I love love love titles with dual meanings.
So, since the last post was predominantly coffee-pudding stuffed, this one’s about the cheese dip (now you get the title!) and the salsa (the eating type) and Castle (sigh to that one!).
I left off in the bit where I lost myself in pudding paradise. Not that I love praising myself, but a woman needs appreciation at times, doesn’t she? Ah, but the next recipe is fool proof. Guaranteed to make some very hungry sister very happy.
After skimming through like, ten recipes of cheese dips on the net, and realizing none of it was possible because of the unavailability of ingredients out here (try finding blue cheese out here in Tezpur, I dare you!), I figured out, it was left to my imagination again. So. All I did was scoop in two tablespoons of Amul Cheese Spread into a glass bowl. Added another two tablespoons of mayonnaise to the cheese, and two teaspoons of cold milk to make it a more runny dip. Sprinkled three pinches of black pepper powder on it, and mixed it up. Creamy, peppery, cheesy dip. Yum.
The fresh salsa again, couldn’t be copied from the internet. I didn’t know where to look for a salsa with Indian ingredients, and so, did what I do best. Improvise. Now this took the best part of my morning, but it was all worth it. For the salsa, chop two small tomatoes (the size of your fist, if you want to be particular about the details), one onion, one quarter of a capsicum (the fat ones, not the thin ones… oh you know what I mean) with the seeds removed, one large clove of garlic, and a huge bunch of coriander, into as fine bits as you can. Try keep the sizes even. The garlic should be near-minced. Soak all of the chopped stuff in two teaspoons of white vinegar. Add in salt to taste, and well, this is where I put in the Sam touch. I added a dash of honey into my salsa, although none of the recipes even mentioned it. Pretty as the salsa looks, put it into the fridge for a few hours to chill so the flavors get infused into each other, none of them overpowering.
Serve the cheese dip and chilled salsa with a huge bowl of plain potato chips (our plain Uncle Chips has been tried and tested). Try stop yourself from going for the umpteenth helping.
And while focusing on the food, albeit a tad too much, it might seem like I have missed out on the “friendship” bit, the heart was right there all the time. Even as I cooked thinking about how Ainu and I have been through so much together… her first tattoo, my first (and only) belly-button piercing… the legendary getting out of touch for months and then getting back together like never before… the first day of my last year as a single woman… the warmth of the friendship was right there in the air. And as we cuddled under blankets for episode after episode of Castle, while having coffee pudding, and later chips with the dip, all I could think of was how grateful I was for that moment.
And now, whenever I think of cheese dips, I only remember that cold January First evening, and her freezing hands and us laughing together at the same lines. Because in all honesty, it is about the food for the soul.