Monday, March 12, 2012

Communicooking on Holiday

Post my very long hiatus in the web world, I am back. Communicooking has been on holiday.
A great new year, big Punjabi weddings, extremely hectic, chaotic work schedules, travel plans organization and finally a long holiday- and now some post-holiday blues. Back- with some renewed and fresh perspective. Travelling always does that to me; it gives me so much free time to think- outside of my habitual life that I come back with new thoughts, new realizations, insight and ideas. Often, I wonder, that my mind would go bonkers if travelling was my 365 day occupation! So much to see, so much to absorb, and so much to aspire for- and the hangover usually results in so much to do! My New Year and NY resolutions should only begin with a long Holiday (Hint for Ak!)- I think holidays make me a better person.

No man needs a vacation so much as the person who has just had one. Elbert Hubbard 
One big resolution on this holiday is to not fall into the rut of my life; I will actually do all those things that I keep thinking I will do (it includes exercising, being more healthy, reading and writing- the music too shall definitely happen!). Communicooking will not stop- and will become more meaningful. Everything that I aspire for will actually happen. Keeping the above in mind- communicooking will also see more than just food. This post is hence, not about a recipe, but about nostalgia- vis-à-vis the last holiday. (A censored version though :))
  • Snow and London; J I am definitely going there sometime soon.
  • Architecture and Good Buildings; Despite my usual angst against architects, the awesomeness of great architecture is breathtaking.
  • The Brilliance of Good Design and Detailing. From cutlery, to tableware, to the restaurant and the building of course- good design really makes a difference to the experience.
  • The US really is the land of Good Food. Beyond the portion sizes of course, the availability of ingredients, the quality, the freshness- it’s a pity that our best stock usually gets exported internationally and we do not get to savour most of it. I thoroughly enjoyed the cooking, despite being on Holiday, because it is simply a delight, to have all the options available. Blueberries, water chestnuts, pecan nuts, beef pastrami, the many, many varieties, of deli food- desserts, breads, hummus, cheeses, leaves and herbs, are just a few to be named. Salads, Blueberry Muffins, Mixed berry tarts, pasta, and Thai food were just some of the recipes I tested. Unfortunately, there are no photographs- the food finished even before I thought of documenting it! By the time we left Dallas, a part of me wanted to pack the berries, and bring back for another round of baking.
  • Seafood ain’t that bad- I have been off seafood for a few years now, mainly due to bad case of food poisoning on vacation, but this time, from Day 1, when the SIL had made some shrimp curry (was wonderful- I must add!), I encouraged myself to give Mr Seafood one more try to be a part of my life. Yes, we will take our own time, and would like to take it slow, but someday we could be friends again. (Thanks to the Calamari date!)
  • Some recommendations for Restaurants:
Ghengi’sGrill- A Cook your own grill/ mongolian Stir Fry. The concept is to create your own dish, casual dining and I personally thought it was a lot of fun, and good food!
Grimaldi’s Pizza- Originally NY, although we had ours in Dallas!
Five Guys- for the Best Beef Burgers- Ever (although I couldn’t eat for an entire day after that)
  • Brussel Sprouts are wonderful. Anyone visiting NY must go to Alta (east village). It’s a Tapas place, slightly expensive, but the food is superb. The Brussel Sprouts were so good, that Ak convinced me to try the recipe- Was a super hit- and I am more convinced about their yumminess quotient, as the 12 year old couldn’t stop eating them, even post dinner! I saw her picking the remnants before she moved back to her room and I am sure I will be making this more often. Post coming soon!
  • The NY Street Pretzels are worse than ever! So don’t be touristic, and pick one up from a bakery instead!
  • Starbucks- Yes, I rediscovered my love for Starbucks on our trip, and AM SO Glad that they are coming to India.
  • I also discovered that I cannot have enough of Tex- Mex!
  • Nothing like a Hot Krispy Kreme, just off the counter! A must visit when the sign says “Hot now”! (I had always had them with fresh, but never- just cooked! Simply an experience- and a must do, if one ever crosses this lit sign) 
I am sure there are a 100 other things that I have forgotten. The trip was wonderful- great hospitality, and had a brilliant time with family/friends. Thank you to all those who made it happen! I am now suffering from extreme post-holiday blues. Will recover with some communicooking soon!

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