Belly Kids: Cold Pumas
Belly Kids are teaming up with Mint Magazine to talk with our favourite musicians about food, cooking and all things eating. It’s something of a passion of ours and I know we aren’t alone. Ever since I put together The Mona Pizza recipe book, investigating the food culture behind music, it has become an obsession.
Cold Pumas are your cousins, who at every family barbecue gets the music stuck on a jam, solidly, until everyone commends them for having the best taste in music ever. What to say about a band who have been wildly praised over the past year or so? I suppose just that if you haven’t heard them already, you definitely should. Ideal time being this weekend’s Sex is Disgusting weekender. To pick up where we left off, Belly Kids caught up with Patrick (drummer in situ) and chatted through ideal cordial types, dating Sonic Youth and a re-occurring favourite, eggs.
What foods do you like eating? Could you describe to us the perfect meal?
In essence, I’d prefer a liquid over a solid if it came to the crunch, and frankly I’m often accused of having a too accepting and unrefined palate when it comes to food, but these are some things I like: cheese and cheese flavoured things, mayonnaise, Del Monte Iced Smoothie lollies, stuffed olives, beetroot flavoured things but not sliced beetroot itself, coconut flavoured or garnished items (take a bow Mrs Crimbles, one-time Asda yoghurt etc), rose flavoured foodstuffs, spinach, cherry tomatoes, tapenade, mushrooms and mushroom flavoured things, halloumi, Bounty Dark, Cadbury’s Boost, the Red Veg burger (RIP), tiger bread, egg(!), a nice soup, prunes, chickpeas in salt water, the Bonne Maman biscuit range, condiments, things with traditional/exotically enticing packaging.
See my problem? The above is nonsense. It’s like a child’s shopping list. I think all it proves is my initial thought, that a concept of a perfect meal is problematic for me. I ultimately get most satisfaction from covertly picking at things from a sideboard, so I suppose some sort of illicit buffet would work.
If Cold Pumas could take another band out on a dinner date, who would it be? Where would you go?
I asked the rest of the gaggle about this and the consensus was Sonic Youth. Indeed they are the band that have consistently bound us together, like a sticky ingredient. Evidently it would be a little difficult now, and nobody would want to put Kim and Thurston through a strained, hypothetical meal for the sake of this interview question, but if they were on better terms, it could work, at a groovy, groovy café/deli/falafel house in NYC per example – and on a summers day so Dan could talk to Thurston about sunglasses. We could even set this little dinner date during a Jim O’Rourke era and get him thrown in like a complimentary side dish, while Lee Ranaldo would be being wooed discreetly by my own brother in the corner of the booth, somewhat surprised to be experiencing such strong feelings on his first date with a 56 year old man. I imagine Steve Shelley would eat his main politely but indifferently, but then come alive when it came to the almond croissant. For me that’s where we’d really bond, while everyone else was having a tedious, existential conversation about the place of the delay pedal in the post-grunge era.
Are you good in the kitchen or more of a fast food kinda band?
I think my issues are apparent already. But we don’t identify in a dude food way as pizza bros if that’s a benchmark of differentiation (although we do conflictingly have an admittedly unremarkable penchant for the dish). Sometimes Dan gets excited enough by what he’s made for him and Lesley the previous evening to recount it in relatively precise detail. Oli’s kind of a Pulse Punk (like a Butterbean Ramones). None of us are culinary gods, but I think we’d rather fail/stick within our limitations in the kitchen than be out slavering around the takeaway counters. Cheesy chips though?!
Any places you’ve been which you can recommend to us?
There used to be a Red Veg in Brighton (and one in Soho I think), whose absence has definitely made the heart grow fonder, although it honestly did used to justify the unfading mystic lust I now feel (providing they had food to cook/hadn’t closed perplexingly early). Other than that, I’ve particularly enjoyed the Nordic sauce/gravy on my meal at The Northern Lights and Los Taquitos has a grumpy, garish charm, when the time is right. Anything cheap and themed would be worth an exploration for me, so hopefully the newly opened Swisstorante will ring true in that respect. I’ve never really had the financial clout to maraud beyond the endless gastropub circuit here, so I can only really report that Brighton bows heavily to the dull, smug tradition of the overpriced half-eaten roast, if that appeals.
Big drinkers? What do you all drink?
This is really the only question so far I feel I have due credibility in answering. I can talk endlessly, without self-awareness, about a newly discovered variety of cordial, ice-tea or juice to anyone. In fact, buckle up right now. To summarise, for the cordial set, Bottle Green just about beats Belvoir, but Rocks, despite the rather pedestrian range of flavours is better value for money and most consistent in terms of post-mixed depth. Yet it cannot be overlooked that the extortionately priced Five Valleys series – Pomegranate & Rose, Lemon & Mint and Apricot & Ginger – are without doubt my crème de la crème.
When it comes to the pre-mixed carbonated group, Orangina and Rio Florida are commended, as is San Pellegrino’s Aranciata series (despite the expense). I enjoyed the recent launch of the Fentiman’s Cherry Tree Cola, but feel their ginger beer is pipped to the post by Bundaberg’s own, and I cannot go without mentioning Lorina’s Pink Lemonade (whilst Amé’s Elderberry & Lemon elevates it above the cynical moniker of the post-Schloeradult soft drink).
Otherwise, in the pre-mixed stills category, I am always happy with the board of flavours of a Lipton ice-tea, and anything with watermelon, coconut or pear will often constitute an instant transaction, although on the whole, most juices and smoothies are a little counterproductively thick for me, but did I ever tell you about Tropicana Go upon its refreshing pedestal?
Ultimately, I’m sure you’ve aimed this at the alcoholic end of the spectrum, and in that case there’s an equal amount to bore you with. For the ale, commendation goes to the Bath Spa Gem, the Jubilee toting Sandringham Ale from M&S and the St. Peter’s Grapefruit Ale (why it’s only available rarely in a multipack is beyond me). I’m tempted to have separate sections for wiessbiers und dunkels, pale ales, world lagers and an annexed North American craft beer section, but I can’t even bring myself to begin inflicting it upon either of us, so here’s a small and inadequate list of recent commendations: Viru, Negra Modella, Castle Lager, Victoria Bitter, Kasteel Cru, Palm.
For a nightcap, an amaretto over ice is good, like Disaronno, or I’d recommend Amarula as a creamier alternative if needs be. I could also suggest vermouth rosso and soda on a particularly warm evening.
KILL ME NOW.
Top three things to take on a picnic?
Well assuming (as I am at whim to assume) that this is a fairly conventional picnic and there are already generic ingredients provided as standard i.e. bread and cheese (let’s go for a soft, fresh tiger or sesame topped baton and gruyère, emmental or havarti while we’re at it). This is like trying to justify sneaking luxury items on Desert Island Disks, but as Kirsty Young is not here to chide me softly, I’ll continue. I had a relatively perfect picnic itinerary just the other day, so I’ll try and go along those lines and suggest item number one as olives (kalamata stuffed with garlic), item number two as the Co-Operative’s Summer Fruits Juice Drink (could it be Tropicana Go reborn?) and item number three as… a solid bottle of bubbly!
N.B. I too have that feeling that this question was either asking for a more abstract answer (i.e. outside of the realms of food) or at least food items that I couldn’t actually afford if pushed, and thus added an element of pizzazz and fantasy to the answer.
Could you give us a recipe, something to make on the weekend?
Egg! Although some prefer poached (actually I do) I can make good (unadventurous but satisfying) scrambled eggs on English breakfast muffins. Basically it’s like making generic scrambled egg except… in the initial mixture, pre-egg, this is how it goes:
- a liberal dash of Geo Watkins Mushroom ketchup
- a tiny splash of semi-skimmed milk (if at all)
- a happy plop of Essential Waitrose wholegrain sun-dried tomato mustard
- As much as you can justify using of mildly extortionate Santini Taste No. 5 Umami paste
- A fork-and-a-half full of Lurpak Lighter Spreadable
Mix this together until you get a kind of brown, insipid paste, heating gently to aid process.
Preferably on a bowl-plate, subsequently slice in half one Essential Waitrose white muffin, six to seven Sainsbury’s pitted green olives, three to four Waitrose cherry vine tomatoes (or if feeling extravagant, the Sultan’s Jewel variety) and shred a copious amount of Waitrose ready-washed spinach.
Segregate the olives and tomatoes from the spinach. Grind a little black pepper on top of those red and greens, and as much Tabasco/chipotle sauce that will come through the gunky end of the bottle.
NOTE: Waitrose sell a four-pack of their Columbian Blacktail free range eggs. This acts as the perfect accompaniment to a sad bachelor or even someone with a very well planned romantic breakfast.
Assuming sad bachelor, take two of these eggs and place them carefully on the plate next to the other ingredients. Then take one last look at the award winning Food Photographer Of The Year set-up you have just created and take an excessively long shower while a DVD menu loops and whirrs incessantly in an adjacent bedroom.
Freshly washed and in robe, return to the kitchen. Then crack the eggs into the insipid paste (mixing sans gas is fine, initially) and as simultaneously as possible, reignite the hob and place the cut muffins into the toaster and begin toasting. On full heat, stir using pre-sourced wooden spoon until the eggs are a little crumbly and well scrambled and a uninvitingly grey-brown in appearance.
Then as the toaster pops, butter those muffins with the Lurpak. Then mix the majority of the spinach into the egg, add pepper and a touch more Tabasco and serve equally across both muffins. Try and wash up anally whilst food remains tolerably hot. Best served with a glass of grapefruit juice, or a tall, carbonated drink, such as Bottle Green Lime & Coconut cordial with Waitrose Essential sparkling water.
Consume before opening credits have even finished. Repeat process fortnightly.