Friday, January 23, 2009

The Little Match Girl

As you may have gleaned from the last year of rantings here on Mountain of Laundry (Happy Bloggiversary!), I cherish my friends and I adore cooking. Sure, there are many other facets to the me who I purport to be, but I'd say those are two fairly strong themes in my life that have kept me afloat in my proverbial sea of change. If I had to give myself a grade as a friend, it would be a pretty solid C. I don't call often (I'd hate to interrupt you), emailing should be easier -- but I have so much that I need to say that I don't have time to do it justice, and well, catching up in person? Right.

But those those evenings when the kids are at Martin's and I don't work are a perfect opportunity to catch up with my treasured amigos AND challenge myself in the kitchen. So this week I was lucky enough to touch base with Concert Katrina -- Inauguration Day nonetheless. I love cooking for her because a) she's ridiculously appreciative; b) she's vegetarian and c) her dietary restrictions of no yeast and no added sugar give me an excuse to peruse recipes for hours on end, always discovering (and rediscovering) fabulous food and inspiration. After not-too-long in the Chair of Fabulosity, thumbing through the last several years of Eating Well, I came across a series of recipes from Northern India that I had always intended to try. The menu was set, and I was off to the market.

When Katrina arrived, we naturally greeted one another with a gleeful Obama Butt Shimmy. She looked gorgeous as always and our catch-up
session began. Seems she's considering entering the wild world of online dating. I was glad to share some insight and experience that I'd gained in my 30 days on Match.com. First, I warned her that she'd be inundated with mail early on as she's a stunner and that she'd likely find it easy to sort out the riff-raff. My rule was to ignore all winks (this is Match-speak for when someone wants to catch your attention but is too lazy to even write a few words) and only respond to notes that referenced content (other than photos) from my profile (though I did write back to one, "you're hot", but there were extenuating circumstances in that case). I met a few delightful men. I had some lovely dates and I learned wonderful things -- both about myself and about the male population. Most notably that I am a digable person and that there are charming, interesting, polite, available gentlemen out there. All this said, all of my Match guys have turned to friendships or fallen by the wayside. I urged her to give it a month, be cautious of becoming addicted to the attention (even as insincere as winks are, they are still flattering) and to have a great time.

And then it was time for dinner. Subzi Dalcha. Or Ginger, Split
Pea and Vegetable Curry. Along with homemade chapati, brown basmati rice and my own quick and dirty versions of raita and a mango relish, we enjoyed what I deemed to be quite possibly the best meal I've ever prepared. We devoured more than our fair share (I doubled the recipe because Indian leftovers are dreamy). We then visited for awhile longer until our hearts were as full as our tummies.

So, when are you coming over?

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