Every few days I open up my Google Timeline just to see where I’ve been and to see if there’s anywhere I should review. (I’m a Google Local Guide and enjoy sharing photos and reviews here.)
I look at the map. I haven’t been anywhere today. That’s not surprising. I woke up and started work right away. I go back a day: I still haven’t left. I scroll back all the way until Sunday before seeing a time in which I left the house.
The irony of buying a domain called “gooutsidetoday.com” on Monday and then not going outdoors until Friday is not lost on me. I don’t have any good excuses. I worked, I rode my bike a few times, I cooked some and Sage cooked and did some shopping as well so I didn’t even need to go to the grocery store. But to say that I didn’t have time to step outside of our building would be a lie. I got comfortable in the apartment.
So today there is no question. We have enough leftovers to go without cooking dinner tonight. I had a pretty intense race last night (80 minutes almost exclusively uphill and hovering around 90% of my max heart rate the whole time) so I’m taking tonight off from cycling. I have no reason to stay indoors.
I have a vague idea of what I’m going to do. I step out in to the sunshine and it is a gorgeous day. The temperature is just right. There’s a hint of fall coolness in the air but it is still warm enough to leave my jacket at home. It feels good to have the sun on my skin.
I drop a package off at the post office and then go to Iqbal Foods, a big grocery store with a huge selection of Indian groceries – any vegetable available in Canada is there, any spice I might desire, and a whole bunch of things that I still have yet to learn about. I have a couple of ideas for things I want to cook, and if I get coriander and tomatoes I can make aloo gobhi this weekend as well thanks to this week’s produce box.
I fill my cart up with veggies, pre-made roti but also roti flour because I need to improve my roti-making skill. It’s not bad but it still feels like a project instead of just cooking part of dinner. I know that will change if I practice. And then I get inspiration for a snack and toss a few more things in the cart: chaat papri, chickpeas, some chutney and yogurt. I head out and as I walk out the door my eye is caught by Shirin Mahal, a bakery next door. I haven’t been there since they opened many years ago. I go inside and am immediately surrounded by the smell of delicious baked goods. I can’t help myself. I buy a small box of jeera biscuits. I taste one. It is fresh and tasty, buttery, a tiny bit sweet with a hint of cumin in it.
I head toward home and start planning my snack further and remember that there’s a samosa and sweet shop. I have an idea and pick up a dozen samosas for $4. As I’m waiting in line I look through the glass of the sweet case and I am tempted to buy something more. I leave with two laddus – one for Daegan and one for me. Sage is not so fond of them. She doesn’t know what she’s missing.
I get home and nobody is around. Daegan is working in his room and Sage is out for a walk of her own. I go to the kitchen, grab a few things from the refrigerator and get started. I break up a few samosas (We’ll save the chaat papri for later), toss a few chickpeas on top, some coriander chutney, some bhel puri sauce, a bit of yogurt, minced onion, coriander, sev (thin, fried chickpea flour noodles), and fresh coriander. Then I top the whole thing with a pinch of chaat powder. For slightly more than the $1 it cost for three samosas, I’ve made samosa chaat, the cheapest of which goes for $5-6 here. When Sage gets home, I whip up another one just for her.
And now, after going out I’m happy and inspired to cook more. But I think we need to eat some of those leftovers before I fill the fridge up any more.
2 thoughts on “I Venture Outside”
You are a sandwich todd. An indian by heart, a citizen by canadian and american.. I wonder even if we indians bother to develop our roti skills.. Bang on todd.. U impress me eveytime
Thanks :-). Definitely when it comes to food, that’s where my heart lies. And I don’t want to do half measures. If I’m going to do something , give it my best. At least that’s my intention. Laziness sometimes gets in the way – thus the package of pre-made roti in my fridge. 😀