived, looked delicious and piping hot.
But the pizza, the chairman had ordered was perfect!!!
Every time he sliced a triangle from it, the sound of its crispness turned me in a Pavlovian Dog!

But I resisted and waited till 7.09 pm when I had a bowl of soup and a large glass of plain yogurt mixed with milk. They tasted heavenly!!


Blogger Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Hate to destroy your smugness Cream but it's not healthy to fast and then eat so late at night. My latest post will make you salivate, pastillas and mint tea - yum!

That film I mentioned is called Indigenes, and it's not about the Algerian War after all but about North African soldiers drafted into the French army in WW2. Sounds like pure revisionism, everybody knows the French surrendered at the beginning of WW2!

28/9/06 1:17 PM  
Blogger euro-trac said...

Excellent YouTube as usual Cream! hahaha... Blogs are very funny today! :O)

28/9/06 1:53 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Well the pizza sounds better but I guess the soup would be great after no food at all. Funny video.

28/9/06 2:02 PM  
Blogger cave renovator said...

Dont know how you do it mate, wish I could detox from the ciggies and San Miguel! Will Power!!!!!!!!!!!

28/9/06 3:16 PM  
Blogger Dizzy said...

Well done Cream, I am proud of you.

I do think men have stronger will power than women. I try to fast from time to time but give up too quickly - huh!

28/9/06 3:53 PM  
Blogger Modern Viking said...

I tried fasting once... I was too slow-- all that food chased me down and jumped in my belly before I could stop it!

Here's a post about Ramadan in Cairo. It's a different experience when the whole city is fasting-- Chaotic even!

28/9/06 4:38 PM  
Blogger Calamity Tat said...

Wot ! no goat????

28/9/06 5:56 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Daphnée, I agree but I do it just because it's there and I want to lay off the vino for a month.
As for Indigènes, it's had a good write-up!

Mary, after an 18 hour enforced starvation, soup tastes fabulous!!!

CR, it's ok in cool weather but when it gets to July August, Ramadan being a lunar month moves around the Christian calendar, it gets a bit hot!!! Bring on the San Miguel!!

Dizzy, in Algeria boys and girls start fasting at 14!!! I think once you're used to it, you don't even think about it. The last half hour is the worst!!

Viking, I think you let yourself get caught!! Yes, it is frantic and then at iftar, the breaking of the fast, towns and cities go silent for about half an hour before the race for a seat at your local café begins... Great post by the way!

Tat, I'm not kidding you but I've had goat before and it is TOUGH!!! That's why I prefer kids!

28/9/06 6:43 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

I don't think I could do fasting. I'm sure I would die. Are diabetics exempt?

I've had goat too - goat soup it was. Unmemorable.

Have a great weekend! I sent something for you. Hope it reaches you OK and that it doesn't get snaffled by someone else en route.

28/9/06 8:08 PM  
Blogger christine said...

Mmm Pizza. Guess what I'm making for dinner! :P

28/9/06 8:38 PM  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

You're right. It is torture. Someone should tell the UN.

28/9/06 8:40 PM  
Blogger cream said...

No, I don't think diabetics are exempt. But they may need to consult their doctor.
As a kid, my mother used to send me to the local market before school. She always said: "Make sure the butcher gives you lamb, not goat!"
As if, at 12 I could tell the difference.
Can't wait to see what you've sent me, Kitty but Merci en avance!Je suis sûr que le weekend sera formidable.

Let me guess, Christine...Pizza, by any chance? Enjoy!!

Cherrypie, please shut your fridge door, now or I WILL call Kofi!!!

28/9/06 9:40 PM  
Blogger hobbes said...

Yogurt with milk? What kind of soup? Foodies everywhere want to know!

29/9/06 12:22 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Yes, it is like buttermilk but a lot less fatty. I make it with low fat yogurt and semi-skimmed milk in equal quantities. Mix well and serve chilled.
Here is the recipe for the Soup. It's quite easy to make especially in a pressure cooker.

29/9/06 9:44 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

You may not know much about hair but you get 10/10 for saying my face looks slimmer than last year. I could kiss you, thank you ;-)

29/9/06 8:03 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

You're a better man than me. I had to fast once for a medical procedure but it was worth it my first meal after the fact. Nothing ever tasted so good. It was like being pregnant, when, after the first trmester, every snack tasted like a gourmet meal.

1/10/06 4:22 PM  
Blogger Caribbean Colors said...

Love the Youtube Cream!

2/10/06 4:03 PM  
Blogger homo escapeons said...

You are a brave man...
and a FAST-ochist!

2/10/06 5:46 PM  
Anonymous guyana-gyal said...

Oh you poor thing.

Do you want to know all the delicious things I cook for my mother who's fasting? hehehehe.

I'm not fasting, I tend to have low sugar. People with health problems are exempt, but they have to feed others.

Ramadan Mubarak to you and your family.

2/10/06 7:07 PM  
Blogger Ale said...

waw you're good! today is yom kippur, jewish day of atonement, no one is supposed to eat. well i ate... and curiously enough I felt nauseaus all day!!! i guess some kind of subconcious guilt! good on you keep it up! you'll probably feel sick if you eat so might as well not!

3/10/06 3:27 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Donna, I'm glad I made your day! xx

Usually, one bowl of soup fills me up straight away! But it does taste like a gourmet meal, Andrea.

That's how my belly feels by the end of the day, Lee.

H.E., it's not that hard really when you've been doing it since the age of 14.

Gigi, I am typing this at 1.30pm. Five and a half hours to go and the thought of what you're preparing for your dear mam is making my stomach rumble!
Same to you! Hoping to go to Algeria for the Eid...

Ale, that's the revenge of the hungry...

3/10/06 1:43 PM  
Blogger Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Yom Kippur, Le Grand Pardon - Cream did you ever see those films of Alexandre Arcady with Roger Hanin and Richard Berry and all the pied-noir mafia? Loved them.

3/10/06 3:22 PM  
Blogger Life of a Banana said...

In addition to fasting on Ramadhan, I thought you're not allowed to have any alcohol at all time.

3/10/06 5:29 PM  
Blogger cream said...

No, Daphnée I haven't seen that one. Arcady came too late for me. I left Algeria in the mid-seventies.
I did grow up with French films...Jean Gabin, Eddie Constantine, Louis de Funés, etc...
As well as John Wayne, dubbed in French!! That was funny!

LOB, you are right there about alcohol but as I am not into religions, I make my own rules. I grew up with Ramadhan and it is an amazing time of year. I use it as an excuse to detox.

3/10/06 7:09 PM  
Blogger Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

You don't have to be religious to enjoy Christmas or Chanukah.

4/10/06 3:11 PM  

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