esmenet: Little!Anthy with swords (Default)
Today i successfully made dosa! I have been having dosa CRAVINGS off and on for weeks, without the chance to go get any, so i am both fulfilled and very proud.

...now i want more and there isn't any. hmph.
esmenet: Scar frowning (:[)
I am always irrationally angry at restaurants that stop serving food in the middle of the day. I DID NOT WALK AROUND FOR THREE HOURS AFTER I FOUND OUT MY FAVORITE FAR-AWAY RESTAURANT WAS CLOSED JUST TO DRINK TEA AND EAT CAKE, YOU BIG JERKS. Or, on other days, PEOPLE GET HUNGRY WHEN THEY'RE HUNGRY NOT AT ARBITRARILY DECIDED TIMES OF THE DAY OK.
esmenet: Mugen with his sword over his shoulder, Jin with his at his side. From the opening of Samurai Champloo. (the voice of summer)
I think someone in this town may have lots of zucchini. Someone who is NOT ME.

If it turns out that the entire town has been hiding their zucchini from me and laughing about my inability to cook things without one summer vegetable, I may have to instigate some sort of war.
esmenet: Light blue background, with a darker blue Water Tribe symbol and the text "Shopping! *claps* :D" (shopping!)
I think my favorite thing about this town is the Indian/Pakistani grocery. It's a wonderful, wonderful place—they get fresh produce in twice a week, things like four different kinds of eggplant and 99-cents-a-pound tomatoes and $10-a-box mangoes. And all sorts of things I don't usually cook with, like okra and tiny green mangoes and raw peanuts in their shells and little green chilies and a hundred things I don't know the names of or what to do with but that look absolutely delicious. They had carrots once, big giant things full of flavour. They always have yellow onions and red onions and garlic and those little oniony things that I think might be shallots. And good boiling potatoes. And curry leaves and coriander leaves (cilantro) and limes. Even in winter everything is cheap, and they have mangoes from Mexico weeks before even the strawberries are in, locally.

And the spices. Everything you could want in little plastic bags, black pepper and amchoor and cumin and coriander and mustard seeds and tumeric and panch phoran and kallonji and granulated garlic and chili powder and red pepper flakes and cloves and straight little pieces of cinnamon bark, and five kinds of dried chilies and and and. You can buy cumin seeds in even 800-gram bags.

Dal of all kinds, masoor (brown or red lentils) and chana (chickpeas) and moong, whole or split, and toovar and kidney beans and a few kinds I can't remember the names of because I never use them. This is where we buy our kidney beans and chickpeas to cook in our pressure cooker, in two-pound bags.

Flours, chickpea and moong and rice and wheat. I never buy any of them, but someday I will.

So many things I've never tried. Pasta shaped like wheels, in different colors, like the ones small children glue to paper. Jaggery, raw sugar, in smallish lumps and in big half-cones. Masalas and chutneys and instant food/mixes for all kinds of things. Peanut brittle and chana brittle and sesame brittle. Tea biscuits.

A hundred different baked and fried snacks, made with rice flour or moong flour or various dals and paprika and cumin and a thousand things listed only as 'spices'.

Ten- and twenty-pound bags of basmati and jasmine rice, that we always put in the freezer for a few weeks after a bad experience with one batch. I love the feeling of rice grains freezing together when water is poured onto them, and the way they so easily break up with just a little squeeze.

A big refrigerated section, where we buy naan and roti enough to last us for a month. At least three different flavours of naan, though we tend to go for plain. Roti cook fast in a dry pan on the stove, you can cook one up in two or three minutes and eat it in a napkin on your way to school—it's not filling, but tasty and warm enough not to mind that.

28-ounce bags of cashews from Vietnam, for half the price the local health food store sells them.

An aisle we only discovered yesterday, with on-stove pressure cookers and rolling pins big and small and plastic garlic presses and heavy iron skillets and $1 metal tasting/stirring spoons and devices for cooking idli in the microwave. All things I find lovely and rather want, though I have not the slightest idea what an idli is.

If you told me I could only go to one grocery store for the rest of my life, this had better be it.


Also, on an unrelated note, my mother and myself just spent several hundred dollars on necklaces. Ouch, my metaphorical wallet. But yay my pretty azurite/malachite pendant? It is deep forest green and turquoise-coloured and has little bits of brown. The setting is very plain but silver, and the vendor gave me a discount on a chain to put it on. And now I have a little polishing cloth to replace the one I lost before, so that is definitely yay. I have a couple of bracelets that could really use it. (I almost cried when I heard this is his last year coming to the arts festival. He was probably at the last one but we missed it, so we only have one piece each from the year before. Maybe we'll go back tomorrow and I'll get one of those lovely rings I was looking at, even though we're probably over our jewelery budget for the year.)
esmenet: Scar frowning (:[)
Something I am sure is news to no one but me: Kansas is absolutely shit for vegetarian food. Like, in the last few days the only protein or vegetables (and most of the fruit) I have eaten has come out of our cooler. I did not know that I could actually go into a restaurant and find nothing I wanted to eat except dessert! At home, even if I were banned from cooking for a week or two I could eat pretty well. Possibly without eating the same kind of food twice. Apart from all the college-student-y restaurants, we have a bunch of small groceries with vegan instant food and the like, as well as plenty of places to get fresh vegetables that can be eaten raw. I'm sure some of that is due to my living in a college town, and some to living there for fifteen years, but in Tampa and on that Christmas cruise there was plenty of fairly good food. Even at the airports. In Kansas, all I've found are carbohydrates and sugar.

I actually almost cried at the restaurant this evening, where everything contained meat and everything that did not contain meat contained cheese. Every. fucking. thing. Even what I did end up ordering, except for the cake-mix-y chocolate cake with overly-rich ice cream that I couldn't finish and felt sick after trying to.

So tired of Kansas, y'all.

Am dreaming of vegetables and chickpeas cooked in olive oil and dal with jasmine rice. Can't wait to go home and cook again.


One more day in Kansas, one more day driving home. Must have patience.

mmm, food

Jan. 16th, 2011 05:03 pm
esmenet: Little!Anthy with swords (Default)
Thing made of raw ingredients that has the highest deliciousness:effort ratio: Easy Sugar-free Carrot Kinpira. I double or more-than-double the amount of carrots so I can have more food and less oil, too. Mmmm!

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