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Ian Chapman
Sep 17, 2020
In General Discussions
Hello distinguished members. Displayed before you is the very first 'Social' (we use the term loosely of course) post of The Lone Dining Society | Members Area. We hope you enjoy your time at these Forums and look forward to hearing from you. So, Dinner for one, yes that was the easy decision, who wants to stare across the table at another Human being shovelling things into their constantly masticating mouth? No, the difficult part in the equation is, with what do we dine? What will make up our solitary Menu? What do we eat? When dining out (and alone) this decision is made easier by being presented with a list of options from a set Menu. In my opinion, establishments that offer less on the Menu often provide a superior and more refined gastronomical experience. The real problem comes when one stays home to dine, alone. What does one cook? The potential choices are almost endless. As a young boy growing up in the Black Country (near Birmingham, England), I had a strange idea about what I wanted to do when I 'grew up'. And it was suprisingly precise for a seven or eight year old. I wanted to be a Pilot in the morning, a taxi driver in the afternoon (I think this was inspired by Enid Blyton's Noddy series of books (Noddy (a living toy) had a habit of nodding a lot, and he wore a blue pointed hat with a bell on it that jingled with each nod (actually in reality I think this would be incredibly annoying) and his occupation was taxi driver) and in the evening a Chef. My joy of cooking has remained with me and although I haven't developed my skills in it as well as some other things I do, it is very much something of a hobby. But I do notice that I tend to stick to certain areas, Indian food, Soups, stews, roasts etc. and I'm always excited to watch and experience the cooking of others who often introduce me to new ideas - much in the way I really enjoy other people introducing me to new music that I probably wouldn't have discovered on my path through the gargantuan jungle of bands and artists out there. So, coming back from said Jungle... what to eat? I'll start by suggesting a cookbook that I recently discovered from a recommendation of an equally enthusiastic cook (also a musician) and my 'go to' recipe and I'd be delighted to hear from you about recipes, ideas and so forth. So, without further ado, behold, my recent treasured discovery: Meera Sodha's 'Made In India' is a really beautiful book with recipes taught to her by her mother for a regular Indian household - the recipes not having hundreds of complicated ingredients and being relatively quick and easy to prepare. It is also rich with stories and background information about Meera's life and her families history and of course also about each dish. And here is my current 'go to' recipe: DAILY DAL For me, this really is comfort food and reminds me of many pleasurable evenings in Birmingham at a small authentic Pakistani 'Café' (authentic because it was always populated with local Pakistani immigrants) that interestingly enough was introduced to me by an American professor I was dating at the time. The real genius of this recipe is frying in oil right at the start, black peppercorns and cloves - it makes a HUGE difference to the flavour and is what I think gives it it's 'authenticity'. Try it - you won't regret it. Anyway, the first shot is off, I look forward to a stimulating and mouth watering exchange.
Dinner for one, that's the easy part. content media
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Ian Chapman

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