3 november 2008

finally, saloop

Found and drunk at last in Selçuk, Turkey, after a long quest. Saloop stalls died out in London in the 19th cent., replaced by coffee, but it used to be a breakfast staple, either by the cup or in a bowl with a slice of bread.
It's smooth, creamy, sticky and sweet, with a slight granular starchiness. This cup had a dusting of cinnamon. It's a winter drink in Turkey, and you can see why. And why it's also a perfect breakfast: a buzz of sugar followed by a long slow starch release, similar to cereals.
The same orchid tuber that makes saloop, called salep, is also used in Levantine ice-creams, and I had one of these too: probably similar to what used to be called here hokey pokey, stretchy and taffy-like:

Hokey pokey
Penny a lump
The more you eat
The more you jump.

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15 november 2008

Hendrik Kersten,  Bag

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16 november 2008

The famously closed Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford has generously put online some of Wilfred Thesiger's 38,000-odd photos. Almost impossible to single any of these out - every one is sensational. Take a look.

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23 november 2008

He sat in the playroom pretending to watch a game of dominoes and once or twice he was able to hear for an instant the little song of the gas. The prefect was at the door with some boys and Simon Moonan was knotting his false sleeves. He was telling them something about Tullabeg.

James Joyce,  from Portrait of the Artist

Against the flare and descant of the gas
I heard an old woman in a shop maintain
This fog comes when the moon is on the wane:
And ten full days must pass
Before the crescent mows it in like grass.

John Holloway,  from Warning to a Guest

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