Skip to main content

eat the cup 2010, part 1



and so it begins... again.

some of you who know me or who have been reading this blog for a long time (four years or more- thanks, by the way), know that i decided to integrate my interest in cooking into the world-wide world cup fever that takes over in the month of june (and into early july). for no reason in particular, this phrase "eat the cup" occurred to me in the same instant that i had the idea that it would be hilarious and fun to start cooking a meal in honour of the day's tournament winners. and indeed, despite some competitive disappointment on my part at the end, the whole thing was fun- lots of fun. and there really isn't any reason not to do something again when it's fun (as long as there aren't criminal charges involved).

this year, in order to be equitable during the opening round and in the interest of making things as difficult for myself as i possibly can, i've added a little wrinkle. for the first round, rather than simply picking a match and cooking a meal in the style of that team's homeland, i'm going to make meals that fuse elements of the cuisines of the day's various winners. that'll make something fun even... funner...

of course, this year's tournament has already shown its willingness to laugh in my pasty white face, since the first winners all seemed to hail from countries where veal is considered a vegetable. since i tend to avoid either red meat or poultry, this adds a wrinkle on which i hadn't counted. from what is being predicted, i take comfort in the fact that the delightful fleur sauvage natural food shop in my neighbourhood has a healthy supply of mock bavarian sausages and mock italian sausages. (no it isn't cheating!)

so to start things off, i decided to wait until sunday to cook a big meal (because sunday just feels like a cooking day and friday, when i really should have started, i was headed out to a show. this isn't the kind of thing that can just be rushed along.) of course, the teams did cooperate a little by limiting the number of winning teams that i actually had to contend with. heck, if i'd started on friday night, i'm not sure what i would have done. if there's no clear winner that day, should i just fast? that sounds like less fun.

by sunday, however, there were some clear winners and so i set to work making a feast in their honour.

lettuce and rice wraps with spicy sauce (korea)

in fact, both koreas have teams in the world cup this year, and so far the one team to play scored the first clear victory of the tournament, with a convincing victory over greece. these little wraps are pretty simple street food, but the magic is in the sweet, spicy, pungent and garlicky sauce. (korea can compete with any nation on earth in the love of garlic sweepstakes.) this year provides a welcome chance for the team to prove themselves after winning their bid for the 2002 cup (sort of) under controversial circumstances and having their run for the cup tainted by accusations of referee malfeasance. the straightforward win was probably a welcome distraction for the nation after a catastrophic incident with the country's space program earlier in the week.

empanadas- these wonderful little dough-wrapped pockets of pure food pleasure can be stuffed with basically anything. although apparently spanish and portuguese in origin, they are associated mostly with the former colonies in south america. an unfortunate tendency i have to overwork dough made the crusts of mine a little too crusty, but these are really about the insides. (i probably set my expectations too high, in that i was spoiled in toronto by the drool-worthy el gordo- meaning "the fat one"- empanada emporium, which i always found superior to its better known neighbour.)in this case, i opted for a cheese filling, but in honour of two of the tournament's lesser-known victors, i added raisins (after a well-known slovenian dish, actually a dessert, with cheese and raisins) and chunks of sweet potato (a important food crop in ghana). as a side note, to roll out my dough, i used an empty australian wine bottle. because if country needed to feel that they could steamroll over something at the moment, it's got to be the australians.

and speaking of nods to less than inspiring play, i couldn't resist accompanying the meal with a tasty side dish of buttered greens, with a dash of lemon for that tang of bitterness.

to finish off, the meal was accompanied by a bottle of mosel riesling, the superstar german varietal, because their 5-0 shellacking of the australian team definitely deserves a toast. the hosts of the last world cup (and therefore the first "eat the cup") served notice that cup favourites argentina and spain are going to have a very tough time on their hands.

warning to those who may want to attempt this: this meal is rather astoundingly rich and managed to send two full-grown adults into what i would describe as a "food coma" and hoping that the next country to win would be one that is known for its superb crackers and soda water. the challenge continues tomorrow. onward and inward.

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

write brain

i was talking to a friend of mine about coffee, specifically about our mutual need for coffee, yesterday and, literally as i was in the middle of a thought, an idea occurred to me that i felt like i had to note. so there i am, scribbling a note to myself that was really just a word salad of related terms, which i later transformed into a weird but more comprehensible note that i could refer to later. [i don't want another beatriz coca situation on my hands.] i feel like this idea isn't a story on its own, but something that i could incorporate into a larger project, which is good, because i have a few of those.

now, of course, i need to sit down and do research on this, because it's become terribly important to me that the details of this weird little idea that i'm planning on incorporating into a larger thing be totally plausible, even though no one but me is ever going to care. i'm increasingly convinced that the goal of every writer is to find someone who will t…

presidenting is hard :: these people are not your friends

hello mr. president! a while back, i promised that i would periodically be giving you some advice on how to do your job, since you seem a little unclear on how everything works. i didn't mean to go so long between missives, but the fact is that i've been busy and you're administration has been in overdrive giving me things to write about. what i've realised is that many of those things are ones i can't help you with: if you or anyone in your immediate circle worked with russians to compromise the 2016 election, that shit is done. robert mueller is going to find that out, because he's the kind of person who looks like the theme from dragnet just automatically starts playing every time he enters a room. so that's your problem. i'm just here to talk to you about what you can do now that you are, by law, the president. because, while chief detective mueller is doing his thing, we all need to live with your decisions. i'm even less happy about that than…

making faces :: women's rites

the magic of the internet, specifically the magic of instagram, recently brought me in contact with rituelle de fille, a new brand [launched in 2014] and completely new to me, although some of their products have apparently received plaudits from the media. their branding reminds me very much of the early years of illamasqua: a well-edited collection of colour products [there are no base or complexion products as of yet, except blush] with an emphasis on including shades that are daring and unexpected. 

i picked up three products, which are offered individually or as a set, as the "fleur sauvage" collection, inspired by "lush overgrowth, the deadly allure of carnivorous plants, and the strange chromatic language whispered between flowers and pollinators". there is no price difference between buying the items separately or individually, it's just a matter of selected partnering [and i believe all three products were launched together in spring 2015]. there are tw…