Month: September 2012

unhurried curry

Since you made the ginger-garlic paste (you did, right?  you stepped away from the computer and plopped the three ingredients into your food processor and pressed the BINGO button, right?), maybe now you want to try that simple fish curry that Punty threw together, which is not exceptionally simple, in that a good number of ingredients and steps are involved, but is not at all difficult, in that the main skills required are stirring and the pressing of buttons.  And the rewards are copious. Fresh curry leaves are presently available in my local Healthe Foode Shoppe, but can also be mail ordered or purchased in a specialty Indian grocery and frozen in an airtight bag for nearly indefinite storage.  Tamarind paste comes in dry blocks, which I am told is the best quality, but which must be soaked and pounded and strained; you can also buy it in a jar and this ease of use means its a compromise I make with no regrets.  It keeps quite nicely in the fridge for longer than it …

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fully fed up

My sister has a shockingly beautiful friend named Purnima, which is already a pretty lucky thing to have, and when you consider that she is called Punty, and is the kind of cook whose meals make the people who have eaten them get misty in the recalling, and that she came over recently and gave me a cooking lesson–well, the luckiness factor just multiplies exponentially. She was planning to teach me how to make a simple fish curry, and she did that.  But even a simple fish curry has a lot of steps. I am reluctant to tell you how to do anything that has a lot of steps, generally.  There are layers and layers of flavor in a good curry, and you do not get those in a snap, unless you buy a jar of what a friend of mine calls Curry In A Hurry, and then you have something, but not anything you would serve to Punty or that would make anyone terribly misty when they recalled it.  This is not to say …

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the hot sweet

A late-afternoon moment this weekend found me and my daughters gobbling raspberries and grapes off the bush and vine, respectively, like bears laying it in for the long winter sleep. For many reasons, certainly including the golden September light, it was heavenly. Faced with a perfect grape, or berry, or peach, or moment, sweetness is enough.   Another moment this weekend found me wanting to make an apple crumb bar.  This can happen to a pie-averse person in New England in the fall, even in a year (like this one) that is pretty light on apples.  In this case, sweetness didn’t seem like it would, in fact, be enough.  The idea of an apple bar lightly seasoned with (snore) cinnamon made me feel tired.  I found I was thinking of a spicy apple bar, and let me tell you, my thoughts did not run to nutmeg.  A little toodle around the Interwebs reminded me of another thing that’s very hot and now, which is caramel, especially with salt in it.  I generally hide under the couch …

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