One of my (many) favourite things about India is the abundance of fruit. Every day, farmers from the villages make the trek from their orchards and fields into the big cities before sunrise and set up their carts in markets and along the sides of roads, promising the very freshest produce. This is a far cry from the American South, where peaches canned in syrup and flavoured gelatin “salads” have been known to pass for fruit, much to my chagrin. Here in Delhi, we buy fresh fruit in smaller quantities daily, rather than going to a grocery store once a week like we do in the US. Usually everything gets eaten, but this morning I realized that there were three bananas in the kitchen that had become a little too ripe, so I decided to make banana bread for my family.
I’ve been neglecting this little blog since for way too long— I’m sorry! February is my favourite month and I was all set to write about some fun holiday-and-birthday-themed crafts and baking projects for birthdays, but life got in the way as is wont to happen, and I had to leave for New Delhi, which is where I am now. Watch this space for posts about my trip so far and check out some links about Indian culture below.
Foodistan: a cooking competition show that pits Indian and Pakistani chefs against each other
Tishani Doshi’s lovely poem, Homecoming
Great pictures from Holi (“the festival of colours”)
Salman Rushdie on culture, politics, free speech, Pakistan, India, and ex-cricketeer Imran Khan
I love Valentine’s Day. It’s the perfect excuse to be really cheesy and give things to people you care about. In the past, I’ve always given really sappy gifts and cards to my friends, like these matchbox valentines that I made a couple years ago.
Some people don’t like Valentine’s Day, though, or they’re going through relationship problems. This holiday can be hard if you’re going through a break up— any day can be hard, but the incessant mentions of love and eternity that permeate our culture around the 14th don’t make things easier. Neither does the flip side: bitterness and cliches about women watching sappy movies while crying into their pints of chocolate ice cream. I don’t watch many movies, but I love to read. And when I’m upset, even the slightest mention of something sad in a book can set me off.
SO, for the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to put together a post highlighting novels for people who weren’t really looking forward to Valentine’s Day. I wanted to make a list of great books that wouldn’t catch readers off guard: no cheating lovers, no abuse, no sudden deaths, no relationship-driven emotional scarring. Books that are well-written but don’t rely on romance as a plot device to move the stories along.
January seems like it’s been going on forever, but at least I got a lot done. Here’s what I accomplished off of my 101 in 1001 list this month:
- Joined a gym, developed a regular workout schedule, and have (so far) stuck with it. I love that now I’m doing cardio as well as all of the machines that I’d never known how to use before a few weeks ago, mostly because I was too intimidated of their names (seated row?! leg press??)— but not anymore!
- Finally went to my hair salon and fixed the awful streaks that were left in my hair after I highlighted it purple in September. Now it looks normal, thank goodness. Sorry about the awkward car picture and my baggy Braves shirt! I was on my way to the gym and figured I should take one before I went.
- Expanded my palate by trying food I’d never had before. I had spaghetti squash, which I’ve always wanted to try, and kombucha, which is a fermented tea drink made with yeast and bacteria that’s supposed to have incredible health benefits. I cant say that I liked it at all, although that may be because it’s effervescent and I don’t like to drink things with bubbles! The one I bought (bright pink, pictured below) had ginger and cayenne pepper in it and had a vague vinegary aftertaste. I also sampled one made with mint and echinacea.
- Tried new things! The Atlanta Underground Market, which i wrote about here and here, is one of my new favourite things, and I also went to the Cox Hall farmers market at Emory University, which I’d never seen before.
- Sent a care package to a darling girlfriend studying in Boston with everything she needed to kick-start her semester: pretty stationery, MOR’s macaron lip gloss, hand warmers, homemade baked goods, and (of course) beer pong balls.
- Created a new DIY project: Instagram magnets!
- Read 1o new novels, 2 new short story collections, and one new work of nonfiction for a total of 13 new books + probably three or four rereads. I may have a problem. The new ones are all listed on my 2012 Goodreads shelf, if you’re interested. My favourites were Night Circus + Invisible Sign of My Own (fiction) and Emerald City (short stories). I also reread the first Boxcar Children book and loved it just as much as I did in elementary school. There were also a surprisingly large number of novels that i disliked, which is disappointing. I am always, always looking for new book recommendations so please don’t hesitate to share favourites!
I blogged five times, watched two movies (Contagion and Baraka), registered for an amazing 5k, and became involved in a very exciting volunteer opportunity. Can’t wait to see what February brings— besides my 23rd birthday, of course! I have a lot of fun things planned but can’t talk about them quite yet. What are you looking forward to for the next month?
Being vegetarian in the South can be tough. When I lived in Charleston, where shrimp is a vegetable, I had a bit more trouble than I’ve ever had in Atlanta or Athens, but for the most part, it’s never a problem to eat out— there’s always at least one pasta dish on the menu that can be easily altered into vegetarian-dom. This month, in particularly, has seen a lot of incredible food. Here’s a glimpse at what I’ve eaten (or, in the case of meat dishes, watched other people eat) in January.
Sweet potato fries with fire-roasted marsmallows, goat cheese-stuffed fried green tomatoes with chipotle aioli, and white peach lemonade from Ibiza Bites + spinach salad with goat cheese, fresh strawberries, and walnuts with a mediterranean veggie sandwich from Highland Bakery + gol gappe on New Year’s Eve + first King of Pops of the year— raspberry lime.
Just Loaf’n shrimp po’ boy + sesame fries with Sriracha cheese dip and stir-fried tofu taco with spicy Asian BBQ sauce from Yumbii. // I can’t say enough good things about Atlanta’s food truck scene. Love that you can find 10+ gathered for lunch or dinner multiple times a week!
It’s the first day of what’s going to be a very long week for me, so I thought I would put together a quick post about some of my favourite things right now. (This has nothing to do with the fact that I’m supposed to be writing five posts a month and the month ends tomorrow, I promise.) Check out what I’ve been loving lately and let me know what items in your life have been helping the new year go a little more smoothly.