housewarming

Last night, Danielle and I hosted our housewarming party/ bbq. Since I work Saturdays and Fridays, and we both wanted something pretty low key, we thought a Sunday afternoon gathering would be nice and relaxing. We decided to provide some snacks and drinks, and asked people to supplement with their own. Danielle left the menu planning up to me, and I was stumped at first… and then I wasn’t. We decided to make samosas and gin and tonics.

I suppose you could try and find the ingredients for Indian cooking at Dominick’s, or pay too much for them at Whole Foods, but me being me, I decided to ride my bike up to Devon Street to get some authentic Indian ingredients for a reasonable price. On Saturday morning, I went on quite the bike ride, including the other errands in my neighborhood, calculations show that I rode at least 17 miles on my bike in the span of about 3 hours. I woke up early on Saturday, and I ended up going to Patel Brothers, because it was open. Patel Brothers has a lot of great stuff, but it can feel a little corporate, ala Trader Joe’s. Most things appear to be store brand, which allows for great quality control, but feels like… Trader Joe’s, not an awesome Indian grocery. Online, I’ve found that they have quite the network of groceries all over the country. The house brand name is “Swad…. The Best Taste In Town” which is a quaint tag line. I wonder if it sounds quaint on purpose, because if they’re being serious, maybe they should say the “Swad…. The Best Taste in North America.” Anyway, I digress. I picked up tons if Indian treats, for a quarter of what they would cost at Whole Paycheck. After trudging home on my bike, I went to pick up some gin and tonic for the party.

The problem with cheap gin is that it tastes like cheap gin. Most people have an aversion to this kind of gin, and I am cheap. What to do? We were making samosas, so I was intent on having gin and tonics, because they were invented in India by the British East India Company. I decided to buy cheap gin, and infuse it with cucumber. I only did this overnight, and it made a significant difference in the taste. I’m curious to see what happens if I let it sit for a week. To make infused gin:

Ingredients:
1 handle Seagrams or other inexpensive gin
2 large English cucumbers, peeled and chopped
3 drops rosewater
A small handful of fresh mint leavea (if you are infusing this over a longer period of time than a day, I would omit the mint.

Directions:
1.Chop up the peeled cucumbers
2. Put in a pitcher
3. Drip in the rosewater
4. Throw in the mint
5. Muddle it up
6. Cover with gin
7. Let sit covered in a dark place for at least 24 hours

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While the gin was infusing, Danielle and I made a lot of samosas. Samosas, despite what you might have been told, are not hard to make, however they are extremely labor intensive. I was struck with how Samosa Kohl (dough) is very similar to Pâte Brisée but MUCH easier to make. Some other day, when I decide to eat wheat again, I will try to make a quiche using Samosa Kohl. I used this recipe, and found it to work extremely well.
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We made 3 different fillings: potato carrot, potato pea paneer, and chickpea spinach paneer.
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They fried up quite nicely and were a hit at the party.
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We had quite the spread of chutneys and tasty snacks. I guarentee that Indian food has the best options in the world for snacking. Here’s a picture before the guests arrive
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Some people also brought cool food to share.

Laryssa brought a pineapple boat
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Ena brought a salad from her garden
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Mary brought deviled eggs
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This delicious syrup used with the infused gin, but I am still working on perfecting my recipe for a drink I’d like to call the Rose Garden…. Stay tuned.
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Here’s me and D, in socks, so our dirty feet don’t mess up the floor that our main men cleaned for us.
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