Daily Prompt: The Spice of Success – With a little bit of garlic and an apple

If “failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor” (Truman Capote), how spicy do you like your success stories?

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Spices? Mum did not even know the meaning of the world. For her culinary delights were composed of salt, pepper and perhaps vinegar poured over the chips/french fries. It was later in life that I realised you can spice up your food and life.

At the moment I am having interesting encounters with an apple. Not just an apple, but a computerised apple. Why on earth I decided to convert from a Window to an Apple computer, at the age of 68 I really do not know. Was it the excitement of discovering something new in my life? Was my bank account suffering from overweight that I decided to buy a Rolls Royce computer or was it just the fact that it was there? My faithful Acer computer was still more or less working as it should, although now and again there seemed to be a “letter” problem. I think too much milk residue collected in the works from my cereal splashes, or was there a mysterious computer virus infecting the keys. I noticed this problem only really occurred in the first five minutes of usage in the morning. Perhaps I was demanding too much. I decided to plan carefully.

The Bill Gates consortium were telling everyone about their new computer, No. 10. Somehow model No. 9 got lost, and No. 8 was a complete failure in any case. I wanted a computer and not a picture book. The decision was made, I must have an Apple, but not just an Apple, a super Apple. Mr. Swiss had bought a small Apple notebook, so I tried it out. I wanted more, and so ordered my super model. Mine has illuminations behind the keys, which Mr. Swiss does not have. I can now type until midnight. I have many things, so many that I am still trying to find out how they work. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, they always said, but think An apple a day keeps Bill Gates away as well.

Then there was my first job in Switzerland, so what does that have to do with spices you are thinking? My boss was from Pakistan, his wife was Swiss and they had three children. They owned a large apartment house in Zürich where I had my own room with bathroom, but I had my meals with the Pakistani-Swiss family and yes, food was Pakistani food. This meant that I was introduced to the world of spice. They had dishes which seemed to contain 90% spice with some meat and veg as the trimmings. It was so hot and spicy, that I became immune to it. Dishes with foreign names ending with Curry were a common event on the table and bread was not bought from the baker, you made it yourself. I got used to this, no problem. There was also an Indian restaurant belonging to the family, so becoming quite an expert, I would assist in serving the meals, although my basic job was secretary to the Pakistani.

After two years of spicy life, I left Zürich to arrive in another Kanton/State of Switzerland. Now I was in the country, living amongst the cows, foxes, pigs and hedgehogs. After marriage to Mr. Swiss, today we live in a small village, surrounded by cows and hedgehogs and now and again a fox looking for food. There are no pigs, at least I have not yet seen one. We also have bats fluttering around on the warm summer evenings. This coupled living in the vicinity of the local cemetery, I decided that garlic would be handy. It is quite good for flavouring food, but a fresh garlic clove hung over the bed does keep the vampires at bay. Yes, I have not been bitten by one single vampire since living here, although in September I am often bitten by mosquitos which seem to be vampire apprentices. It seems they need constant supply of fresh blood to encourage the development of their offspring. There seems to be a spice against this purge of man. You buy it in a liquid form in a glass attached to a plug. By putting this in the socket in the early evening, it seems to spread an aroma which mosquitos avoid. This coupled with the garlic I have no fears.

What Truman Capote was actually talking about I did not really understand, but I am sure it was something intelligent and clever. I read “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote and found it to be a very good book.

After spending an hour at my Tai Chi class this afternoon, it is now time to wrap up my fantastic, successful, spicy daily prompt. I will return later – and that is a promise, not a threat.

Daily Prompt: The Spice of Success – With a little bit of garlic and an apple

16 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: The Spice of Success – With a little bit of garlic and an apple

  1. I’m pretty sure our mothers went to the same cooking school. My mother considered pepper an exotic spice. Garlic? You’re kidding, right? She didn’t even use salt. She was an awful cook. The pits.

    I’m loving my new computer. It’s Windows 7 so I don’t have to grapple with the bad Windows 🙂

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    • What cooking school? My mum cooked like her mother and probably her mother cooked like hers etc. etc. My mum told me that her mum once used garlic in a stew. She thought it was like an onion and just dropped the complete garlic into it. Since that day it was classified as foreign rubbish, only good for the French etc. etc. and they eat horse meat in any case.

      I am sort of loving my new computer as well. Have been using it to write my prompts for the past week and no problem. Also been posting photos. It has a direct link now built in to my flickr photos which is quite useful.

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      • Right. My mother knew how to boil things. Roasting/baking was a bit exotic but big lumpy things didn’t fit into the on-burner pots. It was appalling what she did to food. From her perspective, it meant no one ever objected when she didn’t feel like cooking. We all leapt up and said “NO problems. We’ll make our own food!” And no one ever requested her special recipe for anything. She made great (My-T-Fine) chocolate pudding (from the box) and Jello (from a different box).

        My mother once caught me in the act of eating a raw green bean and asked me if it was safe to eat something … raw … you know, not boiled to protoplasm. And RAW MUSHROOMS? OH MY GOD!

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        • It was just mum, dad and I. Dad was happy with everything mum did, for the sake of having a peaceful life, so it was 2 against 1 and mum always thought I didn’t appreciate good food (huh, green, boiled potato and some sort of meat all swimming in a brown gravy).

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  2. Save yourself from those monster mosquitoes. Yes, Pakistani dishes are hot red and spicy especially the famous Mutton Roganjosh and kababs but somehow I feel that less spices or no spices, all moms are great cooks, food always tastes heaven ! May be the magic spice they use makes all the difference, unconditional love ! 🙂

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    • I very much like Pakistani/Indian food and really got to know all the ins and outs after living 2 years with the family. Paratha (the flat fried bread), bajias (can’t remember the exact name, but onion dipped in batter made with chana flour and fried) and tandoori chicken that everyone knows, stay with me

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      • Wow ! I feel an instant connection ! How I wish we stayed near each other’s homes, I would have fried crispy bhajias and cook tandoori chicken for you and Mr. Swiss. Tabby of course freaked out on it. Yes,you are right, the crispy onion pakoras are known as bhajia here.

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  3. I like the way the response to the prompt has turned into a nostalgic look at mothers cooking, complimentary or not!
    Great that you liked Apple Mrs Swiss…. I could not feel very comfortable with the Safari Browser..but going by the legion of Apple fans I guess I was doing something wrong somewhere… 🙂

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    • There are many smilarities, although Indian has no beef (and pakistani has no pork). I was told the further South you go in the Indian continent the hotter the food gets.

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  4. A coincidence, but after 31 years of using only Macs, I just bought my first PC and it is an Acer!!! What are the chances? If you can’t acclimate to your Mac, I will gladly swap with you. I am having countless nightmares trying to get connected on the Acer…and Hotmail keeps thinking someone has hacked my account and keeps making me change my password. Three times in one day! It is sooooo frustrating. Actually, I still have my MacBook Air which I love and which I’m typing this on right now. Wanted a PC to watch videos on while I do pool exercises and the Acer was waaaaay cheaper (as you must know, having just purchased a Mac.) So, if I drop it in the pool, not as big a problem. At this rate, I may throw it in the pool!!! Judy

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    • I still cannot get my mails on the Mac. This morning someone is going to have a look. The problem is our local provider, bluewin. The new Yosemite Mac programme gives them problems. There is a complete forum discussion about it. Mails work ok on my iPads and my Acer, but not on my new Macbook Pro. Actually my acer is still working OK. I usually use it at breakfast to keep my Mac nice a milk stain free.

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