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Fall is officially in full swing! It’s so freakin’ cold these days and I’ve been unwilling to scrummage through the storage locker for my winter coat! I might just have to bite the bullet and do it one of these days!
Other than that, it’s been a good week, reconnecting with friends, having more time to workout, and to catch up on all things Netflix of course. Apart from the documentaries and such that I’ve rambled about on these updates, I also have finally had a chance to watch TV shows when they air. This has not happened in maybe a couple of years now, a true sign that I have too much time on my hands. Currently, the two shows I do religiously watch are This is Us and the Good Place. I’m always excited for these shows, and they definitely make my Tuesdays and Thursdays infinitely better. As much as I do like to watch them when they air, I’ve realized I HATE cable TV! I lose my focus because of all the advertisements I have to endure during the show. I am convinced that at the end of the half hour or one hour show, I spend more time watching advertisements than the show itself! But I also have zero patience so I endure the ads. What I’m really trying to say is thank you Netflix!
Anyways, that’s all the excitement for the week. As always, here are the books, movies, documentaries and FOOD that have excited me 🙂
Recipes I’ve tried this week
I’m lacking on the food photos this week. But, let’s be honest not all food that tastes good looks good.
- Dinner: Daal Chawal – Two Sleevers
I felt like a super traditional, desi house-wife this week. I made some daal (lentil curry), and rice. Daal Chawal for most Indian/Pakistani people is a household staple. There are different combinations of lentils everyone uses to make daal. As a child, I never liked daal, but most weeks it would make at least one appearance on the dinner table. Typically, we’d have it with a side dish of other vegetables (such as okra), or with fried fish. Daal Chawal is also the epitome of comfort food, and I was definitely feeding a craving. I used the Two Sleevers recipe for the daal, but made rice separately as I didn’t want to use my cake pans to make rice in it. Burned rice that sticks to the bottom of a pan is an annoyance to clean, and I just didn’t want to risk that!
- Dinner: Roti
To go along with the daal, I also had a hankering for roti (flatbread). Turns out making circle rotis is difficult! Traditionally, before a girl gets married she is must learn to make rotis. Rotis are a staple in most households, eaten everyday, multiple times a day (for breakfast, lunch and dinner). Fresh rotis are honestly the best thing you can ask taste. When we were younger, my mom would often treat us with fresh rotis with some sugar on top. My rotis tasted okay, they killed the craving at least, but they were not round. I still have some learning to do!
- Dinner: Air-fried wings and fries
I’ve been experimenting a lot with the air-fryer recently. This weekend, I made some wings and tossed them in two types of sauces – a ginger-soy asian sauce, and a spicy garlic parmesan (an attempt to copy cat my favourite flavour at Wild Wings). Even though it didn’t taste like my restaurant fav, it was still a very good sauce. Wings along with air fryer fries made for a great “greasy” cheat dinner. Yes, I can pretend we were eating healthy.
Ramblings on media (books, documentaries, podcasts etc.) that left an impact on me this week.
- Salt Acid Fat Heat – Netflix
This is a Netflix documentary based on a book my Samin Nosrat. Don’t worry, I will be reading the book VERY soon! The series is broken down into 4 instalments. Basically, the premise is that these are the elements you need to master in order to master cooking. So far, I’ve only watched the first instalment. It feels somewhere in the middle of a travel documentary, paired with a cooking show. There are no recipes, but it talks about flavours and textures that make our food taste good. The first episode was based around the element of fat. The show takes us to Italy, and illustrates the use of fat in foods whether you use oil, butter, cheese, cream or eggs , and how using these ingredients can transform the dish in flavour and texture when used correctly! It inspired me to get up and go cook. Well, then again you don’t have to tell me twice!
I can’t wait to watch the rest of the instalments and don’t worry, I’ll give a full review as I go along.
- Salt Acid Fat Heat – Netflix
- Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built by Duncan Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Anyone who shops online has heard of Alibaba. Anyone who has followed the stock market in recent years has heard of Alibaba. Anyone who has read about China in the news, has heard about Alibaba. As well as it’s charismatic founder Jack Ma. Jack Ma is known to be an inspiration. A smart man, who couldn’t get into an Ivy league school but has built an empire that is helping China propel forward in the world of e-commerce and technology. Though the book was a bit messy in its structure, it told the story of Jack Ma and how he has built Alibaba. It was an inspiring story of how Jack Ma, without really a technology background, had build Alibaba from the ground up. The book acknowledges that the timing was right, and they were not necessarily the first to market on all their technology. But they understood the local market and that was important! It was an informative and revealing book in how Jack Ma and Alibaba have paved the way for e-commerce and financial services in China and beyond.
What I also found interesting is how far China has come in the world of e-commerce and technology in a relatively short period of time. I love the idea of e-commerce as a consumer. I always think about the time and energy my parents spent when we were younger to do tasks like shop for groceries or home improvement items. In my opinion shopping online is not just about being lazy, but actually saving time to spend on more value added components of my life. It was eye opening how ahead of the curve China was in expanding online shopping to the masses. As big as Amazon is, I think the last I heard, only 20% of consumers in America shop online. Think about the potential of such a market. For some reason in North America we are slower to accept these technologies. Maybe it’s because we think that we have to do everything ourselves. I reckon in other parts of the world, where groceries delivered to your door is not a novel concept (but a result of cheap manual labour), there is greater acceptance of such technologies. Hopefully, that means there is a lot in store for our futures in terms of saving time and spending it on value added projects.