Monday, September 14, 2009

Mohammad...Cooking for 15

Waiting for friends to arrive.

Let’s see, where to start. Let’s start where we last left off. Seems reasonable enough. We had a great but drizzly cross country race last weekend. Ani and James did great, both showing there own personalities... Ani stopped in the middle of the race to help a classmate who was crying and she went to go find an adult to help him out and then kept on running once he was taken care of. James lumbered along - slow and steady doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to win the race, in James’ case, it means that you just finish. Sydney kept on waiting for her race, but they hadn’t organized one for the preschoolers, so we quick rounded up the nearest 2 & 3 year olds and they had a race on the tennis court. Cute.

Strong finish Ani.

James... definitely lumbering along.


Runners, take your (very cute) mark.

False start.

And they're off!

Friday night, my friend Bec invited me to go with her to a party to welcome the next GM of the Holiday Inn in town. All the ladies were dressed in beautiful sari’s... and I was in jeans. It doesn’t matter if I am in the States or in India, I always find myself underdressed. Why is that? Anyway, I got to chatting with a few doctors, one of the them being a cardiologist, and they were intrigued with my Lost Kilos class. Nalini, one of my LK gals, was there looking quite trim and they were amazed. They wanted to know all the details of how the diet works, which I then said it was nothing special. Just eating healthy, watching portion size, exercise, expending more calories then they eat... nothing special. And the doctors kept on going on and on about it and at one point I thought to myself, “You are a cardiologist, do you think it’s weird that you are so amazed at this?” Anyway, it was a fun night and it was so great to meet more Ootans - or would it be Ootites?

So yesterday was a day that I was constantly perplexed. Furrowed brow and all. It all started in the middle of last week when Freedom Firm’s driver, Susai, asked Jayson if his mom could bring us some of her Chicken Biryani on Sunday. Jayson said great. Susai said he would be over at 11 a.m. At this point I started getting puzzled, because Indians traditionally have lunch between 1 and 2 p.m. But I thought alright and kept on moving. At this point we should have asked some clarifying questions. Because when Susai (with his brother Umbruce and son, Martin) came at 11 he asked to borrow our car and (previously we told him we would pay for any expenses) to get some money. Alright, we gave him the keys and about 1 1/2 hours later they came back with all the ingredients needed and with a guy named Mohammed who was going to cook. Okay. Maybe when we thought Susai said mom, he really said Mohammed. Okay. They then bring out a few of their cooking pots from home and proceed to ask for some bricks and wood and they were going to cook in our driveway. Okay. So they built this grill (brilliant I know, we thought we would actually need a grill, but no, no, no, just some bricks and wood - we are not very clever in the realm of making due...) and away they went. Building, chopping, rinsing, cooking, steaming... all in our driveway, with some bricks and wood. Brilliant. So, we thought their family was all coming over because when they first came to get the car they said they were cooking for 15. We thought that meant that they were bringing over the rest of their family, so we tidied up a bit. But when no one came, we thought, hmm... maybe he meant there would be enough for 15 - they supply the food, we supply the friends - gotcha. Oh and in the middle of this, I went to go drop James off at a birthday party at 2 p.m. and the mom came out and said the party was at 4. Oops. Really? Alright. So around 3:30, we, the Palm Six, Susai, Umbruce, Martin (not Mohammed, its Ramadan, so he doesn’t eat from sun up to sun down) ate very large portions of Chicken Biryani. Beautiful. We have been sharing Biryani with everyone who crosses our path since. We’ve got two more containers full, so if you are in the area, stop on by...

Rinsing the chicken.


Grills. Totally brill.

Finished product.


Chris and Sarah said...

It's so nice when cultural misunderstandings turn out on the good side. Of course, either way they usually make for a good story!

Jennifer Swanson said...

Oh. My. Word. That dinner story is hilarious. And I am not in a good mood, so that says a LOT. :D

Kara said...

Hmmmm... Still wondering what they were all thinking?! Sometimes you just never know, I guess.
LOVE the false start pic on the preschool impromptu race :)

Jada said...

Love it all. The races are fantastic. The food looks right up there too. Love it.

Anonymous said...

first of all, i am not very fond of lending my cars keys to just about anyone, so you were very brave. second, what a great, funny story (you were so brave) and thirdly, the dinner looked delicious (and i still think you are brave.) so three cheers for bravery!
fondly, glenda

Christina said...

The biryani was so so good. I'm grateful to have had it for lunch for two days.

mel said...

i'm so proud of your kiddos! man, they are SO fantastic...way to go ani, james, and syd. "take your (very cute marks)..." probably my favorite line from this weeks entry...very nice, t!!

and about the whole, making enough for kara, i'm still wondering. you must be too. who were they expecting would come? i mean, wonderfully generous of them to cook for so many...wish i could have been there to help eat that delicious (looking) meal! can't wait!!