Thursday, May 15, 2008

fevered feeling hot hot hot

Thank goodness my hair is cut short right now, because it is all I can do to keep from melting at the moment. We are beset with an unusual heat wave. Since Nutella ice cream is dangerous to keep in the house (translation: it may spontaneously disappear and I may find myself feeling strangely 5 lbs heavier), I had packed it off and given it to various friends in the area. It's almost gone at this point, so I would say that the first run on the ice cream maker was acceptable.

But now I'm thinking more selfishly, and I am not a big ice cream fan, as I have already stated. Some time back, when it was stiflingly hot in Brooklyn, I was taken to a frozen yogurt shop that won me over. Don't even bother telling me how far superior Pinkberry is, folks. While it may be true, Pinkberry is not in Brooklyn (as far as I know, at least), therefore it loses. Anyway, the thing about Oka in Brooklyn is that it is so spare. And I went as spare as you could get, which is rare for me. I have a sweet tooth, and am not crazy about frozen things, so usually, I order all kinds of stupid toppings on ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Somehow at Oka, that just did not seem right. Something about the simplicity of the place, and the fact that I lose my appetite when it is too hot outside, just compelled me to order a plain frozen yogurt, no frills. And oh, it did not disappoint.

Now this is not for everyone, as I have discovered. There are two frozen yogurt shops in my current city, and they could not be more different. One prides itself in having 7,000 (ok, perhaps an exaggeration) toppings, and the frozen yogurt tastes more like soft serve, synthetic ice cream. The other prides itself in fresh ingredients, and the frozen yogurt tastes like frozen yogurt, complete with that tangy bite, that little sour zing that gets you on the inside of your cheeks. And it's interesting how much people diverge regarding these two yogurt shops.

As usual, I oscillate between extremes. There are times when I am in the mood for comfort, and then I want some fake frozen yogurt with crushed candybars and whatnot on it. But other times, times like now, I'm just interested in cooling down. Or, in my case, currently obsessed with my ice cream maker and with things that are somewhat, at least arguably, good for me.

So today, I treated myself to a bunch of Fage, which has since been sweetened with some honey and molasses, flavored with just a bit of vanilla, and will soon be taking a trip in the ICE-20. Is it cheaper than store bought ice cream? Absolutely not. Will it be tastier? Perhaps only to me. But at the moment, I am the only person I am interested in pleasing, so it works out quite well. Pictures when I put the stuff through its paces.

In other news, I think I have given my mother the best Mother's Day present ever, though she doesn't actually know it. Out of nowhere this week, I've become fixated with cooking Gujarati food. This is truly bizarre, and may be a sign that the heat is actually causing me to lose my senses. Stranger still, I can't bring myself to call my mom and just get some pointers on how to make all of this stuff. Instead, I keep relying entirely on random memories and tasting as I go, and who knows what else. I made this dish with black-eyed peas, garlic, and ginger yesterday that my mom used to make in a pressure-cooker. I do not own one of those, so I basically just tinkered around with the mixture until it tasted edible. Furthermore, I may have made something resembling chapatis. I may also be making another batch tomorrow with spinach. Wow. The more I type this out, the crazier it sounds to me. I know it may not sound crazy to those of you reading- after all, I am Guju, and I am writing of making Guju food. Except- I don't really like this food at all. In fact, until now, if it did not involve meat or creating some kind of sauce to be added to pasta, you could pretty much count me out of it. For the record, though, if I buy a pressure-cooker this summer, it will be a sign that someone needs to stage an intervention.

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