Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Happiness is...

Unlike other better-known bloggers, I have not been suffering from bloggers' block. Rather, procrastination and laziness are more likely reasons for the absence of any posts since my last one.

It must seem to all that I treat food as muse. Freudians will snark that such overt fascination for food may very likely be a substitute for other er passions. Be that as may be, I should have been super-extra motivated to blog the last couple of weeks but honestly I was busy with work as well as guests (my lovely Didibhai & JB, her even lovelier husband - jb being short for jamaibabu).

So since I last posted, I have had a nice Afghan dinner, complete with Qabuli Pulaw, Chapli Kebab, Kaddu, Mantoo and Firni. We have had crab in the SF Chinatown, chowder in Monterey, various sandwiches in Healdsburg in Sonoma, Thai in Berkeley and alas for a self-proclaimed foodie even a meal at The Cheesecake Factory. Hey that is quite quite representative of US food habits - if not 'cuisine'. We have really not been up for or had the time to eat good 'Californian' yet, so suggestions are helpful!

Actually though the culinary star of the last ten days has been my mom whipping up lots of good Bangali khabar like Shaager Ghonto, Alu Posto, Machher Kalia, Doi Begun and Lau Chingri. Oh and she does make excellent dal, arhar, musoor, chhola, the works. Drool! Not to make anybody jealous but I brought lunch to work today - Peas Kochuri and Alur Dom. Sighhh - whatever will I do when she leaves? Lose a little weight maybe, which is an excellent thing!

We've also managed to drive up and down the bay area, to Sonoma and Bodega Bay and San Jose and Berkeley and Oakland and Monterey and of course San Francisco. Minimize tolls people, go to SF in the morning from the east Bay and drive up Golden Gate Bridge and back down Richmond Bridge! LOL. I am of course only half kidding about the minimizing tolls bit! I have driven close to 600 miles in the last ten days, and my commute is 0.6 miles including my parking lot (trust me I have checked).

In other news I had convinced myself that I'd lost my W-2 and another tax related document until I found them safely tucked inside my least used red plaid purse, duh! Didibhai and ma have been treated to the rather entertaining sight of me walking around the apartment, muttering and opening various drawers and looking under books and my stack of Rolling Stones (the only magazine I subscribe to, LOL). They of course had too much sense to ask me anything as they would have been liable to get their heads snapped off if they had!

Oh also, I was rather chuffed at being able to say what Theobroma means ('Food of the Gods' how appropriate!) in a tour of the Scharffen Berger factory. Felt rather like the star student when I apparently also 'correctly' (not that this means anything objective in this context) identified the citrusy undertone in their 70% chocolate. I'm hoping they are gonna call me when that job of Her Nibs, the Chief Chocolate Taster opens up there :)

P.S. Appreciative and affectionate gestures to an Unnamed Person (UP) for generally being sweet and the most unexpected roses :)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I give up: More weekend updates...

I am now convinced that Superbowl Sunday is the best day to go anywhere. Traffic's easy and the crowds are busy glued to the idiot box. Ma and I went to Point Reyes last Sunday and it was a gorgeous sunny day with no crowds. Absolutely amazing! We saw the Elephant Seals and walked part of the way to the lighthouse. Very nice beaches and next time one will pack food and make it a picnic!! We'd stopped first at the tiny Pine Cone Diner in Point Reyes Station for lunch and Ma satisfied her craving for soup with a very nice Wild Mushroom and Potato Soup.

If Friday was girls' night out with a chick flick (quite quite watchable) and crab wontons at PF Chang's, Saturday was more about running errands (eye-doctors ugh), meeting old friend for lunch and I have totally forgotten what was for dinner (maybe Dosas?).

My weekend spilled over to Monday evening when I went to hear a lecture by Douglas Hofstadter at Stanford. I loved the talk. It was also very comforting to return to an academic environment for that time. Self-deprecating humor, dry comments about the rival school nearby (which is always good for some laughter and applause from the students in the crowd) but alas no free food like in a biz school. The talk was good, but did not cover anything over and above the article, 'Analogy as the Core of Cognition' on which it was based.

My friend A (of the grilled pomfret fame) and I followed up the lecture with an amazingly tasty dinner at Spice Islands Cafe in Mountain View. It has (though only for the time being) satisfied my cravings for Roti Canai and Beef Rendang. Yum. I HAVE to go back for more of the same and also to try everything else on the menu. We also had the Lamb Murtabak as well as the Okra Belacan with Prawns which was just truly, amazingly good - spicy, strong and clean - like Indian food crossed with Thai food on steroids! We were so obviously happy with the food that they even gave us some complimentary dessert! Interestingly (maybe obviously given the location) most of the other customers in the restaurant were also Indians.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Through a glass darkly

Apparently I have learned to say sorry. Quickly and honestly. It makes life simpler.

This morning, in the nine minutes between hitting the snooze button and the alarm ringing again, I dreamt of losing baggage (literally and maybe metaphorically?) and going to look for it. Some 'baggage' tried to insinuate itself back into my life (in my dreams though, which makes me laugh at the various levels at which to interpret that). My subconscious, it seems, has a much more interesting life than the one I am more aware of.