Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday's the new Friday

I've reached the "weekend," so to speak.  Despite being very happy at my new job, it is still a welcome break.  I would like to say [just one more time] how much my quality of life has improved with this job change.  I came home, stopped at Superfresh, CVS, and the wine store before getting home and spending at least a half hour talking to Mister before starting dinner.  We ate dinner and everything was cleared and cleaned by 9 and I've just spent the last hour or so "surfing the web," a luxury I usually reserve for one Sunday every two months or so.  I have so much time!  I'm just really happy.  Finally.

Despite my early start and euphoria, tonight was still not going to be the night for spanakopita, so I made Chana Masala from Vegan Express while the tomatoes were in that delicate place between perfectly ripe and rotting.  Cooking with fresh tomatoes is both a rewarding and stressful experience.  For one thing, nothing beats the flavor of lightly sauteed, summer-fresh tomatoes, or the sweet explosion of flavor from a raw grape tomato at the peak of ripeness.  On the other hand, I really do get seriously grossed out from the seeds.  I don't know what it is, but it's enough to turn my stomach sour if I look too long.  If only I could buy pre-seeded tomatoes.  But that leads to the last point - there is really only one or two days that they are truly, incredibly edible and if you miss those days, you're either coaxing flavor from a hard, yellow-green, overly-acidic tomato, or begging the one you're trying to cut to refrain from rotting for just one more minute while you try to dice the grainy, falling-apart flesh while it separates itself from its skin (but never its stupid seeds...).

Anyway, tomato-induced trauma aside, dinner was light and tasty:

I can't tolerate Indian-influenced recipes served on brown rice, so I used white Jasmine and it was perfect.  I would have preferred basmati, but until I have my huge chef's kitchen when Mister's solo album goes gold, there's only room for two rices.  The tomato curry sauce clung very lightly to the creamy chickpeas, with a very subtle hint of What-is-that-Oh!-it's-lemon lying just beneath the garam masala and turmeric.  As a contrasting but perfectly intense side dish, I roasted some asparagus with salt and pepper.  I thought about adding some garlic, but decided to let the simple spices of my childhood draw out the naturally perfect flavor of these right-sized stalks before they go missing (or obscenely over-priced) for the winter.

In case you can't tell, I was as satisfied with our dinner as I am by my new urban-centric life.

On that note, I'm off to celebrate with red wine, dark chocolate, and a book about NOLA witches.

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