21 August, 2006

Curry, dumplings and a haircut

We got in a curry mood this week. Our favourite indian cookbook is called Indian Essence by Atul Kochhar, largely because the food we cook from this book tastes so different from the standard "curry house" cuisine so prevelant in this country. Another "go to" book from our hundred-plus-strong cookbook collection is Shehzad Husain's Vegetarian Indian Cookery. Lisa especially likes my variation on the masala bhindi recipe from the latter volume, made with gorgeous fresh okra from Al Amin store on Mill Road.

Our friend from Changchun (now resident here in Cambridge), Wu Lejun (a.k.a. "Emma"), shook us out of our curry mood when we visited her place and she served us a delightful meal featuring superb steamed dumplings. As so often happens, Emma cooked enough food for at least twice as many diners and we didn't need to be asked twice to take the left-over dumplings away with us! Re-heated and with fresh dipping sauce they furnished two tasty lunches with ease. In contrast with the high-voltage excitement of last week's pot-luck, dinner with Emma was a perfect example of gentle, relaxed conversation which it seemed could have gone on indefinitely.

Having recently been several times acused of having had my hair cut when I hadn't, this weekend I engaged Lisa's services to trim the locks and emerged looking much neater. It is just one of Lisa's multitude of talents that she does an excellent job of cutting my hair. It remains to be seen if the real haircut will attract the same degree of comment as the suspected one(s).

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