While updating my post list the other day, I realized that it had been almost exactly eleven years since my first post on Mental Masala. My first real post was The Indian Restaurant Menu, in which I tried to understand why almost all Indian restaurant menus in the U.S. are nearly identical.
For the remainder of 2005, I went in many directions (as usual), with the following posts being my favorite from the first few months of Mental Masala, eleven years ago:
- The Strawberry's Long Journey: the commercial strawberry has an amazing history that spans continents.
- Curry Leaves: the story behind the word "curry."
- Is My Blog Burning #20 - Apricot Souffle: my attempt to cook one of Alice Waters' very early recipes. My post was a contribution to a long-gone blogging event called "Is My Blog Burning?" (One of the tools that we used to keep track of the posts was the Technorati tag IMBB. Anyone else remember Technorati tags?)
- Slashfood's Pumpkin Day - Pumpkin with tomato, tomatillo, and chipotle sauce: A perfect Autumn recipe for the days when tomatoes, tomatillos, and pumpkin are all in season. It is also great with butternut squash. (Anyone else remember Slashfood and their blogging events?)
- Oak Tree Galls: a fun look at a quirk of nature, the formation of galls on oak trees and how humans use them.
To close, here's a song by Fairport Convention with an appropriate title, "Who Knows Where the Time Goes?":
Composted and sung by the great Sandy Denny, the song was first released on Fairport Convention's Unhalfbricking. (1969). Richard Thompson was a founder of the group and provides superb guitar work on this track (I'm a big fan of his long post-Fairport Convention career). Outside of this amazing song, the album is only OK, with some weak tracks.
For a Fairport Convention album that provides much better examples of Sandy Denny's amazing talent, Liege and Lief (1969) is the one to grab: "Reynardine," "Farewell, Farewell," "The Deserter," "Crazy Man Michael" are all outstanding. Another Sandy Denny high point is the epic 10+ minute "A Sailor's Life" on the early 1990s compilation of Richard Thompson's work, Watching the Dark. It starts with a dreamy somewhat a capella introduction, and at about 3:33 the pace quickens as we hear the story of a search for a missing sailor, building to a few minutes of a stormy instrumental (with Richard Thompson on lead guitar, I presume).
Random link from the archive: Revenge of the Orchard