Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ingredients and Content are Two Different Things

This Forth of July we decided to go super traditional and have Korma Coconut Curry for dinner. I must say that it was great. I'll get to why in a minute but let me confess, right now, that I don't know how to cook Indian food. I have one jar of curry spice in my kitchen that my little sister left here when she lived with me and I have never used it. I don't know how. I find it intimidating and as long as stuff like this exists, I feel like I don't really want to/ need to learn the fine art of Indian cuisine. Is it lazy of me or do I just not feel like messing with something that is super yummy (to me) even if it's not completely authentic? I still haven't decided.
Steam your brown rice while you're watching Sherlock Holmes, saute mushrooms and onions and green peppers (later add in some frozen shrimp or chicken or tofu or not) and in about 15 minutes (minus the 45 that it takes to make rice), you have a completely satisfying, Forth of July appropriate ("appropriate" is relative) meal for you and about three other people (depending on how many veggies you add to stretch the sauce).

Here's something that I think I want to say, though, about food. It doesn't have to be fancy to be important. In fact, a lot of what makes a meal memorable and beautiful has nothing to do with the ingredients as much as what's going on around there.
Like this past weekend was wonderful. Ryan and I went back to small-town Kansas where we grew up. We drove through dirt roads and he told me stories of when he was little, we drove through our home town and talked about where our old friends lived. It was a weekend of nostalgia and I won't forget the way that we surprised his grandma by staying the night and, since stores are at least a half hour drive away, she dug through the pantry to make us super simple chicken salad sandwiches on white bread with pickle relish and mayo. And it was delicious. And it meant a lot to me. And I felt really, really happy.

So my coconut curry was 80% done for me. That's okay. It was delicious and the jars make perfect drinking glasses and I was sitting on the couch with someone who loves me very much and these seemingly little things make me very happy. These days.

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