Eid is round the corner. Amidst the fear of bomb blasts and depressing headlines, we have something to celebrate. Festivals will always help humans survive pessimism, in my opinion, and why shouldn't they. We need something to celebrate, something to help us continue living, something to wake up to.
Barooq once said to me something that has been stuck in my head (he has a knack for saying stuff that sticks) about food. He said it when he was explaining his love for food. He called it a celebration for life. I don't know if he was quoting or being glib but he sure hit it spot on.
So this Eid, I plan to make some yummy stuff. I don't know if I'm like Monica who makes food when she's nervous or just plain happy I'm through Ramadan after burnt skin and abonimably-parched lips, but I plan to go nuts this time. Desserts are a no-no, after S's Mom, Dr. Y told me to lay off of sugary stuff (Mom had diabetes, her mom and dad had it too) and I'm already beginning to think I'm a 'buddhi khoosat' (as to-be-26 Mona wails) as soon as I'll hit the big 25 on January 1st (3 months and some days to go - YAaaaGH), metabolism begins to decline, calcium-production begins to go down, not to mention you begin looking like a 25-year-old. And ask any woman. The latter is worst than any of the former.
I know I sound like I've been looking at a Methuselah in the mirror or something - and I know I still look fine, I eat fine and I don't have a potentially damaging sweet tooth, so I don't need to worry about giving up a lot in that department. But 25. I'll be twenty-five. When I was seventh grade (I don't know why I have to measure everything through that kaliedoscope) 25 was senility. It seemed as if you could never reach that age even if you tried. My mind couldn't even venture that far a possibility of life and time and circumstance.
Yet here I am, planning a near-25 eid (I can hear Mona screaming somewhere) with recipes galore and moving to be 26.
I'll write some other day about how this year has been and what it gave to me and what I took from it - but today, I'll just think about how I'll celebrate Eid with dozens of yummy dishes. So who cares if all our family gathers at dadi's and all we do in three days is visit other people and relatives etc. Who cares if the only people stuck eating my food will be Mom, Dad and Ali - or maybe KJ, Nayyer Mama and Tariq Mama's lot, if I'm really ambitious. Who cares if I'm being neurotic - cooking because I'm trying to invest myself somewhere I can forget the noise in my ears or the chaos in the world. Who cares if there is a world much uglier than a cheesecake and far less delicious than an Afghani Kebab.
Who cares, I ask you.
I'm going to cook away my sorrows. Who cares if I'll only eat a bite out of every dish and relish the others eating it more than I'll my own palate.
I'm going to do it anyway.
These are a couple of good sites I've been hounding for the past three days. Mian Jee has a penchant for Mutton and these recipes sound deelish. Even if you're not a mutton lover as such, these websites are goldmines. Check em out. They are just plain too scrumptious.
Fauzia's Pakistani Mutton, Beef and Chicken Recipes.
This is what is on the agenda for today. If all goes well, my khandaan is getting fed soon. Next up are Shahi Mutton Qurma and Sweet and Sour Beef.
Khana Pakana Dot Com.
Stupid as the name may be - the website is truly wonderful. The recipes are in Urdu (no worrying over what is pimento and phyoll) and there are pretty inciting pictures to motivate the chef within you. My favorite happens to be the Steak and Singaporian Rice Recipes. Too good, I tell you!
You will honestly LOVE the chicken recipes. They're quick, efficient, easy-to-make, increasingly popular (Teriyaki Chicken, Chicken A la King - so simple!, Chicken Parmesan etc) and very handy for cooks new and old.
This is another mother lode which has plenty of western-based recipes. One in particular that caught my attention was Russian Tea - which I'll be making for friends perhaps. Families are too creul to be used in experiments.
Indian and Pakistani Recipes.
Great stuff for this part of the Asian world. Stuff like Tandoori Chicken and Spicy Lamb with Onion can be just the thing for a killer desi menu.
And last but not the least.
The Cheesecake Website.
Aah, the cheesecake website.
For those of you who are still at the mercy of "Desserts" or "Kitchen Cuisine" to water your mouths, your begging days are over. Discover this is the chilled-cream cheesecake recipe and the topping recipe. This is your key to happiness.
So enjoy a great Eid everyone.
May you all have a lot to celebrate. Ameen.