Most people will follow the tried and tested method – head to the nearest mall and shop till you drop! There will be no traffic on the roads and no crowds in the mall, except for like-minded souls like yourself. This method is great fun, atleast until the credit card bill arrives.
I tried the other method this time, that involves food, friends and a lot more fun. We invited friends over, ostensibly to watch the game. In the end, I am not sure how much of the game was really watched. I am not even sure how many of the ads were watched. The ads of course, are much more important than the game. Probably the most important part. Except perhaps for the half-time show.
We were too busy munching the snacks and chatting. The somewhat unhealthy deep fried snacks. The carrots, celery sticks and grape tomatoes to assuage the guilt from eating said deep fried snacks. Then chips and salsa to wipe off the taste of said carrots and celery sticks.
The snacks lasted somewhere until the third quarter. But just when the game started to show some signs of life, we decided we were hungry.
My cooking was a great hit – as you know, anything tastes good when you are hungry. We started off with my minestrone soup.
Actually, the soup started life as minestrone soup. I was following the recipe to perfection and was very happy with the results. But then R came along and took one look at it. “It’s not as brown as it should be!” he declared.
Color is very important to R. The last few years have taught me lessons like “nothing should be off-white if it can possibly be yellow” and so on. Can you imagine, I wasted my entire childhood and a large part of adulthood without realizing that upma should always be yellow.
So I was not surprised when R insisted that greenish-brown was just not enough – the soup had to be brown. While I watched in horror, he proceeded to add sambar powder into the soup. Then tamarind paste. I just stood rooted, thinking of those movies where the mother in law adds two helpings of salt. For once, I wished R would really be chained to the TV instead of joining me in the kitchen.
The soup survived. I am not sure if I should still call it minestrone anymore, but it did turn a satisfying shade of brown. Thankfully, with all the vegetables and beans adding flavor, the desi additions did not seem to have much effect.
Not that it mattered. My “Olive Garden minestrone soup” recipe called for adding soy sauce. Which is just about as Italian as tamarind paste and sambar powder are. That is what R would say anyway.
As I said, the soup was a great hit. Just goes to show how conditioned our palates are. We already know how to Indianize Chinese food and McDonald’s burgers. I am just showing the way to Indianize minestrone soup.
As for the Super Bowl ? The Giants won ! What more could one ask for? I really only watched the last two minutes of the game. It turned out later that those were the only minutes worth watching of the whole four hours. Eli Manning made a superb play and did I mention, the Giants won ?
Now if only I could get away with watching just two minutes of all football games. But the next game is more than half a year away. To me, that’s enough cause to celebrate.