Last night for Lost Alias, I did a first. I made Chicken Saag from scratch. I thought, looking at the recipe, "This will take like an hour, sounds easy." *insert evil laugh here* I now have such respect for my favorite Indian restaurant. That dish took me two hours to make! The cook time would have been shorter with the help of larger pots and pans and if I had a prep person doing all the chopping, mincing, dicing, and crushing. But it was most satisfying to eat it afterwards and realize that with the addition of just a little salt and made a little hotter, that it tasted just like it was supposed to. The scariest part of the recipe? Watching and waiting while 2 onions, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 large tomatoes and a ton of spices cook down into this strange delicious paste that serves as the base for the entire dish. Yeah you think saag and think of spinach, but you have noooooooooo idea how much it takes to cook before you get to the spinach. And that dish has some flavor complexity! There probably a total of 10+ spices in it, and then you add all the vegetables besides spinach and my god! No wonder it's a flavor explosion in your mouth. I need to learn how to make cooking taste like that! How does one even go about making up dishes that are so intense and complex? Maybe I'm just a taste deadened American, but everything we make is so bland! Our main ingrediant? Butter, and lots of it. Which, don't get me wrong, butter is fabulous, but it's not the be all end all. Butter acts like an accelerate to flavor. You put it in and it kicks it all up a notch. But butter should not be the only flavor. Now my cooking stable is cracked pepper and basil. If anyone in the world overuses those two, it's me. But I can't help it! Cracked pepper is sooooo much better than that dried out crap they sell in shakers and I can't resist fresh basil!
Jason did the dishes while I was cooking yesterday, and at the end of the meal I had filled up both sinks again. For the last week, I've had the weirdest urge to cook every night, and I have. As if that wasn't weird enough, I've decided that I must wash dishes every night as well, which I have. It's quite strange for me, especially since I'm doing it all by hand. Some of my internet acquaintances are finding it quite odd that I'm not popping up till 6:30 or 7 instead of 5:05 like I normally did. I just feel very Susie Homemaker right now. Very full of motivation and energy. Could it be that the same season that I curse each year is filling me up with some sort of rejuvenation? I mean, seriously, even at work! While I'm keeping up with the paper trail, I've also been cleaning strange things around the office. For example, I went into the laundry room on Monday and washed the walls and doors. I have NEVER washed a wall in my life prior to this. I have also been seen washing windows, inside and out. Vaccuming chairs, and doing thorough scrub downs on the washers and dryers. If only I gave that level of attention to my house!
Whatever is going on, must be going on for a reason....think I'll go wash more windows now.