Thursday, September 4, 2008

Some Food...Sort of...

Blogging buddy Ello wanted to see food pictures...even Army food. So, here are a couple food shots for her and anyone else with iron constitutions. Actually, my favorite is the local food which I get not often enough. The "mess hall" food shown below is prepared by KBR (formerly known as Kellogg-Brown and Root). The mess hall where we eat is a small remote facility, but puts out quite a variety at each meal. The mess hall serves Americans, Italians, Turks, Afghans, French and Brits, so the variety is better than most other military facilities in Kabul.

Breakfast is usually only varied by type of fruit and an occassional toasty bit. If they have breakfast pork chops then I don't do the biscuit and gravy bit. I usually have salad or fresh broccoli when they have it with my lunch and I almost never eat dinner.

Biscuits and vomit gray, topped with over-easy local eggs,
fresh kiwi and strawberries and breakfast steak with onions.
I usally top off the eggs and steak with ample hot sauce,
though not because they taste bad.
With lots of spicy stuff coursing through my veins,
flies and mosquitos tend to leave me alone.
Breakfast is usually washed down with grapefruit juice.

Beef burrito, vulture turkey wings, tomato salad with peppers and olives.
Again, hot sauce and jalepena's figure prominently.
I usually only drink water at lunch.

Qabeli Palau
This is an Afghan staple made with gosht-e gospan (sheep)
or gosht-e boz (goat), particularly the fatty bits,
rice, shaved zardaka (carrots), pyaza (onions), keshmesh (rasins),
ser (garlic) and sometimes zafaran (saffron).
The wealthier the family, the more actual meat is in the dish.
As Ello can appreciate, cultures that use rice as the core of the meal
have hundreds of local variations to each dish.
I've had three variations of this dish from three different places within a block of where I live.
Can't say which I prefer, they are all good.
Served with naan (flat bread), and often lubiya-e tond (spicy beans),
kofta (afghan meatballs) and assorted morcha-e tond (hot peppers).
Kabul has its own variation called Kabuli Palau where the meat ingredient is gosht-e murgh (chicken),
but sheep fat is still used to sear the chicken and add flavor.
They almost never eat plain rice, it is usually in some sort of palau.


Ello said...

HA HA!!! You killed me with the vomit gravy and the vulture wings. I snorted water up my nose. Seriously! Now my eye is watering. I don't get that.

Hey at least you get fresh fruit! And is the beef really beef? I love that you took pictures of it for me!! I'm so enjoying it! And that Palau looks amazing! I got really hungry looking at that (not so much the other stuff!) And I adore Naan! I just love one plate rice dishes like that! The only thing that would throw me is the raisins. I would find that odd in rice that was savory and not sweet. But the rest of the dish sounds terrific. Do you put hot sauce on that too? You know there was a time where I would carry a little bottle of tabasco in my purse to liven up food anywhere I went. Nowadays most establishments will have hot sauce, but I actually think it is more of a recent trend.

Ok - loved this post!

J. L. Krueger said...


The raisins help to reduce the muttony flavor I think. It really does work me.

I usually chop up the hot peppers and stir them into the palau, so no hot sauce needed.

I like food with a zing!

preTzel said...

I'm hungry now. That tomato salad actually sounded palatable. Maybe. Heh.

Vodka Mom said...

well, if only you were here to write a commentary on the meals in our cafeteria - i might actually lose some weight!!

The Muse said...

Ewwww, I mean, Yummy! I bet you can't wait to get home for a good home cooked meal!

I remember my father talking about meals in the mess hall on occasion. His favorite thing to talk about was the SOS. You biscuit and gravy reference reminded me of that.

Have a great weekend J.L.

J. L. Krueger said...


Actually the tomato salad was quite good that day.

Vodka Mom,

Military types are always critical of the mess hall food, no matter how good it is. The food is filling and if I ate dinner, I'd be gaining weight!


I'm sure the gravy recipe has not changed since WWI. It certainly has not changed in all the years I've eaten Army food!

Bernita said...

~grinning over vulture wings~
At least it's not MREs.
I remember MRE's were described during the Gulf War as "Meals Refused by Ethiopeans."

Thank you for the shot of Afghan food.
Just got an email from my child saying her DFAC meals were excellent.

J. L. Krueger said...


The MRE's are better than back in Desert Storm, but "real" food is by far preferable.

What was on my plates in the pictures is a tiny fraction of what is available at each meal. For example, I always pass on the wealth of fresh-baked pastries in the difficult as that can be.

They do a much better job on food these days than when I was a Lieutenant.

Barbara Martin said...

Interesting food dishes, and thanks for sharing them. I have wondered many times what kind of food people eat in foreign countries.

J. L. Krueger said...


One of the best parts of a lifelong career with the Army has been getting paid trips to faraway places...where I can eat all sorts of different foods.

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