Hello! I hope y’all had (are still having) a fabulous weekend. Yesterday, I headed out to Wilbraham, MA to visit my cousin and her family. Yes, another weekend visiting family! It’s actually pretty awesome – I can visit any major city in the US and know someone within driving distance. It works out pretty nicely for me!
So, before I go any further, let me explain a bit more about my extended family. As you can probably tell from reading my blog, I have a big family, and I talk about them often.
My mom is the oldest of four sisters. They are all spread out across the country – AZ, CT, and CA. And they each have one son. I’m the oldest cousin on my mom’s side. My grandparents live in India ( ). It stinks, but that’s where they are happiest. Luckily, they’ve been able to visit twice in the past three years!!
Now my dad’s family on the other hand is a bit more complex. My dad is the youngest of 9. He has 5 brothers and 3 sisters. I have 21 cousins in all on my dad’s side, and some of them are even older than my dad. In fact, when my grandma was pregnant with my dad, his older sister and his older brother’s wife were also pregnant. Talk about a Father of the Bride type situation!! Now, bring my cousins’ kids into the mix and we’re talking a whole lotta people! So, yeah, I have a big family!
So this weekend I visited a cousin from my dad’s side (my uncle’s daughter). It was really nice because my aunt actually lives with her, so I got to spend time with her as well (my uncle passed away about 25 years ago). It was a pretty relaxing day – we talked, ate, talked, ate, ate, ate. I kid you not! My cousin is a terrific cook. In fact, she teaches Indian cooking classes in a nearby town. Basically, she takes traditional Indian dishes and simplifies them. When she found out how much I enjoy cooking, she let me be her little sous chef – I ended up getting my own personal cooking class for free!
I got to their house just in time for lunch…
The dish in the top left picture is a sweet and spicy corn and potato mixture made with fresh corn and shredded potatoes. SO GOOD! The dish in the top right picture is called Shahi Paneer. Paneer is the Indian cheese of choice – it’s basically pressed cottage cheese. The curry is made with pureed onions, tomatoes, cream, and spices. Absolutely delicious. And the bread in the bottom picture is homemade naan! Like a lot of other bloggers, I absolutely love naan and was so surprised by how easy it is to make at home. No worries, I will be posting a recipe soon.
In the late afternoon, we had some coffee. My cousin showed my how to make espresso like coffee without an espresso machine. I am a coffee fiend, so this was perfect for me. Not to worry, recipe coming soon.
I will tell you this, the secret to her awesome fake espresso is really more of a technique.
Along with our coffee, we munched on some homemade samosas and kachori. Samosas (bottom left) are an Indian snack made with spiced potatoes and peas stuffed in a small flour tortilla-like bread. Kachoris (bottom right) are similar to samosas, except the stuffing mixture is made with spiced beans.
Then (much later on) came dinner. My cousin gave me a bunch of options and asked me to pick one. I quickly settled on Kofta Curry and naan. This was the dish I assisted with. Kofta are vegetarian meatballs made with potatoes and crumbled paneer stuffed with cashews and raisins. The curry is made with pureed onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, cashew cream, water, a splash of real cream, and spices. I will definitely be making this sometime in the near future, so again, the recipe is on its way.
And here’s me assisting…
My aunt closed her eyes in all three takes, so I went with what I had! LOL!
And speaking of my aunt, she put me to shame this morning…
Her 75 year old self can touch her toes and do what she’s doing on the right. WHAT?! AND she’s had knee replacement surgery!! When I told her I couldn’t touch my toes (fully embarrassed), she told me I needed to practice. “Practice makes perfect.” Yeah…I should probably get on that.
Well, I have a lot of small things to take care of before tomorrow, so off I go!
Have a great evening, y’all!
Tell me about your weekend. Do anything fun?!