Friday, February 27, 2009

Lucky, Lucky, Lucky Me!

If y'all watched Episode 3 of Aarti Paarti, you may have heard me send a shout-out to someone named "Beanie". She is Bren's aunt, his mum's youngest sister, and I can't remember why, but no one calls her Sabrina. Her name is Beanie and that's that.

The other day, Beanie left a note on my "wall" on Facebook.

"You could not possibly have 530 friends..."

I double-checked, and yes I do. Some of my friends have somewhere in the range of 900 friends so I never thought anything of it, but once Beanie had pointed it out, I realised, "Wow! Even if it's less than other people, that still is a LOT!"

I explained that Facebook, bless it, has helped me reconnect with friends from Dubai (hi Sallyanne!) who probably haven't seen me since I was 15 or so, Northwestern friends, Chicago friends, New York friends, LA friends, improv friends, church friends... not to mention my massive-and-proud-of-it Indian family.

This is a particularly sweet blessing because when I was in primary school, I never had more than one friend at any time. First it was Suzanne Wynne, who very sweetly said "I will", when I asked the teacher to ask the class if anyone would be my friend. I wish I knew where she was. That was such a brave thing to do, especially not knowing anything about me, and especially because I was one of the few Indian/non-white kids in that class.

I had another friend, Eliana when I was 10, who I loved so much, that when she returned to Italy about a year later, I cried myself to sleep for about a week. We became pen-pals and wrote each other letters for a few years. Now, thanks to Facebook, we are back in touch, and (gasp!) we might be able to see each other if she decides to visit the States! Yippeee! Eli!!! She is the sole person in the world, who is not a family member, who has known me the longest of anyone!

(Head exploding).

I was reminded again, about how lucky I am in the friend department this week. My friends Alex and Sara are some of the sweetest people you will meet. Seriously. They listen, they ask questions, they're honest, they remember stuff... they're awesome. They watched episode 1 of Aarti Paarti where I mentioned that I didn't have a "fancy-dandy" food processor, and...

BOOM! They presented me with THIS the other day:

Ain't she a beaut?! I can't thank you guys enough! In addition to being shiny (and who doesn't like shiny), she is strong. I've already used her to make a batch of ginger-garlic paste (the secret to all good Indian cooking) and this Indian pesto, the recipe for which I'll share either this week or next. Isn't it pretty?

THEN, the other day, after I rambled on about the quandry I was in with regard to my broken coffee grinder, sweet sweet Laura piped in. "I've got one you can have!" she said. A few days later, Bren went and picked it up.

This one is even better than the one I had -- bigger and snappier! Thankyou Laura! This week, I used it to make garam masala (a gorgeous cinnamon-clove concoction) which I then used to try to crack the holy grail of non-Indian Indian (more on that when I actually write the recipe): Chicken Tikka Masala. I'm still working on the recipe but I couldn't have even started to do this without the grinder. Next up, fresh ground coriander seeds. I'm so excited!

I am so lucky to have such thoughtful friends. You guys are making it possible for me to keep playing and experimenting and improving in the kitchen. Thankyou so much! I owe you dinner! And more!



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