January 6, 2011 § 15 Comments
one thing i really love is, i love a freshly opened package of printer paper.
the smell of it, the virgin white uncreased potential of it is a little happymaking, don’t you think? and the sound of it, the clean, sharp rustley sound of it… sometimes you just want to close your eyes and cavort naked in a bed of printer paper.
and then some asshole comes up and presses that button and all of a sudden one side of it is covered by Shareholders’ Agreement and the other side is smudgey with ink stains and depression. is there any surer way to kill the spirit of fresh white printer paper? i know not, dear reader. i assure you i do not.
a good friend tracked me down a lovely copy of on beauty (zadie smith) at the daryaganj book market in dilli. it is second hand and carefully covered in stiff cellophane and was mine for the princely sum of forty rupees. it’s things like this that make me seriously consider buying books by the kilo. so you read the book, say, and when you’re done with it you fry it with wild mushrooms and eat it.
you know, i really can’t tell what mushrooms are wild and which are not, but thanks to the deep pocket, large heart and holiday spirit of a certain firm in bengloor, i had the opportunity to eat me a Very Expensive Christmas Eve Lunch. so what i ate for lunch was a strawberry cooler – well this part was ‘drank’, if you want to be ornery – and a penne with pesto and wild mushrooms. see, i get a kick out of ordering foods with long, descriptive names because i feel very damn posh for doing so. so i’d say i want an
ayn-gel hair pas-tah gent-lee sau-
-tayd in an inf–yoo-shun of
it took forty five minutes for that strawberry cooler to arrive, forty five minutes in which i had decided that i’d have been better off ordering a sweet-lime soda like mister predictability sitting opposite me. this is notable for two reasons, dear reader. firstly because i intensely dislike the disgustoid that is a sweet lime soda -to me, it looks like a warm green burp. secondly, because the strawberry cooler soon arrived, and it was such a vision of fat, bruised, scarlet strawberries fighting for space with lumps of crushed ice and whimsical bunches of mint leaves, mint leaves so offensively, healthily green that you were almost surprised to note that they were not still attached to a plant.
you must understand, it was such a sunny day, and my shirt (poly-blend) was really really playing up its polyester heritage, and i was generally as happy as a hot, sweaty lump of violent hunger giftwrapped in polyester can be, and here, here by GOD was this Cooler of Redemption.
i drank it all up but in very small, jealous sips. i drank it right to the end and i conscientiously slurped and sucked loudly, because this was above all, you know, a one-fifty-buck fruit juice.
one hundred and fifty rupees. fruit juice.
i would have eaten the glass next if i could’ve.
i am only just done with that cooler, and my pasta comes in and upstages it just. like. that. it was a beauty of a pesto and the wild mushrooms were truly, er, wild. you know how mushrooms usually taste of almost nothing? i mean, they have this almost taste, like they’re getting somewhere truly explosive but for now they’ve decided to stop right here? they’re sort of beige tasting, and i quite like them. i like their texture – a companionable sort of friendly, rubbery sliminess, like a shady friend who tries to sell you stolen watches every time you meet him but you can’t help liking him anyway. so mushrooms i’ve known usually taste like this, but not the mushrooms in this Pasta of Joy, oh no.
these ones were long and languorously curly, and shaded in long, intermingling stripes of pitch black and brown, and tasted of so many spicy, exciting things that i cannot even describe! the pasta was chock full of the little suckers as well. so you do see here, dear reader – do you see it? – that i have this plate full of lovely penne, cooked perfectly, whitely al dente, swimming about in this bright green pesto with the black-brown mushrooms. and the mushrooms are like flashes of little salamanders with their orange fire-like highlights, darting about in the canopy of lush, green pesto.
you can rest assured i ate the fuck out of that pasta, lovely reader.
and that will be all.
there was actually some stuff that happened after that lunch. a really boring chocolate dessert of some sort and then office and documents and binderclips and photocopiers and the click-click-click of somebody or the other’s purposeful stiletto-ness and then a sleepy plane ride and then another and then college and other things that happen in college, but nothing, nothing so far has come close to that Lunch.
so i thought, i will blog about it.