ME Meals challenge
You remember how bad my cooking skills were four years ago right? Well its gotten better and infact I had been meaning to write (ahem boast) about what I learnt in the last four years about cooking. Then I came across 'Special K''s post about the challenges of 'cooking for one'. Apparently chefs "cite measuring obstacles, portion doubts, paring problems and presentation apathy". I have been 'cooking for one' for about 5 years now and comparing to making meals for a family when I was living with the parents, I couldn't agree more. Not only is cooking for one hard, but so is grocery shopping. I have lost count of how many times I have had to throw out veggies I bought in a bout of inspiration, until a friend suggested makign veggie stock to freeze and use it for soups later. That didn't work out so well but now I just know how much to buy for a week and also stock up the pantry with things that are quick to prepare but also healthy. Being near so many fresh fruit/veggie vendors help of course. I also had to learn how to plan most of the meals (lunch and diner) for the week so I only have to cook all of it once and still account for dinner out with friends.
As a part of K's challenge to write about 'what you eat or crave eat when you eat alone', here's a ME meal that I make often as its easy to prepare and a comfort dish for me.
It is a Bangladeshi dish called 'Khichuri' which means 'hodge podge of things'. It is commonly prepared during rainy days when no one feels like spending hours in the kitchen or going out to buy fresh grocery. It can be made with stuff at home and reminds me a lot of my childhood when rainy days meant quality time with the parents and siblings- playing board games and enjoying quiet times.
2 cups of Basmati Rice
1 cup of split orange lentils
1 cup onions chopped
2 green chillies (split in half)
1 tsp cumin powder
1/3 tsp turmeric powder
1/3 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp chopped garlic
Salt (little more than just to taste)
Mix everything together in a rice cooker pot and add 6 cups of water. Cook until the rice is more on the 'mushy' side. Serve hot with a side of an omelet prepared with sliced onions and green chillies. Some people like it with a dash of clarified butter on the rice, I don't. I make a quick tomatoes-onion-crushed red chili flakes-olive oil salad to go with it. The sweetness of the tomato really goes well with the spiciness of the dish, even though spicy food is probably my biggest weakness. Its easy and can be made within 20 minutes for a healthy and hearty meal for one. You can even add veggies to the rice and cook it all in the same pot if you want to make it a even filling meal.
(I had some left over beef curry to go with the Khichuri this time :)
The post where Tazzy obsesses about a TV show (again)
Didn't think it was possible to catch up on 5 seasons of a TV show in the course of two months, but yep, I did it. All 103 episodes of it. Online streaming.
"Lost" was THAT good.
It is not just an incredibly scripted storyline that is easy to get obsessed about. It also epitomises popular archetypes and real-world issues that are more tangible than a 'love triangle. Yes, I do realise that all this makes me sound like all the millions of sci fi Battlestar Gallactica fans who say nutty things like "its just not about space travel", but I don't care. Its smart, action packed, mysterious, angst filled, scary, puzzling, sad and ofcourse has all the 'romance stuff'...packed packed in just the right amount. The storyline does get madcap right around the fifths season with ancient gods travelling through time, just to buy a 8 year old a 'New Kids On the Block' lunchbox so she doesn't steal it. But the thing that keeps it all afloat that the creators are very aware of how madcap it all sounds and and are having so much fun doing it because they are as equally obsessed with the show as its viewers.
I don't think the creators of Lost intend it to be this way, but one of my favourite 'lesson' of the show has to be
- just how many times we can be wrong about a gut feeling of 'This was meant to be!'.
I seriously never noticed how often we think (or may be just me) like that.
Locke thinking that "crashing on the Island, finding the hatch, pushing the button , the Island choosing him to lead the Others ...all of it were meant to be" and repeatedly being knocked over the head with "No! you dolt, you were wrong" signs might be fantastic fiction but none of us have to crash a plane on a time travelling island to do that. Seeing the same person around the city twice in the same month could have us scratching our heads and thinking we are fated to be married under the stars when the person might be the Mad Hatter!
The incredible part is that just like the rest of us, Locke and all the Oceanic people just pick them selves up and forge ahead with the next harebrained plan, no matter how many times their 'gut feeling' just kicks them in the shin.
How can you resist watching it?
January 2010 could not come sooner!
PS: Lost also has the most kickass Time Travel theory that I've ever seen in fiction!
PPS: Did I mention the insanely hot, shirtless testosterone loaded bodies in the show that are running in and out of the water, dashing throug the jungle, contemplating getting rescued and growing a scuffy but kinda hot beard? Consider yourself warned. The women are just as equally hot..but not shirtless ofcourse...just the right amount of tanktop/bikini tops over jeans combo to keep the guys interested.
PPPS: AAh "Jack, how misunderstood and beautiful you are"