Lately I’ve been feeling lonely.
Working from home has a lot to do with it. There just isn’t the same social interaction as in a day with co-workers.
But journalists get to talk to people all of the time, right?
Yes, but it isn’t socializing. You’re talking to strangers and have to keep it that way. It’s highly unprofessional to befriend your sources.
Usually I can deal. But adding to journo loneliness is m hay’s work putting the pinch on him to be there more. More than the insane hours he already works. More to the point that he doesn’t get a day off AGAIN this week.
When I’m done my typing, my research, my phone-calling and e-mailing and story-beating and pitching and getting rejected for the day, I switch off my desk computer and am just at home.
It’s 8 p.m. The silence is oppressive. I’m scared to go out and do anything because that costs money and my employment is tenuous.
And so m hay and I have decided to get a dog.
Small and hypo-allergenic. A companion to fill the silence of my house.
It’s decided and I’m excited about it.
I’m home all of the time, so I can train and spend lots of time with my new friend.
Mine really is the perfect situation for girl-dog love.
Today’s dish will be familiar to anyone who frequents Indian restaurants.
Kheer, or Indian rice pudding, is a very common dessert. It’s made across India. My version is North Indian, as it does not contain coconut.
Kheer will boil over before you know what’s happening. So the key to kheer is not to walk away from the pot. You’ll thank me for this advice when you’re not scrubbing burnt milk off the stovetop.
Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)
1/4 cup basmati rice
5 cups whole milk (no substitute!!!)
3 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
small pinch saffron threads, soaked in a tablespoon of hot milk
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp pistachios
1/2 tsp butter
salt to taste
Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Soak the rice for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the pistachios in a pan over medium heat until fragrant. Remove from heat and immediately stir in half a teaspoon of butter. Season to taste with salt. Set aside to cool. Once cool, roughly chop.
Bring milk and cardamom to a boil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Be very careful not to let it boil over!
Drain the rice.
Add the soaked rice and reduce the heat to a good simmer. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and reduced by half and the rice grains are broken into little bits.
Add the raisins, saffron and sugar. Keep cooking until the raisins plump up and the mixture starts to go blop blop.
Remove from heat. Season with salt to taste. Garnish with pistachios.