I wonder if it was the same point in time when Lynn and I both looked around the room and realized we were the only two “americans”? North Americans, that is, and dang it all if I didn’t just wake up thinking about Garnet 🙁 The self-identified “probably only monolingual” – Elizabeth of thanksgiving dinner fame – had already left. Arturo (the “strategy guy”) and Fernando (of the “strong personality”) may be on to something, although with this crowd, we might need more intrigue. 🙂 There was speculation that mariachi would be a great venue to confront heteronormativity, but only (probably?) in a society where the custom is already common, some places are probably ruled out, as tagged by their own, Viera and Yasser. Maria (and Company) argued persuasively, however, that the custom of serenading actually provides some balance of power for women in heterosexual gender politics. ! And then, once you take timing, personality, and other variables into account….no doubt we are talking art. 🙂
We also had the saga of the palak paneer (a.k.a, “paneer crumble”), which was outsourced in more directions and implicated more chefs than possible in a unidimensional universe. For your first time, Sreela, even the Indians said you did a good job! (I think it was the only dish of which there were no leftovers.) The “most authentic” recipe for lamb biryani, also took the longest (!), but the hungry mob didn’t turn unruly and the adage held true. In addition to the lamb, I have to say that Srinivas’ talent with apricots was worth squeezing into my already overfull tummy. Yum!
Koushik‘s chili chicken was superb, and this from the guy who declared himself on first introduction to his roommates: “I like chicken. I don’t cook.” According to Sarbjeet, though, it’s really Swati who saved the day. While Sarbjeet and Lynn were having a “people or spinach” crisis, Swati prepared most of the rest of the dishes (are you ready?): payasam, raita, chana masala, dal, and peas & mushroom pulao. Nigham rounded us off with aloo bhujiya. Now, were those aloos fried or was that the papad? 🙂 (Aside: who all was that tangential social plan supposed to be with? Nigham, Swati, Raz…Koushik? Oh dear! I’m gonna need some help!)
Flora graced us with her presence until Viera and I went off on transnational citizenship, and Sirisha sacrificed a night of dissertation writing (I hope it was worth the trade off!). 🙂
Raz snuck out before the group dynamics got going (shhhhh!) but not until after he’d successfully shepherded not only his two “usual dependents” but also led Hunju here. Hunju? Did someone say Hunju actually made it?!! Talk about being blessed!
Jose dragged his poor roommate Jin along kicking and screaming. I’m sure we’ll never see that guy again. 😉 And Afry, I’m So Glad I finally learned the trick to getting you here! Remind me never to send you a direct invitation again. 🙂
Swati won the door prize (a “fortune-teller ball” from Gallaudet), and Sarbjeet was honored as….well. He was supposed to have had a lot to do with the celebration, so I got him a special something (I also got one for my buggle, I hope she likes it as much as Sarbjeet liked his).
We only had three folks bail and miss out (besides a handful of folk who’d said, tentatively, that they might try to drop by): Eve – I only had to field the question of where you and Kathleen were a half-dozen times or so. Denise! Like, what up?!
It was the Winter Solstice. Our candle burned throughout, and our antic celebration was, I must say, extraordinarily enjoyable. Even I actually had several pleasurable and relaxing conversations with many different people! (I’m not gonna tell you about the others! So THERE!) 😉
Maria and Arturo shared some tips on food organization and management for large events with many cooks. (Not on a reflection on this evening’s able efforts!) Top of the list: identify each parties strength and play to it, taking care to identify those whom you can’t even ask to bring something. uh oh!
May I just say, thank you, my friends, for ushering in the new season with me and bringing your own humble selves. Meanwhile, rumor has it we now have a “guy on the inside”, so watch for mariachi promotions to start showing up via GEO.
This one’s for the girls…