Life here can be so weird.
Half a year ago and half the world away, I entered my house back in Little Rock one final time to a surprise send-off party. Then, out of pure shock, I promptly exited the house. At any rate, the life of the party was not me, oh no, but Kyle, who attended from Connecticut via video chat. He said he felt like a dismembered child, whose limbless, digital state necessitated that mom carry his face around when he wanted to move. He was especially lucky in securing a spot right by the cheese dip, so he could watch family members catch Velveeta dripping off their Fritos all night long, the lucky dog.
But oh, how the turntables have turned. Saturday night was my chance to act the part of skyped-in dismembered family member. This weekend marked my dad’s 50th birthday, so naturally a running-themed surprise party complete with personalized water bottles and race bibs was in order, and I would, of course, be doing a great disservice to my readership if I failed to talk about it, seeing as the partygoers make up roughly all of my readership (for you stray passersby out there, 1) you’re lost, and 2) to understand this, you have to know that my dad runs. A lot. So much so that in my mind, running ten miles sounds like a walk in the park, even though I myself couldn’t manage half a mile if pressed).
And I may have been legless, but I wasn’t useless. As the aunts prepared the house for my dad’s arrival, I got to shout out directives like “Look for birthday candles in the drawer! No, not that one! No no! The one over there!” while gesturing wildly, if futilely. And then I got to look at my younger cousins’ tongues in great detail as they watched themselves make faces at the camera. Luckily for me, I was situated not by the crock pot, as Kyle was, but by the drinks, which provided ample opportunity to sneak pictures of priceless moments like this, my grandma sporting a sweatband pouring herself a glass of blush:
and moments like this one, my grandpa tickling my cousin’s baby, who I haven’t even gotten to meet yet:
and of the men in my life, which makes me so happy and seem so conspicuously absent:
Happy birthday, Dad! Wish I could have been there.
But things go on here, and I continue to devise ways to amuse myself, which brings us to the second installment of Denglish Dines. As I mentioned earlier, my life here can be so weird, and that extends to food too. I came home from school yesterday to find that I had no staples – no bread, no meat, no cheese, no eggs, no vegetables – nothing from which to throw together a normal meal. But like heck I’m going to the grocery store, and so I was forced to fashion something out of the hodgepodge of ingredients I do have, which turned out to be a dinner that, if submitted to Allrecipes, I’d call “Lori’s Tropical Dream Curry” or some such.
So check it:
Rice boiled with coconut milk, garlic, and ginger (inspired by this chickpea curry); curry sauce made with yogurt, more coconut milk, and cinnamon (just be sure to turn the heat down way low or it’ll curdle); fried garlic and ginger crisps (inspired by this fried rice), and mango slices cooked until tender and slightly brown (inspired by the mango that’s been hangin’ out in my crisper). Aromatic, slightly sweet, with just a bit of crunch from the fried sprinkling of garlic. Why I have coconut milk and mango but no eggs, I cannot explain.
Just another part of life being weird here, I guess.