So I’ve been reading these great articles from the Sewanee Review, and I decided to send them one, too.
I’m delighted to see it published, here.
Let me know what you think.
My sister keeps asking to see what I’ve been cooking and eating, and while this may be of interest to no-one but her, it’s something to do 🙂
Firstly, on Monday I made a second attempt to find a plant nursery that had eluded me last week – and I’m so glad I persevered. Here was my haul: two types of chard, the same of lettuce, sage, basil, Italian parsley, chives and thyme. The same day Nepal confirmed its second official Covid-19 case, and at 6 am yesterday, Tuesday March 24, the country went into lockdown. Borders are closed and all flights, domestic and international, cancelled.
Yesterday I mostly munched on baguette with rillettes (both from Vino Bistro) and went for something easy: spaghetti aglio, olio pepperoncino. There are few things to rival this for speed, ease and satisfaction, and it’s rare that I don’t have what I need to make it: the name of the dish is its ingredients list, after all. I let the garlic get a little too dark, but still delicious.
Today I made a riff on this quiche recipe here. With so much time at home, it was easy to make in stages, and I took advantage of my new plants — the chard can take it, but I may have been a little premature with the chives and basil; I hope they survive my bit of pruning. It’s the second tart I’ve made from David Lebovitz’s website, and when all this is over I may have to get myself a copy of his recent cookbook, as both have been excellent. And this will last me for a while! (Or it should)
In other news, last week I picked up a white azalea plant to keep my pink anniversary one company; the latter was all decked out just a few weeks ago, and yes, I know it needs a new pot.
Finally, kittehs. Take care and stay safe, everyone!
Yesterday marked 24 years since I first landed in this beautiful, fascinating, frustrating, challenging, never-boring country. While I could never have imagined the turns my life has taken, there are no regrets.
Hard to believe it’s been a year since the last one… and the 17th one at that! Yep, Jazzmandu 2019 is happening from October 17-23. At a past event I overheard someone saying they’d timed their return visit to coincide with Jazzmandu; it’s that popular with the city’s music lovers. And gives me a chance to add to my tote bag collection… 🙂
You can find this year’s schedule of events here.
Food is unquestionably a big part of the Dashain holiday, and each year there are tasty tidbits to enjoy, some particular to the family or establishment serving them. On Monday, stopping off at my landlady’s to pay the rent, I enjoyed this plateful of Newari goodies, prepared by her teenage daughter this year for the family for the first time. In addition to the ubiquitous goat, circling the beaten rice was also chicken, mulako achaar (daikon radish pickle) undetermined greens, potato, peanuts and sliced fried goat’s lung. Yum!
The next day, Tuesday, was the auspicious day of Dashain Tika (October 8), and I headed to Khokana (famed for its mustard oil) to catch the last day of the Newari town’s unique Shikali Jatra, something I only learned about last year when one of our freelance writers pitched me a story about it. Unfortunately, this isn’t the year I get to experience it for myself, as it was already over the day I went–it’s either a three day and not a five day festival, or it begins earlier than I’d been told; never mind, I’ll make sure to come earlier next year.
It’s a quaint little town, though, with goats adding to temple still lifes (spot at least two);
empty, scrubbed chaang pots drying in the sun (sorry I missed out on the contents);
and old buildings of many kinds.
Heading back towards Kathmandu, I stopped at a local restaurant on a hill, where, after learning I only wanted a drink and not a meal, I was ushered to a seat with a view, where, in addition to homemade raxsi, Dashain snacks kept coming. When I paid my bill and headed out, full and happy, it was hard to see how I could have had a better Dashain; I’d have never come this far out without the festival, and despite being too late for it I was so glad I had.
Today is a glorious spring day – the first so far, really. The weather started warming up early this year; my azaleas started blooming in February, as you can see. Then we had an unexpected cold snap that saw some parts of the Kathmandu Valley get snow for the first time in 12 years. It was wild. And cold!
But then, today: sunny and windy, one of those days where scooter driving is a joy, and the air feels light and bright. Driving alongside the royal palace, the wind rustled the bamboo, blowing its dry leaves over us commuters and making me feel pretty darn cheerful.
Seems like spring is here.
Delighted to write about my new favorite restaurant for ECS Nepal. This place has the most amazing (and affordable) Tibetan and Bhutanese food – read all about it here. Writing about food just makes me happy 🙂