In early January I was offered the position of editor at ECS Nepal, the magazine I have contributed to for years as a freelance writer. It was a big surprise, but a good one. So far it’s been a crazy, hectic whirlwind of learning, hard work, and fun.
February’s magazine (above) is a special food issue, the first with my name on the masthead. It’s pretty funny it turned out that way, since food is the topic I’ve written about most for them over the years. The great group of people I work with did so much to make it happen on time in challenging circumstances and with a new editor taking over halfway through the process–I’m thrilled and honoured to be on the team.
These past three days have mostly started off chilly and hazy, and yet each of the last three days have cleared up beautifully by afternoon. Crisp, clear, snow-topped Himalayas stand out in perfect definition against the blue, blue sky. As the sun sets, they turn a beautiful, soft pink. I can’t get enough.
Wonderful winter days that make you happy to live in Nepal.
This morning when I opened my front door, the first thing I saw was a large, white-breasted kingfisher sitting high atop a tree just a short distance from the house. While it’s not an uncommon bird to see in Nepal, I can’t recall having ever seen one at this time of year before, so it was a lovely new year surprise, and especially nice to have it be the first thing I saw when I stepped outside on the first day of the new year. It stayed up there for quite a while, too, even returning after flying off for a bit, so perhaps I’ll see it again. A small thing, but it made me very happy.
It was rather a grey morning, so it didn’t photograph well, but I wanted to share it anyway. And to make up for that picture quality, I also give you Laz: enjoying a Christmas bone and not enjoying a Christmas hat, respectively. 🙂
Last night I baked the last four Christmas cakes, the same ones I’ve been baking for years now, from a free recipe handout card I got at an Oxfam years ago in London, somewhere. Funny where your most-used recipes end up coming from, isn’t it?
When I was done, I realized that, including the ones made for the Christmas fairs earlier this month, I had baked well over twenty Christmas cakes this year. These final ones are for friends, and by now I know the recipe by heart.
Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope you are enjoying eating yummy things this season!
These super-awesome incredibly delicious pork mo:mo are from New Dish, a little place tucked upstairs in Kichapokhari, New Road. It’s been open for 26 years but I’ve only just been there for the first time (and the second, and third–already). They have a small menu–amongst which pork mo:mo are the only mo:mo variety–but they are great. Thin-skinned and succulent, served with a simple hot chilli dipping sauce, and a bowl of broth. There used to be a place by my house that served broth with their mo:mos (basically it’s the steaming water, doctored up a little) but they closed and I’ve missed it. This place is already on my favourites list, and with chilly winter weather on the way, I know I will become a regular here.
One of the advantages of living on the north side of town is that when the Japanese embassy puts out a banner advertising an upcoming event, I get to see it almost immediately. Earlier this year they organized a jazz concert which I attended with friends. To be honest, I didn’t expect that much from a free event, but I was blown away by the talent and enthusiasm of the musicians. I’m thrilled that they’re hosting another event so soon — I’ve already got my passes!
Sadao Watanabe and his band will be playing on the 22nd & 23rd October at the Tribhuvan Army Officer’s Club in Tundikhel at 4 pm sharp. You can get free passes from the Japanese Embassy in Pani Pokhari. There’s a limited number of seats available, and when they’re gone they’re gone, so if you love great music and jazz in particular, get yours now.
Specifics on the musicians who will be playing can be found here, at the Japanese Embassy’s website.
So are these top-notch mo:mos? Not exactly. They’re decent though, and the the mix of the two sauces provided (regular tomato and extra chilli) is pretty tasty.
What does make them awesome and fun is that they come from this cute stand out in the parking lot of the Maharajgunj branch of the Bhat Bhateni Supermarket. In case it’s too small to read in the picture, the line on the bottom of the food stall reads, verbatim:
So Long As You have Mo:Mo In Your Mouth, You Have Solved All Questions For The Time Being.
I really can’t argue with that. In fact, it could practically be my motto.
These are, by far and away, my favourite mo:mo. I’ve eaten more of these over the years than I could possibly count. The New Everest Mo:Mo Centre in Lainchour, next to the campus behind Thamel, serves only one thing–buff mo:mo, cooked in giant steamers. The sauce is a secret combination of ground sesame seeds, chilli powder, and fresh danya (coriander). There’s more in it, too, but I don’t know what. It’s delicious, especially when combined with the flavourful fat that spurts out of the mo:mo when you cut into them. I like to spoon the sauce inside the mo:mo itself for a perfect bite.
Oh wow, just reading over what I’ve written has made me hungry…
Buff mo:mo at Momo Mania, Pani Pokhari, Kathmandu. This is a simple place with a simple menu — the buff mo:mo are juicy and delicious, with a perfect, delicate thin skin on the mo:mo. The sauce isn’t really outstanding in any way, but the mo:mo themselves make up for it.