Meyer Lemon-Lavender curd

It’s possible I’ve waited too long to tell you about this. Waited is not quite the mot juste here. There isn’t a single word that comprehensively covers how I’ve been dying to tell you all about it with nary a writing opportunity available. This lemon curd got made, gifted, photographed, eaten and thoroughly appreciated, in short, everything but captured in this space here. I’ve been very remiss.

Let’s rectify that right away. Even though chances are that the Meyer Lemon obtaining avenues are closing fast, unless you’re the lucky owner of a tree or you refrigerated your last precious batch. They last in the fridge a long time, these little globs of sunshine. They brought much needed cheer to many a cold winter’s day in my last three months. It’s important that I give this fragrant citrus the some much required props in my virtual home too.

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My aaji’s (grandma’s) Semolina fried prawns

“Why do they get to have so many when we have so few?”

“Because they don’t eat the paplet (pomfret), raja.

“It’s not our fault they don’t eat fish. Why are we being punished? We like the kolumbi (prawns) too”

“Next time, I will ask for many, many more to be bought from the market. Then you can have all that and the fish. Chala putano, jeva aata. (Come my dears, eat your food now.)”

Pick any weekend when there was a fish dinner at grandma’s and you could count on this conversation replaying like a broken record. My cousin Pags and I always knew that we had a sweet deal. His sister and mine knew that that nothing would change, the same thing would happen the next time. Yet one of them always complained of the unfairness of it all. It was almost ritualistic, their complaints, my grandma’s cajoling, Parag and I eating up quick before anyone had a chance to change their mind, the post-dinner grumbling.

I still cannot eat fried prawns without thinking of that time.
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Chicken tacos & salsa

These were the experimental chicken tacos in mentioned in my last post. They turned out pretty good for what was essentially messing around with several ingredients, but frankly the next time I’m going to turn up the heat on them a bit more. Probably Mexican oregano would add another nuance of flavour too. Nevertheless, they work on their on or a a base for more flavour.

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Chorizo & Potato tacos inspired by Tacolicious

We’ve got gas!

Alright, that was a poor dig at shcok vlue, but really we do have gas. The kind you cook with. Oh the joy of fire! Every time I see those sinuous flickering flames licking at the base of the pan, I do a little jig right there in the kitchen. No fancy pants induction stove is a match for a simple gas flame. Amey, who learned to cook only in this country, which means only on electric ranges, is a bit nonplussed at how quickly all his food cooks. He may never live in a house with an electric range again!

Oil starts to shimmer almost as soon as it hits a hot pan. Two-minute noodles actually take two minutes instead of eight. This is the best part of our move, my fabulous new kitchen with its darling gas range. Untouched by human hands before us. Well, except for the people who installed it. I have big plans for this stove. It is way bigger than my previous one. The last one matched the size of my old kitchen and was really made for people who believed cooking meant boiling water for tea. It was tiny. Our friends often marvelled that we cooked the meals on it that we did. The coils were all too close to each other to ever allow all four to be in use at the same time, thereby involving long stints in the kitchen if inviting company over for a meal. This full size range is a treat. Cooking is more of a joy than it ever was. Even the OCD-like reverential cleaning we put it through every time we use it is easier. Things are looking great in our kitchen.

Once we got here and settled in a bit, one of the first things I pulled from my files was this recipe for tacos. I’d been saving it for summer which is a bit silly considering it doesn’t call for summer ingredients or any such thing. You could just as easily make it at any time of year. To me, however, there is something inexplicably summer about tacos. The hand-held food, the riot of colour, the tongue-tantalizing hit of heat and spice, they evoke beaches and sun. I’d been daydreaming of taco picnics in the park in the cold of April. We haven’t quite gotten to the picnic yet but there have been tacos. Several experiments, like the accompanying chicken taco in the photo above; but mostly there has been a repeat of this chorizo-and-potato kind, because they are quite quick and delicious in an I-want-to-eat-these-for-every-meal-for-the-rest-of-your-life kind of way.

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