I went to lunch with Stacey at an Indian restaurant - and for those of you who don't know me all that well - you might want to know that the smell of curry just about sends me into delusional fits. You see, my dear friends and readers, when I first moved into my home - it was stark white. From the floors to the ceiling - WHITE. And to make matters worse - it was as if the white paint was infused with the smell of curry. Every drawer, every cabinet, every room - smelled like an Indian diner. I could not bare to put new furniture, curtains and perfectly coordinated and be-jeweled throw pillows and have them instantly soiled by the curry smell.
So I had the whole house painted. Scaffolding was brought in. Men in little white speckled hats came by the hundreds. The flat white paint was covered by gallons of "Toasted Almond" and the smell - was still there.
So I had the carpets cleaned. Every room, every floor, was scrubbed. Stanley Steamer was able to afford orthodontia for little Stan by the time they were done with my house.
The smell faded.
So, needless to say, walking into "Nawab; Fine Indian Cuisine" was a little unsettling. Will I smell of the dreaded curry? Will I bring the unsettling aroma back to my house where it will breed, like olfactory vermin in the walls? GASP! What if I actually like it?! All these thoughts and more swirled through my one-track mind as we pushed open the doors and arrived at the tiny restaurant.
I dared not breathe.
Starting to feel faint, I took a tentative sniff.
Well, huh. I don't smell it.
So we sat and then almost instantly popped back up to head to the buffet. I tried a bit of everything - even grabbing a few morsels of curried chicken - ya know - for the sake of culinary adventure - and returned to our chairs.
I poked a bit and started with the rice. I was not one to dive into the icy waters of unknown food tasting without some preparation to my soon-to-be-startled taste buds. It was nice, I admit, to have rice without the typical egg that most Chinese restaurants insist on adding.
I then tried some soupy veggie concoction. Which surprised the hell outta me by being not only edible but - good. I then moved on to the beef - something - I'm not sure what it was swimming in - but the result was a moist piece of meat that I usually won't even eat home-cooked.
I went back for seconds.
I really should've stopped there.
But Stacey, being much more adventurous than I, insisted on me trying the rice pudding. It had green bits in it. Convincing myself that it was pistachio, I tasted it.
"Tastes like a candle. A rose candle." I told her and Chandra and Amy who were there to witness my Indian food virginity removal (which is a horrible figure of speech and I shall use it no more - which is sad because the mental image it gives is actually quite entertaining...).
"That's irony. We spend all this money buying candles that smell so good we want to eat them and then we come here and eat something that tastes like a candle," says Stacey. This is a "Stacey Thought" and happens often. It's observational genius - but I think it's patented by her under "Stacey Thoughts, Inc." so I shall go ahead and give her credit for the cool observation.
"So I'm eating irony, here?" Is my not-so-cool observation.
"Just a side dish, really," she responds and takes my bowl from me to finish eating my portion of candle pudding.
So while I watch her finishing my irony/candle/rice pudding - which is better served cold - I congratulate myself on my accomplishment in culinary adventure.
Calimari? Lobster Bisque? Oysters? Flan?
Bring it on.