I love cooking. I come from a family who loves to cook and eat. We never think of food as a hobby or an interest, its just way of life. I remember how my dad used to get 3-4 kinds of seafood while coming back from work and insist that mom make one kind of fish for me, the other for my brother, one for curry.. you get the idea, right? So I always had this love for home cooked meals which I never realized till I came to US and started cooking my own meals. My start wasn’t that great. I couldn’t identify which dishes needed garlic, which required ginger and what dishes were incomplete without either of them. And if you are from India, not knowing this is like missing out on learning the alphabets.
Luckily for me, I met L (aka Zulu) here. One of our loves was food. Both of us loved home-cooked meals. 2 months into the relationship, he made the most life-changing statement ‘All your chicken dishes taste the same’… AWKWARD!! A statement like this is a absolute no-no according to all the relationship books out there. But, for a change, this was an my AHA moment. I finally realized that me dumping ingredients in the pan and ending up with something edible didn’t make me a cook. So I finally started taking cooking seriously. And let me say this, when they say ‘cook with your heart’, they aren’t kidding! When you start letting your heart decide which ingredients go in the pot, the food on the plate tastes exactly like what you imagined it would. Slowly the pieces started falling in place and I can proudly say that I’ve reached a point where my food tastes good. And L is happy 🙂 What more could a girl ask for …
The path to becoming a better cook is littered with many of the small wins that I’ll always cherish. It’s become a source of interesting conversation topics. Case in point, conversation on how to make Paleo cookies by substituting sugar & eggs with ripe bananas. Being a homebody has never been more fun when you are trying a new recipe or a previously unknown ingredient eg. Collard greens 🙂 And making new discoveries about myself. Me, a self professed seafood fan, am better at cooking vegetarian stuff as opposed to non-veg dishes. Who knew?!! It’s a stress buster, a routine, a habit. A welcome habit. What could underscore this more other than the topic that L wrote about while this current post was still a draft is about food 🙂 And the reason why this was a draft when he hit the publish button on his post?? I was devouring the tacos that he made B-)
Tikka Tacos was one thing I was planning on for so long and recently it became a reality. Food is one thing that really detoxifies me and it came once again to the rescue on a gloomy tiring/irritating Sunday evening. Didn’t have an awesome day and wanted to cook something for the evening to put a nice end to the weekend (funny concept ehh…END to a week-END(something like metabraces)?????). Well its about the tikka tacos and not the day so let me tell the taco tale.
Wanted to get some chiken drumsticks (started to dislike boneless stuff now) and wanted to make something not tandoori. Even though it tastes awesome, I am feeling kinda monotonous about it now. I always tell my friends about how I will start my taco truck and still not for once did I try making a single taco , and voila there came the recipe, “I should make tacos. Lets make tacos“. (more…)
Last Saturday I woke up really early. I thought I heard the doorbell ring. You see, a gardener was supposed to come early morning, on a Saturday (*rolling eyes*). And since my need of getting our front yard in a decent shape so that we don’t get known as the only people on the block with a horrible gardening skills, was greater than my much needed beauty sleep, I was awake since 7am. Long story short, yes the gardener did turn up at an ungodly hour of 8am on a Saturday. And I did what any normal person would do on a Saturday morning. I went back to sleep after he left.
I woke after 2 hours with a horrible realization that I couldn’t move my head. I had a shooting pain in my neck everytime I tried to tilt to my head. The whole weekend I relied on Icy-Hot cream. Come Tuesday morning, the neck pain not only showed no signs of receding, but actually resulted in me waking up in the middle of the night trying to wake up Z to ask him to help me move my head ‘coz I couldn’t do it on my own. 2 days and 2 trips to the Urgent Care and finally strong meds & a neck brace later I realized a few things.
When we are fine and healthy we take the simplest things for granted. I realized this when I had to ask my husband if my neck was straight or lopsided in an effort to adjust in a position with minimum pain.
The sympathy helps. You find yourself being bumped up in queues since people feel bad about making someone wearing a neck brace wait for long.
The neck brace…. Not weird at all.. Ok I’ll admit, its weird for the first 15 minutes where you think of yourself as really old & all. But the one I have is actually pretty cool. Its black & soft and definitely doesn’t look anything like the pink/beige ones you must’ve seen. And don’t even get me started on how comfortable it is when you actually need to wear it!
The doctors understand you when you say that you are scared of getting a shot inspite of the fact that it sounds like the only way out from the horrible pain. Their means of showing that they understand – pat your hand and look at you with an expression we generally reserve for kids who throw away all their candy just to make a point.
Toy Story (1-3) playing on the only TV in the hospital waiting room makes the long hours go so fast that you actually regret when the nurse calls out your name.. C’mon Woody was just trying to save everyone from ending up at Sunnyside!!!
And the last thing… I got asked atleast 5 times in my 2 visits whether I was pregnant or about to be.. all women out there should pray that they don’t end up getting hurt when they are pregnant. You won’t get the meds!!
Here’s to a happy and healthy week/month/year/life…
I got a new haircut.. Colored my hair.. from black.. to violet.. Whoaa.. says everyone around me.. But I don’t feel that I’ve made a radical change. Well, some background. I’ve always had a particular haircut (a blunt cut throughout school/college/school). Only sorta radical change that I made was to straighten it a few years back. But I never colored it. So this time when I was frustrated with my look, I found myself making a call to a random salon I found on yelp and making an appointment. I reached there an hour before my scheduled time. Luckily they accepted walk-ins. When the stylist asked me what I wanted, I said ‘Do whatever you think would look good’. Luckily for me she had a great taste. She used the violet color (which doesn’t really stand up when used on black hair, but once light hits it, you can see that I wasn’t lying :P) Mind you my stylist had 3 colors in her shoulder length hair (blonde, purple & black).. When I stepped out, I realised that I always liked color. I just never colored my hair ‘coz it just took more effort/time that I wanted to invest.
Everyone, at work, at home was shocked when they saw me. Apparently I was always radical inside but lacked the outward expression for that. Maybe quite a few of us are like that. We, knowingly or unknowingly, bottle up the real us. I don’t know why. But when we let ourselves loose, we don’t feel an overwhelming sense of freedom. It feels normal. ‘Coz inside we know it’s the real us. We’ve always seen this, the others haven’t. It’s a change for them. So did I really go punk? Or was I always punk but never revealed the hidden layers to the outside world?
Yesterday was my first dive into the Japanese culinary galaxy. I tried my luck on making the Miso soup and sushi for my wife on her birthday and combining it with the Valentine’s Day. (I thought I was smart :p)
We ended up having an amazing plate of hand rolled sushi, California style sushi rolls and a flavorful bowl of miso soup but there is a confession that I can only make through this post. In the process of preparation for such an ambitious step, I lost track of everything else. I forgot the reasons and was totally controlled by the fragrance that the open simmering pot of konbu sea weed and wakame seeds was doing to my senses.
Making the miso soup was kind of an education to me. How different flavors can gel so well and create a real symphony of flavors.The kind of flavors extracted from the preparation were so off the charts (read my first time use of such ingredients ever); I don’t know what’s in-store if one gets it from the masters themselves.
I salute the ingredients, the thinkers, the makers and the ones who have mastered this art where you walk on this thin line, and the result is either a ‘0’ or a ‘1’ (I had to get in binary somehow).I don’t know if there exists something like an edible miso soup. It’s good, awesome, great or BAD.
I will try to learn more from this experience, study the flavor profile of the bonitos, the wakames and the konbus a bit more and will get back with my new dives.
I have to, I have to.
So stay tuned
I would like to thank the saleswoman at the Japanese grocery store who literally took my list of ingredients, changed it a bit on what could make the recipe taste better than what I had and handpicked it for me.
Thanks a lot, for you really made our evening, but most importantly you held my hand when I just decided to jump in the ocean without the safety gear.
This Saturday the ever-trusty postman delivered the next movie on my Netflix queue, Dan in Real Life. I hadn’t seen or heard about the movie before I put it in my queue. Infact I don’t remember what, besides Steve Carell’s presence, appealed to me. But here it was and we popped it into the player while having a late dinner on Saturday. I started having second thoughts when I realized that how the 2 guys, L & my cousin, would take this senti movie. But within the first few minutes I wasn’t even thinking about all this. Without giving away too much, its a movie about how we can easily lose ourselves in our everyday lives & how that one person can walk into your life and change the whole course, make you feel alive..
It definitely resonated with me. Here you are, drifting through each day without feeling or a mass of them, without a definite course. And then one day someone just comes along.. A stranger who within the first conversation seems as if he understands the words you left unsaid. Who can make sense of your confusion, even if you cannot. He steers you away from all the mess you’ve made onto a course you didn’t even know you were meant to be on. He gently prods and pushes you to put all your fears & doubts into perspective and stands waiting in wings incase you need help conquering those fears. He gives you the confidence that you can be your best self, something that you’d forgotten along the way. And then one day, when the big question is popped as a surprise with that friend kneeling in front of you, you question yourself (while reeling from the shock of the suddenness of it), what more do you want from someone you would like to spend your life with? All those childish and romance novels induced ideas of Tall, Dark & Handsome fly out of the window. And like the proverbial bulb switching on, you finally realize that this is it. This is what you want .. this is what you’ve unknowingly waited all your life for. This unquestioning trust, the unwavering support of someone who will be there to share the good & the bad parts.. Someone who appreciates the same things as you do & will laugh away all your quirks. Somehow with this person, your flaws seem to shine too & actually add to the allure.
I don’t know if this is exactly what the movie set out to convey, but it did bring back some fond memories. Do give it a try.
a temporary fashion, notion, manner of conduct, etc., esp. one followed enthusiastically by a group.
All of us, at one time or other, have blindly followed the latest trends. Infact so much that neon cycling shorts, oversized tshirts, all teenybopper songs owe their success to these this mass mania. In the past few years ‘being social’ has been the latest ‘it’. And lately, check-ins.
I have always wanted to get onboard this craze. But I thought that surely there’s no one interested in knowing that I checked into my local grocery store (or that I go to 3 of them,.. ummm… thts another blog post). Anyways!! I finally went to this restaurant which ranked passably on my cool-enough-to-let-the-world know barometer and I feverishly downloaded the Foursquare app on my dinosaur (psst.. iPhone 2G). But thanks to ever-efficient AT&T, the app took ages to download and when it did, the app started crashing everytime I tried signing up. Thwarted at the first attempt, next time I was ready. I had my ever handy Yelp app, which also allowed check-ins (you see everyone except me has jumped on this :P). And I was already logged in so that I don’t give AT&T one more chance to screw me over. On one rare Friday night where me & L decided to act our age & went for an early meal outside (check-in#1), a secondhand bookstore that I absolutely love (check-in#2). The stack of awesome books that we carried under our arms tempted us to go home & kickback our feet threatening our check-in plan. So we stuck to our plan & went to our fav dive bar (check-in#3). So what did the next day bring? No, not a hangover, we didn’t go THAT crazy! 😛 But an evaluation as to what our check-in experience taught us.
a. We had an amazing time!! And that too after such a long time
b. Scored some awesome books..
c. This check-in isn’t all that great for the reasons that its promoted. But it does have an appeal if you are into the I’ll-have-fun-so-that-I-can-show-that-I-had-fun category.
But our fun wasn’t because of the check-ins. I (yes, the hubby didn’t know about my check-in mania till he checked his twitter feed the next day), had fun during that time & it wasn’t dictated by the check-ins or even any technology media. It was good old fashioned going out with friends on a Friday kinda fun. So even though I didn’t fall in love with the whole fad & won’t be following the world (src: Foursquare 2010 report card: 3400% growth), but if you love it, sure, go ahead. There’s a reason the terms ‘fads’ was added to the dictionary 😉
Who are we?
1825 Steps is an attempt by 2 engineers to log everything we love, to mention a few: cooking, gardening. Who are we
Preeti: Dreamer, Rookie cook/baker, Sudoku addict
Zulu, aka L: Youtube Evangelist, a pretty awesome cook (added by Peetu ;) )