I have this funny habit. If someone asks me how I am and I know them pretty well, I might just skip past the niceties and tell the truth. Some days, all is well and I’m happy to leave it at that. Other days, not so much. Not that I’m trying to be Debbie Downer, but if I’m having a tough time, I’ll generally cop to it.
So when my friend Khat texted me the other night asking how I was, I was honest. I told her I’d been feeling a bit down. She promptly invited me to dinner. My outlook immediately improved!
Yes, it’d been a rough week, and my energy was low. She invited me over AND cooked for me. A true home-cooked meal rarely happens for me in New York City. I either cook for myself, go to a restaurant, or eat popcorn out of a bag. Ha! So when someone does invite me over for dinner, and a home-cooked one at that, it’s a real treat.
Khat is from Afghanistan, but she grew up mainly here. She’s quite the cook, and I love Afghan food. Her making this meal for me was a lovely, heartfelt, and healing gesture.
We started out with crunchy samosas with a ground lamb filling and a garlic yogurt dip. I had to restrain myself from eating them all. The main dish was called Ashak, scallion and leek filled dumplings over a yogurt sauce, topped with a ground lamb sauce. Such a subtle flavor, yet so vibrant and irresistible. I’m seriously in love with dumplings, and dumplings with these particular flavors practically made my week.
I took the night off from blogging (almost!), and didn’t get the recipes for these goodies. But I’ll see what I can do going forward.
We closed out the meal with some skillet brownies I doctored up from a Trader Joe’s gluten-free brownie mix. I was testing the mix for possible use at my upcoming Yoga retreat. They were quite good. I call them skillet brownies because Khat didn’t have a baking dish, so we commandeered a skillet instead, greased it up nicely, and baked them in that. With a sprinkling of sour cherries and chocolate chips, they tasted homemade.
I almost let myself simply enjoy the meal and Khat’s lovely company. But then the blogger in me made and appearance, and I snapped a couple of (quick, I promise!) pics of the with my camera phone before we devoured it. The food, not the phone! (Sorry, but the samosas were long gone at this point).
Khat is an incredible jewelry designer, and she’s prepping a collection now. I’ll be blogging about that very soon. Beyond that, she’s a wonderful friend. I feel truly blessed to have so many good friends in my life. Thanks, Khat!