Part One: Transit in Santiago, Chile
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guests packed into the small temple and graciously offered me the
speaker’s raised seat. I had chosen to read some of
my favourite culinary pastimes of Srila Prabhupada tonight,
since my spiritual master was not only an empowered transcendentalist,
but also an accomplished cook and connoisseur of fine Vedic cuisine.
The audience settled, and I read, with the aid of my Swiss-born
translator and friend Chaitanya Bhagavata:
Australia, 20 May 1975. After the evening program, a feast
was served in Parampara Hall. One of the items cooked—apple
crumble—had become the centre of an on-going controversy.
Apple crumble consisted of a layer of thinly sliced apples sprinkled
with cinnamon and raisins, topped with a mixture of oats and brown
sugar combined with melted butter.
whole thing was baked until the apples were soft and the topping
crisp and golden. It was the oats that were the object of critical
scrutiny. Some devotees thought that oats were “meant for
horses” that they were a bit too "Anglo-Saxon",
and thus were a “low-class” grain, not fit to be offered
to the temple Deity or Srila Prabhupada. Despite the divergent opinions,
Dvaipayana liked to cook apple crumble regularly.
night, Dvaipayana had set aside a portion of each preparation cooked
to offer to Srila Prabhupada for him to try. Srutakirti came down
to the kitchen, collected the assortment and brought it upstairs
along with some hot milk. Not long after Srila Prabhupada had started
eating, Srutakirti came rushing back down to the kitchen. “Prabhupada
really likes that apple stuff,” he said. “He just said
to me, ‘Bring me more of that crispy apples.’”
Well if Prabhupada liked it, we reckoned, it was good enough for
us.Thus ended the oats controversy; apple crumble was on its way
The translator was doing well, and the guests were enjoying the
mood, so I read some more.
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