3.08.2005

Bear With Me While I Brag About My Cooking
Or, the Postcolonial Dinner Party

Made a delectable dinner for Malka Jill Gavin Lori and Roshel (sp? Lori’s eccentric boyfriend) on Saturday night. The focal point was chocolate chip cookies, to inaugurate the new oven (!!!) in the new annexe (!). Most homes here don’t have ovens, as folks use propane cookers rather than stoves and who wants a hot, hot oven roasting the kitchen up? But posh people have electric ones. Posh people like me.

Actually my oven is not-posh, as you would be able to see in a photo except that my camera cable has vanished. I hope it’s someplace within my annexe and not Out In the World but I am afraid because a) I just moved and b) Ross was using it at some point while he was here. (Not that Ross is stealful; things migrate sometimes.) So for several of the guests the high point was homebaked cookies, that being a hard thing to come by.

For me it was as usual a great delight to cook for a whole crew. Compounding that pleasure was the fact that I successfully convinced everyone not to help. Thus I was able to reach the state of culinary no-self. In perfect concentration, I moved seamlessly between cooker, cutting board, fridge, and sink; my pet knife in my hand and breezes sailing through the giant kitchen window and fresh spicy smells winding their way amongst the food piled everywhere. It was beautiful.

The menu was typical of me: yellow rice, thick refriedy stewy beans, shredded lettuce, fresh salad of cucumbers tomatoes beets and carrots with lime-salt-pepper dressing, toasted garlic-parsley wholewheat flatbreads, plain yogurt. What made it So Good was how mixed and fusiony the array was, sort of South Asian American Middle Eastern European fresh tasty good. The colors were amazing, as you will be able to see when I get to post today’s leftover-lunch photo.

Then I felt like a total badass whiz kid: successfully made chocolate chip cookies without baking soda. Google “substitute for baking soda” and you’ll see how fantastically dangerous this is; basically, you have to recalibrate the whole recipe for acidic ingredient levels. I didn’t, I just winged (wung?) it. By the time the cookies were baking I was on my third gin&tonic so I was calm and happy and not worrying about leavening agents. They were, objectively, very ordinary cookies—plus chocolate chip isn’t my favorite simple cookie. (All hail oatmeal raisin!) However, feed warm CCCs to a bunch of ovenless expat Americans and you too will feel magnanimous, pure of soul, warm of heart. I did forget, vegan in the head if not the stomach, to buy milk for drinking-with. Malka mocked me pitilessly but then again she’s a selfproclaimed milk devotee. I was happy with gin.

So, the weekend was a success. The new annexe is a success. I can still cook.

1 comment:

Ross said...

i didn't use your camera cable. my mom maybe. hurra for dinner parties. i made some nice apple-oatmeal-raisin cookies the other day, but my oven is weak so they are nicely chewspongey.