Sometimes you have this image in your mind about how a certain thing is supposed to look like. For example a sandwich, you imagine one that looks like a food poetry with perfectly toasted, crispy bread. Those slices of heaven aka cheese melting like the clocks in Dali’s painting, mountains of spicy siracha flavored chicken all topped with briny, pungent olive salad. I could just taste the sandwich in my mind, but then I made the sandwich and it was nothing close to fantasy. The bread was like the rigid mountains hard to break, the olive salad was falling off the mountain and the cheese was lost somewhere in the battle between the olive and chicken. It is kind of disappointing how things don’t turn out the way you want them too, and rather upsetting when you have crumbs all over your hair and table.
Things has been a bit slow, a lot of time has been spent at home. Though we did get to try out a new coffee place in the area Liquid State, what more does one need but a place that has coffee, wine and cheese all under one roof? The plus to this was that it is next to one of my favorite things to eat dumplings. Though my encounter with this place was rather brisk, I certainly plan to spend many hours here in the coming months. Oh and found this amazing bakery close to home, the morning drive with the right music to a bakery somehow heals your soul. The bakery had some scrumptious offering, not that great on the coffee front though. The bakery is Stick Boy Coffee in Fuquay-Varina and it is worth the drive, hopefully the pictures do some justice to the sticky bun. I am sure all of us have been very busy dealing with the holidays, I wanted a quiet low key holiday surrounded by loved ones; but I think the higher beings forgot the word low key in my life. Regardless it’s always nice when old friends visit you especially those who are from the west coast. (Yes I am guilty, if you think a week goes by without noodles in my life then you are very wrong)
Christmas overall was great this year, I think I am all partied out. There have been many celebrations and gatherings, 2015 undoubtedly was a year of vast and virtuous changes. Santa was really good to me I must have been on the nice list. I have my vinyl player – let the vinyl collection begin. Not to mention tea set for a cozy tea for two; that is the weather gets cool enough here. I am relatively disheartened as I was robbed of a white Christmas this year – thanks to El Nino. Snow to me turns everything dreamlike with a subtle seduce it carries in the air. Last few weeks were busy getting ready for Christmas; I was slacking with my gift list and last minute decorations. I am certain I did much more than this in the last two weeks, but mind has drawn a blank at the moment. The end to these two weeks was great with a small get together at a friend’s place with delicious pizza and goofy laughs.
There are times that I wonder how feelings and relationships work, what keeps two people together. Loyalty is fascinating concept to understand, those who commit to marriage seem to drift apart; but some even without the legal commitment are more committed to each other. There are some who are blinded by stupidity and commit due to the fear of being alone; that is taking a very big risk in life. Some get lucky with the chance they take and some realize they were better off alone. Relationships are something that will always be a lesson in living and learning.
In other news I never knew how hard it was to take food pictures, especially those in actions. We had a catering order last week; one of the things in it was Pulao (Rice with vegetables). As mum was cooking up the rice, I asked her to be my model and take some shots in action. I have to say she is not the most patient person to sprinkle over turmeric or pour over something. My attempt to take any inaction shots of beautiful yellow powder sprinkling were rendered fruitless. Regardless here is the recipe of the pulao with some pictures.
- 1.5 cups basmati rice soaked for 30 minutes
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 green chili chopped
- 1 tbsp. minced ginger
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 tsps. Cumin seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- 3-4 whole green cardamom
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. Garam Masala
- 2 tsp. Turmeric
- 1 large potato chopped (big cubes)
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1.5 cups of mixed vegetables (I used 2 cups in mine as I do like a lot of vegetables in my rice, and I used frozen vegetables, warmed them up a bit before adding)
- 3 cups of water
- 3 tbsp. oil or ghee
- Salt to taste
Rinse the rice until the water runs clear; soak the rice for a good 30 minutes. Heat the oil or ghee (I prefer ghee as my maternal grandma always use to say, the good kind of fat always keeps your bones strong) add cumin seeds, cinnamon, bay leaf and cardamom to the pan. Let the whole spices sauté a bit before adding the onions
Brown the onion, before adding the potatoes to the party pot. Add the spices, green chili, garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala and sauté to take out the raw flavor from ginger and garlic. Drain the soaking rice and add it to the spices along with the mixed vegetables and let the oil coat the rice by sautéing it for a minute. Add water, lemon juice, and salt; cover the pot and let it cook on medium until the water is absorbed. When done, fluff the rice and serve it with some yummy raita.