What’s that hanging from your mouth on your profile picture? Is that a huge pizza?!
Tome: I’m eating a Bosnian dish, zeljanica. It’s a kind of burek it you’ve ever heard of that, a Balkan specialty. It’s absolutely the best, it’s full of spinach or Swiss chard and a light creamy feta cheese. I can make it, but not like my mom. I can cheap and skip two hours of process by using pre-made phyllo pastry.
So apart from zeljanica, do you have any other fond mom food memories?
Tome: Pickling cabbage in the garage and the effervescent stench, it was intolerable, but it meant good things were coming – deep snow and heavy winter meals. The cabbage was the bare bones survival food for us.
David: Billowing clouds of smoked salmon for hours on end. Also the smell of fermenting blackberries that my bloody prickled hands were forced to pick during the summer heat for wine. My dad would make the wine and force the berry picking excursions.
That sounds pretty intense! But who am I to judge, I come from Poland where they pickle pig’s trotters and make headcheese. When I was four years old I had a pet rabbit. One day I was told the rabbit had been stolen at night. I just accepted it and moved on. Twenty years later, I recalled the story to my mother who then promptly told me that my grandfather actually slaughtered the rabbit and made it into paté at the time…
Tome: Haha, I think 99% of kids who grew up on farms or out of big cities experienced this. We used to keep pigeons and feed them food left over from dinner – spaghetti, pork, salads, egg shells. My parents used to keep pigs in Bosnia and figured all animals were garbage disposals. The scent of all that food began to attract all kinds of other animals in our backyard. We had a living hierarchical ecosystem for a week until raccoons had diminished the last of our pigeon population. After that we had shitloads of rats. There’s another interesting story of how my dad used to throw acid on them. He was an alchemist…
So if you could make a sandwich out of three bands what would it be?
Tome and David: Throbbing Gristle, Captain Beefheart with a little bit of This Heat. Ultimate!
Do you cut your sandwiches in half diagonally or horizontally/vertically?
Tome: I don’t cut my sandwiches, I eat them around the perimeter, slowly spiralling into the centre point where the family of foods compress and huddle frightened together.
David: I fold mine neatly. I iron it, conscious of image.
Is there a particular food you crave the morning after a party when you look at the mirror and don’t recognize the guy staring back at you?
Tome: Crni rizot – Bosnian squid ink risotto, and a shot of loza, fruit brandy.
What’s your guiltiest edible pleasure?
David: God, I love Scotch eggs…
Tome: Figs! There’s a delicate season here in Vancouver when figs are ripening, and it lasts only about ten days, that’s the window of opportunity to get as much as you can. My mother and I patiently wait for this period every year. In the evenings we get together and loot our neighbours’ yards when they are sleeping, filling bags and bags full of this sacred stolen fruit. I even went so far as to make a map with highlighted homes with known fig trees.
Have you ever been caught?!
Never actually, we are stealthy. Though I guess if they read this we’re fucked! We wear black cloaks. Languidly we walk, patience is key, you have to know when to strike. We are like monks. There is nothing more delicious than a fig as it is, you see. But then there’s the dried figs stuffed with almonds, my Portuguese side of the family always gives us so many, they’re awful. So we give them to the pigeons and wait for the rats to arrive! And then the pigeons are eaten by the raccoons, who are then attacked by rats and sprayed with acid by my dad!
Squid Ink Rabbit Pho
1 rabbit (preferably your son’s or daughter’s)
1 cube beef stock
1 bunch of green onions
10 whole star anise
4 cloves garlic
Squid ink (1/4 cup) – (as replacement for fish sauce)
Lime kaffir leaves
Sriracha hot sauce
Sneak into your son’s/daughter’s room while they are at school. Kill the rabbit. * Gut and clean the rabbit. Boil the rabbit bones (save meat for later) in a pot for 4 hrs. Skim the fat from the top of the pot periodically.
Drain the water through a strainer into another pot. In a tea bag, put the garlic, star anise, ginger, and lime kaffir leaves and steep in simmering water for 30mins or longer.
Remove tea bag. Continue simmering and add cilantro, daikon, basil, beef stock, green onions, salt, pepper, rice noodles (previously soaked in cold water for 10 mins), and squid ink to the simmering water and cook until noodles are tender.
Remove from heat, add rabbit meat (thin slices will cook immediately), and basil, lime, hoisin sauce, siracha, and bean sprouts at your leisure.
* The rabbit “ran” away.
Basketball play at De Nieuwe Anita in Amsterdam on May 05. The show is free for Subbacultcha! members. Other live dates: 03/05 – Vera, Groningen