So we celebrate life. My son completed two years of his and I invited his friends, both children and adult to sing happy birthday with us. My babysitter was back, doing her job and smiling through it too. There was some running water and we dealt with it. People were pacified by the food I think. What would life be without food? I decided to go with an all snacks and finger food menu and after much deliberation between the husband and me, we settled on potato plank bruschetta, chicken filled lettuce wraps, bean and corn quesadillas with guacamole and minced meat hand pies (with my own mutton filling), apart from cake and lemon cream mini-tarts. We went with a mixture of light and heavy foods, greasy and fresh flavors. In hindsight every dish was unique and inspired from a different cuisine and I am quite proud of our menu selection. We covered Italian, Thai, Mexican and Indian tastes. The food was a hit, especially with the kids, though as always my planning was a big flop and I spent most of my time in the kitchen getting the food out, despite having a very gracious friend who spent half her time in the kitchen with me assembling the food.
The biggest disappointment of the night were the pies, which I had rolled out and kept ready to go in the oven. The rolling was a task in itself. I kept the pie dough out of the fridge for several minutes and still it was too hard to roll. It kept tearing every time I tried to fill and wrap it. Finally the babysitter and I worked the dough with our hands to make it malleable and fillable (if that’s a word). That of course meant that the pastry wasn’t flaky anymore. But I decided to live with it as long as it tasted good. Then I started baking the pies off when everyone had arrived and found that they were taking about 30 minutes to bake while I had budgeted 20. That meant there was a gap when there was no food to put out and hungry people were walking into my kitchen asking for food. I was one harried host that evening who barely sat five minutes and talked to her guests. I had the longest conversations with the people who walked into my kitchen! But, people have come to expect that from me. That’s why I have a chilled out husband who keeps the party moving with conversation and wine. He always has wine to help people forget these little gaffes!
So when the other food was gone – the bruschetta and quesadillas were all finished, while we ran out of lettuce leaves for the wraps – the pies came out and people ate them with the guacamole (which was meant for the quesadillas but lay forgotten in a corner of the table). They were quite tasty thanks to the filling, but very heavy because of the pastry. The pastry of course, was butter and flour, a combination that you can do no wrong with, except that instead of a flaky crust we had a crumbly crust and some of the pies cracked when people were eating them. But as long as people have full tummies, a lot is forgiven.
My second biggest disappointment of the evening is that I got no pictures of the food. The food looked pretty if I do say so myself, lovely colors and shapes and we forgot to take pictures of everything except the cake! I took some quick pictures of the pies and guacamole at the end but I wanted to show you all the bruschetta and the wraps. Never mind, there shall have to be a second time for you to see the rest of the food!
As my son’s second birthday approached and he has become more skilled at talking, I’ve suddenly realized how quickly he has grown up. My 5 lb 14 oz little doll has become a walking, talking, “real” person. He can have a conversation with you now! I marvel at this miracle as he goes away with his babysitter every morning declaring, “Main school ja raha hoon, bus mein.” I am going to school, in a bus. He doesn’t go to school yet, but he likes to pretend that he does! He has choices; I want that pant not this one. I want to eat chips, not rice. I don’t want to leave now.
This realization has left me scrambling to capture every moment of him these days. Videos are made every morning and evening as he learns to pedal his cycle and sing into the mike of his keyboard. As a result the cooking has taken a back seat. But how long can I stay away from food? I shall be back with more foodie adventures, especially from Kolkata’s Durga Puja where I will be for the next week and a half. So see you in a couple of weeks!