Archives for the month of: April, 2012


This weekend, I realized a goal I’ve been working towards for years.

I made Palak Paneer that actually tastes good.

You see, since I first discovered Indian food (early in college), I’ve desired to make it for myself.  I experimented with some spice packets from when my sister took me to Duvon St in Chicago.  I was encouraged enough to go to Indian markets in my own metro area, slowly acquiring packages of cardamom pods, ground coriander, garam masala.  The last year or so has found me caught in a vicious cycle:

  1. Eat Indian food at a great restaurant.
  2. Decide it can’t be that hard.  Choose recipes online.
  3. Go to Indian Market with enthusiasm.  Chat with shopkeepers.  Smile a lot.
  4. Arrive home, sharpen knives, cook for a few hours
  5. Taste disaster of a meal.  Force myself to eat it for 2 meals.  Throw out the rest. Decide that $30 for takeout isn’t that expensive.

It takes about 2 months and a culinary success or two before I decide that It can’t be That hard and the cycle begins all over again.

I’ve tried to make Palak Paneer 4 or 5 times and each time, it’s gross.  But yesterday, sweet yesterday, I made a successful batch.  A few tips:

  • spend more on expensive frozen spinach.  you don’t want bitter stuff.  growwss
  • don’t fry the paneer too long
  • after you’ve fried it to a nice golden brown on all sides, put it in cold water to soak.  this allows the excess oil to float to the top and also for the cheese to get squeaky again
  • follow the recipe.  Cumin, Coriander, Chili Powder, and Cardamom may all start with C’s, but they’re not interchangeable.  Neither are whole seeds/pods for ground stuff.
  • not spicy enough?  add more stuff.  c’mon, it can’t be That hard!  🙂

After 3 awkward dates with R, I decided to call it quits.

me: Hey R, Sorry I didn’t call you back earlier this week.  It was just really busy
R: Oh, no problem, just wanted to chat with you about–umm
friendship, like, I don’t know what protocol is
On the networks
me: I’m definitely up for staying friends
R: oh, well, I already pulled the trigger.  I unfriended you on Facebook
me: Oh, well, okay, whatever you need to do to feel comfortable
R:  yeah, well, I did
—subject change to how our respective weeks went—
R: well, I don’t know about you, but, for me, well
what we had–I guess it was just 3 dates, but–
You are my North Korea
There was just all this expectation, but then, just one explosion and it was done.
me: Ohhh.  Well, thanks for calling!  Good luck with your work!

WTF?  I’m his North Korea?  What does this mean?
Are you calling me a communist nation?
Is it like, if you don’t date me, I’ll put you in a concentration camp?
There’s a demilitarized zone between us now?
If I’m your North Korea, you’re my Vietnam!  I never should’ve been there in the first place and it’s taking forever to get out! 


The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That quesions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer’s art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind us of our, and Adam’s curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.

The chill ascends from feet to knees,
The fever sings in mental wires.
If to be warmed, then I must freeze
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars.

The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood-
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.