concerning the three great lies…..


In concert with the thrust of this piece it would be fair to say that the “three great lies” are a moveable feast. I have always considered that “there’s a cheque in the post” to be immutable, the first among equals, and it should be obvious from this that my memories are rooted in the past. Of the remaining two lies one of them is traditionally of a sexual nature and the last is up for grabs. The one that came to mind, and which ultimately spawned this piece, is “I know a great Tex Mex restaurant”. That I have never found such a place may well be accounted for by my putative search consisting of visits with young children to London Tex Mex restaurants of the 70’s and 80’s which experience confirmed the implausibility of there being any truth in Great Lie No.3. However, in the dark recesses there remains a faint memory of a Mexican au pair who made breathtakingly good Chili con Carne with cubes of seasoned beef, rather than the ubiquitous minced meat, and thickened it with bread. I have never eaten a better one since and, as I now prefer not to eat meat, it is unlikely that I ever will. In consequence I am now at the point of making a statement which may well, to many of you, replace Great Lie 3 by suggesting that “I have just made a very good vegetarian Chili”. Vainglorious as that statement may appear there has been some concurrence of positive opinion among both friend and family, save for the occasion when, whilst staying with our son in London, I took the original internet recipe at face value ( which I have since modified ) and added the suggested 3 tablespoons of chili powder which created a dish inedible even to post match, extremely drunk rugby supporters who prided themselves on possessing palates consistent with the capabilities of heat resistant ceramic tiles on a lunar reentry module. I never keep chili powder in our store cupboard at home because of a similar event, in the early years of our marriage, when I slavishly followed a misprint in a Robert Carrier recipe for Chili con Carne which became a cause celebre in those far off days. Oddly enough, after all those years, I’ve only just been made aware that there is a difference between Chili Powders….one being based on cayenne pepper ( the one that caused all the trouble) and the other being a blend of spices with a touch of cayenne…that’s the one that I’ve never bought.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
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9 Responses to concerning the three great lies…..

  1. Mad Dog says:

    I thought the other lie related to love, but since I do love food it can’t be a lie.
    As a confirmed carnivore, I have enjoyed excellent vegetarian chilli and I believe I might have had more then one type. The restaurant you are looking for is Mexican, whereas Tex Mex is an American concoction, invented north of the border (possibly Old El Paso). Mexicans really know how to cook and there are many vegetable only dishes (though you might, on occasion have to substitute oil for lard).
    …y con mi mano en mi corazón, ¡es verdad!

  2. Eha says:

    Actually had ‘my’ reply all figured out until your badinage could be seen and enjoyed again . . . absolument! bien sur! . . . . the ‘Roger and Craig smile’ worldwide . . . . merci, messieurs . . . .

  3. Francesca says:

    I prefer a bean based chilli sans carne dish too, not just because I am vegetarian, but it seems to taste more Mexican and soul warming. the mince meat version is such a crime, as bad as westernised spag bol.

    • Completely in agreement. There’s something about mince, even if I still ate meat, that I find repellent. Vegetarianism has sort of come to me rather than the other way around. it has just been a logical progression….I certainly don’t need meat, I don’t remember it as one of the great tastes and I’m completely against this unnecessary mass slaughter….and I like animals very much:)

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