Friday, July 10, 2009

A New Kind of Awesomeness

Times have been pretty hectic for the last week+, so I'm just now getting a chance to post about the awesomeness of the Thursday before last (that would be July 2), when Priya was kind enough to cook us an amazing Indian feast (with a tremendous amount of prep help from Stanley and Alicia). After searching the markets of Portland for the right ingredients (or a close enough approximation) on Wednesday, Priya, Stanley, and Alicia spent the better part of the afternoon hacking, peeling, and chopping an assortment of vegetables. Priya began work on a few dishes that day, then spent the entirety of Thursday in the kitchen, slaving away for us. (I actually stayed completely out of the kitchen during pretty much this entire trip, mainly trying to avoid being in the way...) When dinner time rolled around on Thursday, we cleared out the living room, laid out banana leaves for our group of 10, and watched as Priya dished up her amazing creations.
The initial food layout looked like this:
After we finished our lentils (the yellow stuff on the rice), we were allowed to have the final curry added to our "plates":
...and the final configuration of the "plate" looked something like this:
Everything was absolutely fantastic, and really different than Indian food I'd had previously. My favorite was probably what we've been referring to as "the cabbage thing," with "the squash thing" running a close second... Being Americans, we were fairly uncomfortable with Priya serving us throughout the meal rather than sitting down to enjoy her food with us. Once we talked her into joining us and worked out a self-serve refill policy, I couldn't help that notice that almost every single bowl ended up with Mr. Max Power:
Priya has cooked a meal like this for her friends and family (including Stanley and Alicia) in Dubai, and I thought it was pretty amazing that she would put in all this work for us people (most of whom were at least relative strangers) during her vacation. She's the best.
As long as I'm catching up on Portland happenings from last week, I'll briefly add that we took Priya out to experience her first karaoke bar on Friday night, followed by a trip to Portland City Grill for a view of the city at night (above). Saturday afternoon featured a fun and delicious ping-pong-tournament/BBQ hosted by Max and Midge. Lamely, I had to take off early to wake up at 4am for an early flight back to Boston, sadly missing out on the late-night shenanigans that I'm sure ensued... Oh, and, apropos of nothing, below is the totally kick-ass chicken sandwich I made for myself as a pre-karaoke dinner (which I show you just because it is so pretty, not because it's super-exciting). I do love me a good sandwich.
This work week has been hectic, as I'm still recovering from the jet-lag, head-cold, and sleep-deprivation that vacation brought with it, but I'm looking forward to one of the most uneventful weekends in history in order to help me recover... If all goes as planned, I will have absolutely nothing interesting to report.

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