Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My freezer gave up :(

I had never thought I would have a freezer stacked with frozen food. I grew up believing refrigerator freezers are for making ice cubes, storing ice cream and for a quick chill. Frozen meat?? Nahhhh….meat shops are always around the corner.

But here in KSA, its so so so hot and humid that I feel guilty asking my husband to go buy stuff, and we women here don’t have the freedom to do our own grocery shopping. So we thought why not just stock some in the freezer. That’s a sensible win-win solution…until my freezer gave up yesterday.

I was in the mood for some ‘chepala pulusu’ (fish curry Andhra style) and went to take out some to defreeze and goshhhhhh…for some reason my freezer wasn’t working. What do I do? I immediately googled ‘Freezer breakdown frozen meat’ and got no solution I liked. So, I boiled the peas, made chicken biriyani and mutton curry. And yeah there were a quarter kilo prawns that I boiled with salt and pepper so I could put ‘em back in the fridge. Three pieces of fish which I fried but somehow had a feeling it got spoiled. I threw it away :(

I have no problems cooking. I love cooking. But this was ‘forced cooking’. I had no choice. I couldn’t let all that spoil. We couldn’t even share the food with friends as a bachelor friend of my husband and a friend of mine with a family are both away on a vacation. So I cooked it all and I don’t have to cook for atleast 3 days. So I think for some time I will stick to fresh meat. (My husband will have to sweat some more).

And yeah, I forgot to mention the chicken mortadella and thank god I have a two door fridge!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What’s the matter with me???

My husband says I remind him of Monica (from FRIENDS) most of the time. No, I didn’t have a boyfriend named Richard. Yeah, you guessed it…I am a bit of a cleanliness/neat freak. Not because it’s next to godliness or something but because if its not clean there are more germs there. Right?!?

My kitchen sink needs to be dry and shining, my kitchen towels washed every second day, soap dispensers near every tap in the house, tissues at hands reach. It’s a good idea to wash even a spoon everytime before you use it (maybe a cockroach crawled over it). A cupboard once opened needs to be closed and everytime I step out of my front door I need to wash my feet. And, don’t you ever walk into my house with your shoes on.

All this wouldn’t have sounded weird if I didn’t just love eating the roadside food. I just don’t like the idea of ordering pani puri and eating it from a plate. They taste so good when that fellow makes it at the speed he does. The pav bhaji outside ‘slim gym’ in Vizag, wada pav outside Churchgate station, kulfi on SG road in Ahm’bad, bread omelet in railway stations, onion samosa in cinema halls. Sometimes you find some vendors making rounds on a cycle in your colony selling hot idlis with yummy chutney (my brother says their secret ingredient is their unwahed hands…yukkkkk).

How come I don’t think of the cockroaches, the dirt and the germs when I eat all that stuff ? It is weird. It is unreasonable and irritating. I know. I tried to understand the psychology behind this but failed. So did my brother and now my husband. So now my husband and I made a deal…he does not talk about ‘germs and unclean hands’ when I eat the tasty roadside food and I don’t bug him with the ‘wash your hands, clean the spoon, close the cupboard’ stuff (it’s annoying and I am trying really hard).

BTW- I don’t eat the ‘saunf’ that comes with the bill or at the counter in restaurants…how many unclean hands must have gone into that???

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Chai piyo ji, accha chai piyo ji!

Plain Chai, adrak chai, elaichi chai, masala chai, Irani chai, pudina chai, lemon tea,black tea, green tea, ice tea, SP tea, strong tea, light tea and then ‘bed tea’. This is a completely different kind of a chai. No matter what kind of tea, it always tastes better when you have it as bed tea. You get what I mean ;).

When I was a kid I used to hope I had a mild temperature once in a while so I could get to have some tea (part of Tender Love and Care). That’s what most of us hoped as kids I guess. I used to hate exams but looked forward for the study time because my mom would give me chai hoping I would stay up late to study. I used to stay up, to have chai. I used to wake up early to have it. My little brother and I used to wait for my grand mom to make us something she called ‘biscuit tea’ (2 drops of tea in a cup full of milk). The feeling that tea was in there was enough to make us excited.

I have a liking for the street vendors chai. Especially like the glass tumblers they give it in. I also love the kullad chai. During my PG a friend of mine and me would have 1 by 2 every hour (am not exaggerating this).After every hour we used to rush to the chai bandi which was run by an aunty (we called her that too). During my last job, there used to be this boy called ‘Naidu’ who used to bring chai in a flask from some small tea café, twice a day. Mind you, our office did have a Coffee Day coffee machine, but we took into the taste of tea brewed in the same dish for a whole day. Suddenly he disappeared breaking our hearts. And soon we all saw a ray of hope at the street corner, our new ‘adda’. It brings back such nice memories now…even during the hot summer Swathi, Divya, Rachael and me used to go for our daily ‘chai and nankatai’ sessions. Gossip, movie reviews, boss bitching, reasons why con-calls are a waste of time, client dissection, sale strategies (ones in marketing would know this). I wish some day the 4 of us can again go for one more session.

Frankly, I am more of a coffee person, but tea is what I just need some times. Adrak wali chai for the tired times, elaichi chai when in a romantic mood, masala chai during winters, pudina chai with Shalini (she makes it damn good), plain chai with Britannia Marie for chit-chatting afternoons and bed chai on weekends.

BTW- did I mention that my husband makes very good chai!