Peeling Eyeballs

July 15, 2009

It's 9:42 p.m. and I am just sitting down now to actually even think about cooking. Why is that? Well, because dinner took an hour and a half. The kids and I are a little burned out eating Indian food so I thought I'd give everyone a break and make veggie sandwiches. Simple. Easy. Right? Soooo wrong. The little monsters couldn't even eat that properly. The only way I got them going was by pulling out the eyeballs.
Let me explain. Back in 1986 my parents gifted me with a trip to Vancouver for the World Fair. I stayed with my cousin Nina and her family. We used to go everyday to the Fair looking for adventure with a big bag of lychee. If you're not familiar with this tropical fruit, you need to check it out. It tastes amazing - but it does look a little strange. It's got a brownish-red rough peel that when pulled back reveals a round opaque sweet treat on the inside. You eat away the sweetness and spit out the large, black pit.
I'd never seen so much lychee in my life. In Vancouver it's brought in by the shiploads as they have a huge Chinese and Indian population. In Pennsylvania where I lived we rarely got a chance to see lychee. Of course it was my idea to fill a paper back with the fruit to keep us busy in the long lines. Nina was skeptical.
As we stood in line, a guy in front started talking to us. I was chatty right away as he was American. I offered him some lychee. He took it with trepidation. Peeled it and instantly exclaimed, "I can't eat this. It's like eating eyeballs!"
So now, lychee is known as eyeballs in our house. After Aria finished peeling about 20 and eating 1...and me shoving her sandwich in her mouth as her hands kept busy I finally got them down for bed. And now I focus on food...

Here's my idea. I need to finish my recipes for my first cookbook - Indian food in a crockpot. The way I'll do it is by kicking up my recipe testing. I have four 5-quart crockpots on my counter waiting to be filled. I will commit to four new recipes every day.
If any of these dishes sound good to you and you've signed on to be a taste tester...bring your containers and I'll fill them with the dishes of choice. All you have to do is write on this blog and tell me your thoughts on the dish. This way no food gets wasted and I get valuable feedback.
So...here's what's in store for tomorrow:

Curried Mustard Greens (Sarson ka Saag)
Goan Black-eyed Peas
Lentil Soup
Cauliflower in Spicy Tomato Sauce

So my goal is everything in a crockpot and virtually no oil!!!

I'm on a mission to get this book done! I know my publisher Doug Seibold with Agate will be happy to hear that. Wish me luck!



Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla

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2 Comments

smokingpenguin
smokingpenguin

July 17, 2009

This post really made me smile. I am a rather atypical twenty something from a rather atypical midwestern family. My father is a university professor and, as a result, we travelled a lot. I remember going to Northern China with my mother and father in the early 2000's and landing in the middle of a bumper lychee harvest. Everywhere there was a cart, stand, or old woman with a basket of those prickly brown delights. My mother and I were wandering around Dalian and happened upon a stand selling lychee by the kilo. I mustered enough Mandarin to buy a big bag and we found a park bench and dug in. We sat for over an hour husking lychee and eating them. Our hands hurt from the prickles we ate so many. The best part though was the reaction of the Chinese to the sight of us. Mind you, this city (although in my opinion the most beautiful in China) was not used to foreign visitors, and so we were often met with stares wherever we went, but the sight of two Gai-Jin sitting on a bench eating a giant pile of lychee was just too much for the natives. People stopped, stared, even took pictures! It was such a perfect afternoon and I can still taste those "eyeballs" sweeter than I have ever had even to this day. Thank you for bringing back such a wonderful memory.
I'm Brennan by the way, my bf James sends his love!

About Me
About Me

July 17, 2009

I LOVE the story. I've lived in Japan and can totally relate to everything you say about being a gai-jin in China. They thought in Japan that I was Paula Abdul! Ha. My black friend they thought was Michael Jackson. Go figure.

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