Tagged: vegetarian

Mom’s Indo-french toast

I love eggs.

The Eggnoggins

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, this may not be news to you. I hope you aren’t tired of hearing it though because this certainly won’t be the last time I play this tune. Eggs are my favourite food. After potatoes, of course, but before everything else. I could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner, possibly fold in a delicate egg salad sandwich at tea too. Then I could begin all over the next morning and let this course of affairs continue all month. I’d venture to say the month after too, but that probably wouldn’t be possible as I may have overdosed on egg by then. Age has taught me that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Stupid growing up. So over-rated. It has to ruin everything.

Peter Pan-esque rant aside, eggs honestly are my preferred way to get my protein fix. I was hooked with my first omelette, moving through the entire gamut of boiled, fried, scrambled, basically any way to have eggs. I was the official weekend omelette-for-dinner maker of the house in my teens. This was the one thing my mom left me alone in the kitchen to work with. The tines of a fork whipped through the sunny yolk as it mixed in with the  silver egg white while the fork tinged a rhythm against the steel bowl. Fold in a few basic ingredients and there was a lovely omelette ready in no time. Few suppers were as divine and simple as this.

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Kimchi fried rice with crispy shallots

Combine a hectic work schedule with an insane social life and you find yourself staring wide-eyed at the calendar wondering where April and most of May have gone. I’m thankful for both, but various things seem to have gathered momentum at the same time and it has taken considerable effort to stay ahead of it all rather than simply hang on desperately in fear of falling off. The time I’ve gotten to spend in my kitchen has been minimal which is such a shame, considering that this is the most enthusiastic time of year, produce-wise.

For us, there has been a lot of quick food or take-out on those few days we’ve been able to sink into the pleasures of staying in (very under-rated in my opinion). There have been a few quick tomato and cheese or peanut butter sandwiches while the bread lasted, or boiled eggs and toast (easily my favourite meal-in-a-hurry) while the eggs lasted. This one heavenly indulgent night was when I didn’t have anywhere to be and could make this potato vegetable which we ate with some rotis. That is the sad state of affairs these past weeks. Amey and I haven’t been getting in early enough to spend decent quality time at the markets. It is times like this when an intelligently stocked pantry can save your life.

Living in a small apartment means that you catch on pretty quick to what is cake and what is icing, metaphorically speaking.  You learn very quickly that a hoarding complex or an over-sentimental attachment to stuff is a one-way ticket to madness. Everything at our place is based on turnover. So to have something new, you have to get rid of something old. We have achieved phenomenal success in applying this rule to practically everything except books and food ingredients. I’m having a harder time with the pantry then the library really, because in a broad sense, the entire apartment is a library. Thankfully, the same cannot be said of the pantry.

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Gourmet’s cheese and scallion drop biscuits

Let’s face it. The Bay area weather hasn’t really been up to snuff lately. What’s worse is we’re talking rainy weekends here, people. Last week was no different. We got two glorious days of sunshine that turned into a gray, rainy weekend. To add insult to injury, now as I write this on Sunday evening, the sun is out.

My pre-Monday morning blues just got bluer.

I think I love winter and gray skies way more than the average person, but it is almost a month into spring. Really weather gods, could you get with the program already? Given that this is Northern California, those May flowers are inevitable, why the April storms? We’re also probably well stocked with the Hetch Hetchy for now, what with the intense winter. How about we get a break, huh? More importantly, a weekend truce. A break from this weird “will it, won’t it?” pro-con game you’ve got us playing. Because frankly, it’s getting on my nerves.

Yesterday, it rained when I was inside and stopped when I came out. The black clouds though, hovered with this pervading sense of threat. When you’re juggling a few odds-and-ends up certain hills, without any actual rain but with an umbrella that keeps knocking you in the shins every second step, all you want to do is hurl it at the sky in your very own Jay & Silent Bob “Damn yous all to hell” moment. Yet not carrying such protection leaves you at the mercy of the contrary elements, which you cannot risk. So there you are, feeling a complete fool for trying to be prepared. Not to mention feeling the pain in those very sore shins.

That same unreal pro-con feeling seeped through most of my weekend. On the pro side, I finally made it back to Omnivore Books as I’ve meaning to since my last trip. On the con side, I forgot to check updates and walked into a shop where Alice Waters sat signing copies of her books. Yes, I love getting my books signed. No, I did not have my copy of The Art of Simple Food. I couldn’t even make eye contact with the author, talk about a completely absurd sense of guilt! Omnivore Books is intimate enough that it is not easy to browse all the shelves when there’s a book signing set up. So with a quick perusal, we turned to head out.
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Jamie Oliver’s Lemon-Vanilla no bake Cheesecake with Blackberry sauce

With the perspective that comes with distance (and maturity, one can dare to hope), I realize that I was unbelievably lucky when I was growing up. Though I spent years wishing my mum worked at something else other than focusing her laser gaze and brains on us, a happy result of that was a varied and healthy diet. She cooked from fresh ingredients and rarely fed us the same thing two times in a row. We weren’t allowed to eat leftovers until we turned ten. Picky (read:annoying as hell) though I was, I was forced to eat everything on my plate. Childish resentment aside, as an adult, I have only a sense of gratitude for mandatory exposure to every vegetable possible.

The pace of life has changed incredibly in the span of the last twenty years. What was once choice has now become necessity as both mothers and fathers everywhere need to work to provide for their families. Fewer children (I’m sure even back in India) have all day access to their mothers. Enter other agencies that step in to plug the gaps. Frozen food has become a multi-million dollar industry. Fast food is reducing life expectancy everywhere. The food provided in schools to children in order to save parents the time is not much different from fast food.

Some people argue that those (like me) who would like an embargo on the daily consumption of fast food as a full meal should take a look at the calories that they are consuming out of the home-cooked fare. Home cooked meals, they argue, aren’t much that much less in calorie content. The thing is, it is not calories that are causing problems in the growth of children everywhere. It is the preservatives, processing and quality of ingredients that goes into the fast food that is the problem. That, along with portion sizes. Heck, don’t take my word for it. I don’t even have children. But if you do and you live in the United States, you may want to take a minute to hear from a man who does have kids, has done oodles of research and knows what he’s talking about. Jamie Oliver spearheaded the change in school lunches in the UK. Now he’s hoping to do the same in this country, one with the highest obesity rates in the world.

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Smitten Kitchen’s Snickerdoodles (and an anniversary giveaway)

There’s a lot to celebrate today if you are looking for that kind of thing. We sprung forward and practically everyone is cheering, especially since we’ve been greeted by a super gorgeous day. (I’m not. I mourn my lost hour of sleep but I’m odd that way.) We also celebrated Pi Day, a fact that I’m beginning to be more cognizant of in recent years than I was before. Not surprising, since it was born in San Francisco. In the light of changing seasons, I’ve been thinking about several things; from new flowers (aren’t they gorgeous?!) to bar stools (I’ve got to stop shovelling down breakfast standing at the kitchen counter). So preoccupied have I been that it almost passed me by. It would have been awful if I’d missed it. Really it would. For today, you see, is my first blogversary!

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