Tag Archives: Mix

The Right Mix Will Get You Noticed

The other day I was sitting in my favorite restaurant. It is a Thai restaurant, one of the better ones in the area. I like Thai food very much, so I’ve eaten at most of the ones that I know about. And this particular one is really good. Because they are so good, they are usually very crowded around lunchtime. They are also very smart, because they are only open from 11 AM until 2 PM, to maximize their profit, and minimize their expenditure. And because I like to go when it’s not crowded, I have to show up at just the right time to maximize my own enjoyment. And to be honest, one of the sources of my enjoyment is that the waitresses there are very cute, and very fun to talk to. If I go there when they are busy, then obviously I don’t have much of an opportunity to speak with them. I also usually bring a financial newspaper with me, so I can read about the latest news.

Once I was talking to a local rice farmer. Around where I live there are plenty of rice farms, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now. I don’t know if you are a big eater of rice or not, but here in Asia it has been a large part of their diet for thousands of years, so they have the art of growing it down to an exact science. This farmer was telling me about how you need to plant the seeds at exactly the right time. If you plant them too late, the ground has already saturated all of the nutrients, and if you plant them too early, their roots will take before the rains come and that will affect their development. It’s important for the rice seedlings to enter into the ground at exactly the right time.

Cooking rice is a completely different matter. If you’ve ever used a rice cooker, you know how easy it is. It’s like that commercial for that world famous kitchen appliance where you just “set it, and forget it!” In order to cook the perfect batch of rice, all you really need to concern yourself with is the ratio of rice to water. Then just pour them both in, click the button down, and you’re good to go. And the best part is, when the rice is done cooking, the rice cooker will shut itself off immediately, and will keep it warm for several hours, sometimes even overnight if you have one those fancy cookers.

Eating rice, on the other hand, all bets are off. Some people eat it plain, some put really spicy red sauce in it, some people put meat next to it, and then scoop up a piece of meat and handful of rice, others will mix everything together. Still others will throw the rice into big wok with other vegetables and some shrimp and make fried rice. There is really no end in sight to the different ways you can eat rice.

But the times when I’ve gone to the restaurant too early, it has been busy, and the waitresses were very hurried, and not only did they not have time to chat, I felt if I sat there reading the paper like I normally do, people who were waiting might get impatient. And times when I mistakenly showed up a little late, I didn’t have time to lounge and relax. Timing is very important.

I remember once in high school chemistry class I got into trouble because I mixed two chemicals in the wrong proportion. It was supposed to be exactly three and half to one, but I read the instructions wrong and mixed them at two and half to one. Of course my experiment didn’t turn out very well, and the teacher got angry with me for not listening. It wasn’t as bad as the time I mixed two chemicals that I wasn’t supposed to mix, causing a terrible stench that evacuated the lab. I was allowed to come back in after that.

Now when you start to talk about playing golf, that is different topic altogether. Then you need to factor in wind speed, temperature, club face angle, and how good your short game is. But that will likely be covered in another post. In the meantime, be careful how you mix things together, either with time or with elements of nature. They can come out pretty good if you pay attention to what has been going on here.

It’s Good to Mix it Up Once in a While

Once upon a time there was this group of missionaries. And they traveled to different islands, and tried to persuade the island people to discard their old set of beliefs, and replace them with what they promised was a new, enhanced and better set of beliefs. Because they brought food that the island people had never seen before, the island people kind of accepted some of the beliefs, but not all of them. Kind of like a mix.

I have a friend that is from Vietnam. He was telling me that many Vietnamese dishes are actually influenced by the French. Because the French had colonized what was then called Indochina (by the French, no doubt,) they had a lot of influence on the culture, architecture, food, and even the writing system. The language itself was too far developed for the French to make it as confusing as the French language, so at least that part of the culture remained fairly intact. One of the great outcomes of the influence of one culture on another are this sandwiches called Bun Mi’s. They are made with small loaves of French bread sliced in half, and filled with Vietnamese style meats and other fillings. They are incredibly tasty, and usually fairly cheap.

It’s interesting what happens when you mix one thing with another, you’re never sure you know what you are going to get. Of course if you mix yellow and blue you are going to get green, but everybody knows that. I’m talking about mixing things when you have no idea how they are going to turn out. Cultures, ideas, whole races of people (depending if you believe in any Egyptian-UFO conspiracies.) One of the most important things to consider when mixing ideas is the simple fact that you can’t usually come back, so you need to be careful when mixing two things, like countries or genetic mutations. You don’t want to create something that won’t be beneficial. On the other hand, nobody ever was able to discover something wonderful by being too cautious. When you have some of this, and some of that, and you want to bring to bear one onto the other, go right ahead. That’s how great things happen.

And I even was telling my girlfriend once about this great French-Vietnamese restaurant, and she could scarcely believe such a combination could exist. And sure enough, there the restaurant was, just like I’d expected it to be. And they have some dandy tasting frog legs there.

And the missionaries decided that it wasn’t worth it because they kept running out of chocolate chip cookies, or whatever it was they had to bribe them with to accept their beliefs. They told them and they decided that they had to leave, and then went and left them behind.