Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Surprise- Successful! The Green Goop- Sheer Disaster!

Our man turned 40 on the 11th! We threw him a surprise birthday bash, and a successful one, to boot! The planning started before the holidays, that included reaching out to his old buddies from college, and trying to get them to send in birthday video messages for him. I must say that he has some pretty awesome buddies, so much so that I almost feel jealous!! With the help of iMovie (of course!), we made a decent display of pictures, and buddy messages, that blew our man away. And thanks to all our dear friends, for making it so special and memorable!

Here's the cake we got for him. Err, the cake decorator perhaps needs a lesson on punctuation.....

The Birthday Cake!

Now surprises can be quite stressful, really! I mean, for starters, the number 1 rule is that you gotta shut up. And for some of us, this can be a bit of a challenge. The next rule revolves around all the arrangements you make. You have to make sure you hide everything from the surprisee (is that even a valid word?). In this case, that was actually not an issue, because our man here is not really into the affairs of the kitchen, so that really worked out well.

The Menu: 

His favorite Indian dishes of course, including egg curry, dal (lentils), and rotis (Indian bread). I asked a friend if she could make tindora (ivy gourd) or okra stir fry (yep, he quite likes these two vegetables!), and she was very kind to offer to make the tindora fry. Perfect menu, I thought.

And then:

I got this great idea that hmm, that might not be enough, and perhaps I ought to make one more dish, for some of the people who might not like to eat the egg curry. Fair enough!

And so: 

I started making my special saag-paneer (spinach and other greens with Indian cottage cheese). I've made it a gazillion times before, and each time it has been delicious, with that awesome green color. Here, you can go check it out yourself: Saag Paneer.

So yeah, pretty good looking, and tasty, right? Wrong!

The Green Goop Fiasco:

Just as everything was going perfectly well with the greens, our man called, saying he was on his way back home from work. That would have been such a delightful thing to hear on any other day, considering the fact that I am married to a workaholic, but not at that moment, when I was preparing stuff for his surprise birthday bash! That was it- I got into this frantic rush mode, and my brain kept telling me, forget it, don't do this, it is OK, just cool it, take it easy.... but I just wouldn't listen to myself! Now normally it would have been a breeze for me to repair that stuff, and make it, if not look good, taste good, but that was not possible in that particular situation, as there was no time! The end result was this very uninviting, horrendous, green goop.

The Disastrous Green Goop!
Oh Well!:

The surprise was a super success, and I know that our man was super touched. Everybody had fun. BUT you know, for a pretty good cook like me (hey, I have some bragging rights in that department!), the saag paneer was below mediocre, with this horrible pasty consistency, and gross green color, and I am disappointed......... everybody was very polite, but quietly stayed away from that pot of the green goop. Yes, very sad indeed!

Sunday Lunch:

Since we have that entire pot of saag paneer lying in the refrigerator, and I really don't feel like throwing it into yard waste, I think I am going to repair it, and make it taste good. I know I can't do anything about the consistency or the off-green color, but I can definitely pump up the taste. So here's to Sunday lunch!

Notes to Self:

1. I don't have to try to please everybody.

2. I mustn't unnecessarily add to a perfectly set menu.

3. I should be happy to know that the main person I did this for is happy! And that is all that matters!


1. I do like to please everybody!

2. It is OK to add to a perfectly set menu, sometimes!

3. Yes, I am happy that the main person I did this for is happy, but I'd like everybody to be happy!


I shall reinstate myself the next time around, and that is a promise to myself!

Inner Voice: 

Uh, I need to chill!!

No comments: