Thursday, July 14, 2005

A Coming Out Party

Cooking, if I haven't mentioned it before, is something of an obsession for me. And I like to cook for people. For many years (with the occassional missed year) I have had a big dinner in July. Cleveland State has a yearly writer's workshop called the Imagination Workshop and it is run by Neal Chandler and Karen Joy Fowler. One night during the workshop, Karen and Neal and sometimes one of the other workshop instructors come to my house to have dinner and party with the locals. So yesterday I had dinner for twenty at my house.

For me it marked a return to normal life. I cooked a huge amount (I always do) including a standing rib roast, a leg of lamb and half a salmon, poached. For an appetizer I had bhel poori*. Lots of varieties of roasted vegetables and sides. And then the house filled with smart, literary people who ate and drank wine and chattered and put up with my dogs. There was so much talk that at times it was difficult to hear the person I was talking to, and all the conversations sounded so interesting I did that disconcerting thing of finding myself trying to listen to the person I was talking to and eaves drop on the conversation behind me.

Of course, I didn't get to talk to half the people I wanted to talk to. But I never do.

I'm home from Planet Cancer and all my friends are here and it's feeling just great.

I will admit, today I am so tired that I can barely move. But it's a happy kind of tired.

*bhel poori is an Indian street food. A vender will have bowls of puffed rice, sev thin (fried chickpea flour noodles) poori chips, diced potatoes, chickpeas, tamarind chutney, mint chutney, tomatoes, onions, chopped coriander, yogurt, cayenne, black pepper and chili powder. They start with the puffed rice and chips and you point to what you want mixed in and they mix it all up for you and you eat it from a bowl with a fork standing at the cart. I put out all the ingredients and people made their own. My tamarind chutney could have been sweeter (I didn't make it and it was more spicy sour than I would have preferred) but bhel poori is great.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look what I stumbled across! Glad to hear you are back in the swing of cooking things! I remember partying at your place well, and I do remember always leaving with a satisfied belly. We must catch up sometime soon. Take care...

July 14, 2005 2:28 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

Man, now I'm so hungry...

July 14, 2005 5:04 PM  
Blogger Patrick Nielsen Hayden said...

I'm wanting bhel poori right now.

July 14, 2005 11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if the tamarind chutney wasn't sweet, I'm glad I wasn't there!
Glad to hear things are getting back to normal... or as normal as they get for you

July 15, 2005 1:55 PM  
Blogger Greg van Eekhout said...

Food of the kind you're describing just isn't a part of my daily life. Not that I don't eat well -- I think I do -- but it's more the sort of thing I see while flipping through the pages of Bon Appetit magazine. My friend is actually on staff there, and she pointed out that the food in one of their recent photo spreads, t-bone on gorgonzola toast, is impossible to eat as depicted, as you can't actually slice through a t-bone to get to the toast underneath. Not with any reasonable ease, anyway. That's the kind of thing I enjoy knowing.

July 15, 2005 3:51 PM  
Blogger Responsible Artist said...

Real food is a wonderful thing.

I'm on a cheese and crackers and radish thing until I use up those radishes and get back to the store.

July 15, 2005 4:23 PM  
Blogger Motherhood for the Weak said...

Oh my, sounds lovely! I love indian food.

RE: your previous post, geese always respect people who are meaner than them. Just work on sounding bigger and badder and they'll back down.


July 16, 2005 9:24 PM  
Blogger David Moles said...

Off topic: (1) I got my limited edition Mothers and Other Monsters yesterday, yay! Number 87, I think. (2) I feel bad for Zhang, having to chip all that ice, now that the Brits are building an 800-ton ice station on 12-foot skis.

July 19, 2005 5:09 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I also love to cook, although with two young children, I am easily pleased when they inhale my meatloaf . .

Congrats on the great and wonderful food!

And now, it's your fault, I've got to go look up that Indian appetizer . .

September 05, 2005 8:54 PM  
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October 05, 2005 8:54 AM  

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