Off we go!
It's 5:30pm and it's Girls Night Out at Evergreen, our favorite Indian Cuisine Restaurant.
It's Friday night we're all ready to go, but we've been relaxing and chatting, the opening time of 5:00pm has come and gone and now we're wondering if there's still a good parking spot available. The Queen is hoping we haven't spent too much time chatting, because every minute spent not being enroute, is considered a wasted moment. After all, she has waited all week for tonight to arrive.
Now we're here and seated and the evening is about to unfold before us. The Queen is ready to eat and patiently awaiting the action to begin....
After Sarah, our server, arrives and receives the Queen's order directly, she is honored with a slight handshake of personalization, then Sarah turns to us and we quickly give our selections.
Tonights fare: Paneer Tikka and Shrimp Masalas, Veggie Koorma (Kurma), and of course, the Queen's Tandoori Shrimp. A couple of thali dinners and an entree... or two. Of course, we must each take home tomorrow morning's breakfast (or at least something for that infamous 2:00am hour of the "Food Triangle," where those edible items just seem to disappear from the refrigerator, as if consumed by some prowler that broke in, then broke back out, all before dawn, just because he knew there was Indian Food in our home).
Smugly, the Queen leans against the seat, extends her diet pepsi outward and toasts our friend's glass, then all in one swoop, she pulls her arm directly back, folding it inward while setting her 'chalice' back on the tabletop. Of course, we, having observed this moment, fully realize that most people would cringe with thoughts of impending doom had they actually seen it happen.
Before we know it, out comes the tripod chutneys, the 3 wonderfully colored taste bud awakeners, with essence of cilantro, mint, jalapeno, onion to coconut, gingers, tomatoes, with perhaps a hint of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, oh, who knows what secret spices they hide in these delectable chutneys of red, white and green?
Red White and Green (tripod chutneys)
I'm almost embarrassed, because I must admit that when I order out, I always order a second side order of Papadam, otherwise the first order would never reach its destination, the delivery at my house; and my family would never know that Papadam even existed.
When we eat out like this there is always a flurry, a rush to get that first piece for ourselves. Like 7 puppies around a small dish of kibble, our hands all start to reach for the papadam, in such a way, that the plate actually starts to move across the table, as if on a Ouija board, the plate being its planchette.
I have my customary Sweet Lassi, a yogurt drink that many drink after their meal; as a soothing, relaxing, and digestive jumpstart, since yogurt is so calming and a great finish to any meal; and I would too, only in this family there is no "after the meal," since we always seem to be in a rush. Such as life is, when one lives with a Queen, like the worker honeybees humming around her, in the nest.
So I have my Sweet Lassi during my meal.
Luckily, I also love my Sweet Lassi, even more, since the Queen doesn't seem to like them. I can freely sip in peace without a pair of eyes hungrily planning out some diversion to spirit my libation from my hands to hers. (**update: suddenly, the Queen seems to have developed a yearning for my Sweet Lassi, so now I must covet them, too.)
I am very blessed.
Isn't it funny how things change when the food arrives? It gets real quiet.
Fresh clay oven baked Nan
As our friend cuts the tails off the Queen's shrimp, the room seems devoid of sound, only the sizzling of the veggies and shrimp can be heard, still happily grilling away in their cast iron pan; along with an occasional suckling sound, almost an internal kiss, that can being heard as I look up through the steam, catching the Queen, as she swallows in anticipation.
'detailing' the Queen's Dinner
Once again, all is relatively quiet and we enjoy our dinners.
Paneer Tikka Masala - Thali dinnerRemains of a Tikka. By the time I went to capture an image of the Tikka, it was gone. I was a bit late on the take. Oh well, that's what happens when I eat. The cell phone gets cast to the edge of the table, where I find it later dangling off as if to drop any moment.
Wiping the masala off the cell phone's lens, I survey the wreckage....
Well, the plates are clean, boxes are here,
All the bags are packed, dessert is near.
We're leaving, we're on our way home...
We don't know when we'll be back again...
Oh baby, we hate to go......
Actually I'll probably be back next week, during my lunch hour, for my Sweet Lassi and my Papadam fix.
Many thanks to Usha and her family, for being here, Our Sweet Evergreen!