I thought to remind you that there’s only five weeks until the start of our four wonderful cookery workshops, firstly in Den Haag, Holland (Sat 11, Sun 12 June) at the prestigious François Vatel Cookery School, and then in the Belgian Ardennes, near Durbuy (Sat 18, Sun 19 June) at the fairy tale castle of Petite Somme, Radhadesh.
There will be four unique menus! Note that this includes one dairy-free selection for vegan participants on Sunday 12 June in Den Haag.
Come and learn new skills, cook with us, enjoy genuine kitchen camaraderie, and feast!
Remember that you must pre-book and pre-pay to activate your place in the workshops.
Note that there are very special offers*** and discounts for attending more than one workshop.
I look forward to seeing you all soon,
***Radhadesh Cooking Course – booking two classes includes one free night in the Radhadesh guesthouse and free breakfasts at the Radhadesh Restaurant Govinda’s.
Today my wife and I were invited to a special program at the home of Sriman Jaya Krishna Prabhu and his wife Vrindarani Devi.
Here we all are.
I was asked to read from my book “The Great Transcendental Adventure”.
One of the threads of discussion was “Accidental Disagreements” between devotees and how to deal with them. I explained how the word ‘accidental’ was very significant in describing the occasional ‘falling out’ between devotees, and likened it to Srila Prabhupada’s description of ‘accidental’ falldown in his Bhaktivedanta Purport to Bhagavad-gita 9.30.
Here’s an excerpt that I read (via my translator Bhavatarini dd, pictured above, bottom row, second to left) from the letter Srila Prabhupada wrote to Bali Mardan concerning the disagreements between himself and Upendra in the early days of Australian Iskcon.
My Dear Bali Mardan and Upendra,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated by Post 5th May, 1970.
So it is very encouraging that people are coming to the extent of 40 heads, and they are trying to understand the importance of this great movement, and any sane man will be able to understand that. But I do not know why our students who are supposed to be the leaders of this movement will fight amongst themselves for supremacy. Our whole process is of surrendering.
We are taught to address others as Prabhu. Prabhu means master; and the leader of the masters is called Prabhupada. So if the Prabhus have surrendered to the Prabhupada, why there shall be such mentality of occupying the superior position? This is contradictory.
Kindly stop this unnecessary misunderstanding.
Both Upendra and yourself are competent and experienced, so please adjust your disagreement amongst your selves. It is my request. As a matter of fact, as you are the pioneer in taking all risks to go to Australia, naturally you shall be considered as the leader, but a leader’s position is also very grave and responsible. A leader has to lead others very tactfully and intelligently. Kindly therefore do not quarrel, but go on with your duties progressively.
We have to gather our strength by chanting the beads sixteen rounds regularly and praying to the lotus feet of Krsna for guidance.
I hope both of you will kindly follow my instruction and forget if there is any accidental disagreement.
Hope this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Jaya Krishna and his wife maintain a wonderful spiritual atmosphere in their small government apartment . Tulasi devi grows resplendently up on the balcony of the 19th floor.
Vrindarani is a spectacular cook, and the lunch (Thai, Chinese and Western fusion) was one of the nicest I have tasted in a very long time.
On Monday we visited one of the most popular snack shops in Hong Kong, Kung Wo Dou Bun Chong 公和荳品廠 , which means the Kung Wo Tofu Factory.
Kung Wo is based in Sham Shui Po on Pei Ho Street. It specialises in Tofu snacks, especially the “Tofu Fa”- its most celebrated dish.
Here’s some pictures of Tofu Fa, the factory out back (note the huge tofu presses filled with many kilos of ultra-fresh tofu) , the vat of Tofu Fa, and the frying operation out front.
Our host Vishakha recommended the Tofu Fa, which is a warm silky tofu custard with syrup.
I am not usually a fan of silken tofu, but this was like eating warm sweet clouds. Impressive.
They make the tofu out the back in the factory, while out front of shop they make fried tofu snacks and sell all sorts of Tofu products.
This post is dedicated to Antony Brennan, a dedicated purveyor of fine food porn. That was meant in the nicest way, Antony.
Above: The Two of Us
Yesterday my wife Dhira Lalita and myself, with our host Vishaka, visited the Three Virtues Restaurant on Nathan Road, Jordan, Kowloon.
Above: Dhira and Vishakha.
The images speak for themselves. Strictly vegetarian.
Can’t recall name
Dish of the Day
Tea for Two
Saint Tukarama was the most famous of all Maharashtrian saints. He lived during the seventeenth century, and over the last three hundred years his devotional influence has been deeply felt by the local people. His poems, the 4,500 verses known as the Abhangas, have become part of the public memory of Maharashtra. They are sung in every village and every home.
Tukarama preached throughout his life, exhorting his countrymen to take to the path of bhakti, devotional service. His language was so simple and down to earth that even the most simple villagers understood it completely.
Srila Prbhupada writes Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 9.282
“in the city of Pandarapura is situated on the river Bhima. It is said that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu initiated Tukarama when He visited Pandarapura, and thus Tukarama became His disciple. Tukarama Acarya became very famous in the Maharashtra province, and he spread the sankirtana movement all over the province. The sankirtana party belonging to Tukarama is still very popular in Bombay and throughout the province of Maharashtra. Tukarama’s book is known as Abhanga. His sankirtana party exactly resembles the Gaudiya-Vaisnava sankirtana parties, for they chant the holy name of the Lord with mrdanga and karatalas.”
Here’s a nice bhajan about Saint Tukarama’s Sankirtan:
My wife and I are snugly ensconced in our apartment in Hong Kong’s New Territories. For the month ahead I’m booked for lectures, readings from my biographical tome “The Great Transcendental Adventure”, a fund-raising dinner and cookery classes. And then…stay tuned for the Magical Mystery Tour.
14 months since my last post! It has been a while since I last wrote. Hope you like the new blog look. There will be more to come soon. Stay tuned!
Dear Venerable readers,
As you may have gathered, I am not regularly blogging anymore. I am however Facebooking, so if you look me up on Facebook you can be my “friend’ there!
Feel free to use this huge resource of archives, accessible via the search box on the blog front page (that’s it up there on the right – just key in any search topic).
Apparently there is no record of Marie Antoinette ever having said this favourite line when told that the common people were starving.
One thing is for sure: I did bake a cake yesterday and here it is. At least this is a photographic record that it existed. As all things in this real but temporary world, it has now gone the way of all great gateaux.
For your culinary and orally-fixated pleasure: it is (or was) a two layer peach, nutmeg, coconut and lemon zest enriched sponge cake sandwiched together with mixed berry jam, frosted with a combination of sweetened cream cheese infused with lime zest. I decorated it with toasted coconut ribbon and candied lemon peel. Yes, it tasted as spectacular as it sounds.
Finally: I would like to offer my apologies that this blog is very sparse these days. I am totally absorbed in looking after my father’s affairs since his health has deteriorated. If you’d like to stay in touch, I suggest you follow me on Facebook, my only regular interface with the world these days. My Facebook name is private, but if you write me by commenting on this post, I can provide you with it.