The Autumn of 1996, cold and lonely.
I could not step out without the loud chatters of my teeth and my numerous layers of clothing. I was cooped inside for those three months, and do remember, I live in beautiful California, where the temperatures are pretty perfect.
I remember the beautifully decked malls, and the grocery shops filled with ingredients I hadn’t seen or tried or heard of. A new world, new friends, a new life. I never really understood the sitcoms. I continually complained about Seinfeld being dry humor.
My best friend (my only friend then) and I enjoyed our funny moments together. Our apartment was ten minutes away from the grocery store, so we would walk to it. Those trips were always quite interesting. We would go with the intention of getting only one bag and come back walking with two in each hand, weighing a ton.
I don’t know how to grow plants. I can’t grow plants.
We never know what we get into, until we are handed a tiny little bundle with just the face peaking, eyes stuck together with some liquid, flushed pink face, and a blue striped or pink striped cap. We feel an overwhelming sense of joy, a chilling and warm feeling. Tears swell up and the first smile you give your tiny baby is filled with so much joy and love (and oxytocin, as my teen adds). It’s a feeling that has never crept up until then, and will never go away.
After a couple of years of pretty severe drought in the Bay, the wet weather for the past few weeks is a welcome change. I definitely am happy to hear the pitter-patter of the rain and rumble of the leaves. The deep brown soil turning brown and the dry brown grass on the mountains turning green are some very pretty sights.
Waking up to dark gray clouds, the sounds of rain, the trembling trees all makes us want to snuggle a bit more. Turning and struggling to wake up, going down for a hot cup of coffee and to a silent almost ‘pin drop silence’ except for the rain was an ideal start to my perfect day.
I’ve always been picky about my salads. I will eat a salad only if it is spicy, crunchy, and made with some peanut butter dressing :). Well, it changed.
I was invited to a clothing boutique opening a few winters ago. That’s when I fell in love with these endive boats after avoiding it for about 20 minutes. As we walked in, our coats were taken. The wine was served and the conversations were on full swing, when a very prim and proper server walked by us bringing these beautiful salad boats. I excused myself politely to walk across to the left of the room where the cocktails and desserts were. After a few minutes, the guy comes again with this beautifully arranged platter of these boats, and I picked out a boat just to be nice to the guy. He smiled because I had been avoiding him for at least 20 minutes. I stalked him for the next 15; I am sure I would’ve eaten at least 10.
There’s something about the cooler weather, twinkling stars as early at 6.00 p.m., and all the festive pumpkins and persimmons in the grocery store. Everything screams of holidays, parties and food. Everyone gets in the mood of perfecting their pies, the sides and their birds.
The appetizers are some of the last to be remembered. Don’t you think?
I have a great one for you. Just make a lot of it and have some bottles of chutney ready to go for your guests, they’ll want it.
Around this time, a few years ago, was when I started enjoying green tea. An introduction to an actual green tea salad came way later, with a lot of resistance. I am not a salad lover, let alone a fermented green tea salad… That’s a stretch.
If you visit San Francisco and you have some time to wait in line to grab a bite, do not miss Burma Superstar. The food is delicious, and the fermented green tea salad is outstanding. What I don’t enjoy is the wait (which is crazy), and it’s even worse when you go there hungry. So, you know, I had to find a way to make one my favorite salad at home. I was inspired by the excellent salad I ate there, and just had to make my own version.
This month was my whole grain month. As I measured out the barley to cook that morning, I did not realize that I had to be creative about how I made use of it for the next three days.
Little did I know that after you have a decent portion of this grain, you won’t be hungry for hours. But isn’t that a good thing? Oh well, maybe. For me, it was ok. So, long story short, I cooked 4 cups of barley which turned out to be around 8 cups of cooked barley. The kids were very apprehensive at the sound of the grain but it turned out they enjoyed it especially when I paired it with something they love.
Taste a good chaat, and you will soon know why it is not forgotten. Chaat is a jumble of flavors and textures. It’s sweet, spicy, tangy, crunchy, and quite wild in flavors. Ask an Indian about chaat, and you will see their face light up. It just does that. Chaat is traditionally eaten in between meals in India. It is just not like back home. There is something amiss in the authenticity of chaat we get here. I guess it’s because it has to be catered to people of different cultures.
Welcome to my new space!!!
I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving!
We did, and I am excited for my new little space here.
When the thoughts of writing snippets along with food came to mind, blogging was the way to go. Since I procrastinate so much, it helped that my then 12 yr old opened up a blogger account and jumpstarted the blog. That’s the story of how this blog was created.