Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Burma Cookbook tour

Friends, Robert and Morrison, visiting from Australia stopped in L.A. for a few days. We had a late lunch at Musso and Frank which has remained the same for decades....except, they no longer serve calves brains which used to be a favorite of Richard and his father. Sweetbreads are still on the menu; he settled for those. The waiters are ancient and seemed to be sleeping on their feet. Despite the service problems, the place is still a celebrity favorite and Richard spotted Gabriel Byrne; and an old character actress who was dressed to the nines in chiffon, pearls, and fancy hair combs ala 1940. Our late lunch drifted into the "early diner" time slot and creaky couples were hobbling in as we left. Most were dressed up for Saturday night out on the town. You could cut the nostalgia with a knife.

R and M are on a book publicity tour promoting their wonderful new book:

Here they are signing books.
And signing our book.

The authors are pictured here in Myanmar - all four pictured are wearing fragrant thanaka on their faces, a golden paste which protects against sun.
A reminder of where Myanmar sits in Asia.

We went up to L.A. on Saturday morning where Morrison conducted a workshop at French General on Riverside Drive. Richard went to the Autry museum with his brother. Once again, I confirmed that I'm lacking the gene for crafty skills. Even threading the necessary needles had me in a sweat. Morrison threads them in one try; it took me 15 minutes to get embroidery thread through an eye. I did learn to make a little tassel and a herringbone rope using an electric drill and a cup hook. You never know when these things are going to come in handy.

Wrapping beads.
Teacher's pet.
Frances Hazel (slutty mascot) and her tassel.
My tassel. Whew!

I suppose I don't need even to mention how bad the traffic was both going up and back to L.A. Many say the traffic is worse these days on the weekends and I'm starting to agree. On Sunday we drove
up to San Juan Capistrano for brunch and we passed five incidents, one involving a SWAT team.
Although on a personal basis I feel life is good, driving in the L.A. traffic, past accident after accident, can plunge you into a dystopian darkness. On the positive side, while sitting and stewing, we could see Catalina and the snow on the mountains. The outside temperature was 75.

Robert and Morrison are leaving Sydney where they've lived for 25 years and moving to
Battambang, Cambodia in June. Labor costs in Sydney are too high for them to keep competitive in
the Passementeries business and they prefer to spend their time in Asia, leading tours, writing travel articles and collecting material for cookbooks. Battambang is "artist central" for Cambodia and a lovely crumbling colonial town.  We've been in Siem Reap and Phnom Phen but never in this interesting town.  Now we have three friends living in Cambodia. How the world changes.
Battambang - New York Times photo. Cheesecake and monks.

A wat near Battambang

1 comment:

  1. Those guys seem fascinating. I wish we were still publishing. We could do a tassel book.
    Used to love Musso and Franks. We went to The French General with our friend Pat, who I think knew the couple that own the place. Great store! We have one of their books.