Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Home is where the nose is?

Imagine, if you will, a miasma of onion, cumin, turmeric, ginger, garlic, fresh coriander stems, tomato, potato and cauliflower wending its way down the hallway. There on the threshold of the office it pauses--atremble--before sneaking into the room and wafting around the ceiling, then curling down to entice my nose.

This is not a smell that makes me think of the deepest darks of India, nor even any local eatery. Aloo Gobi, this recipe in particular, is a smell that always conjures to mind thoughts of my husband. This is the recipe he usually makes. It is one of the dishes he takes great delight in preparing in all it's time-consuming chopping and measuring. He especially takes great delight in sharing the bounty with me...but if I'm not in the mood for it, he has been known to eat the whole pot, all by himself, over the course of several days. It's a recipe that he makes much better than I. For some reason, whenever I cook it, it's never as good as he can do it, even if he stands right beside me and coaches me the whole way.

Last night, he was meant to make it for dinner, but we ran out of time. Tonight, I am making it for him to welcome him home. For you see, I finished moving everything out of the other house today (except for our plants which we need to deal with on Saturday) and that made me in great need of comfort. Firstly, I went for a swim this afternoon.

...Beg pardon, the timer went off and I went out to add the final touches to the aloo gobi; garam masala stirred into the pot, the heat turned off and fresh chopped coriander leaves sprinkled over the top. With the lid replaced over the lot, to let the delicious concoction marinate in its own juices.

Back we go, from the warm spiciness of this evening's Indian curry to the brisk chill of the swimming pool this afternoon...

Comfort. Two things that are essential to my emotional wellbeing; water and Alaskaboy. Alaskaboy not being on tap since he was at work, I went with the comfort to be had literally from a tap. Not a beer tap, fortunately.

I'd been meaning to go for a swim every day for the last week, but each night we had been finished our chores far later than the pool was open. Today, I was luckily enough to squeeze in with about half an hour to spare. And squeeze it was, lemme tell you. The pool is 25 ft(almost 8 metres) long, at most. I'm pretty sure the dizziness I felt occasionally whilst I was swimming was not just from the fact I'd only had three hours sleep last night, and that the extremely cold water undoubtedly put my blood pressure up a tad, but also from swimming laps in that itty bitty pool! It would take me 131 laps to swim a kilometre! Holy snappin' duckturds, Batman! Methinks I'm going to have to find some other aquatic exercises to do in the pool as well as lap swimming. Either that or take some motion sickness drugs beforehand. LOL

Today, I got my swim, and my head and heart feel so much more refreshed than they did the other night. Once the swim was over and done with, and I'd had a bite to eat, I felt in need to a nap. But, again, my brain was too keyed up to sleep. I really am empathising with babies at the moment. In particular, babies whose routines have got so out of whack that they're in need of relearning how to go to sleep of a night. New plays of light on the wall, new sounds, new smells, so many unfamiliar things mixed in with the familiar furnishings, and it's enough to set a girl on edge. Add to that the lovely clinking of the plastic vertical blinds, and... well, I'm sure you get the picture.

Alaskaboy is working late tonight, because they have a late start in the morning. Feeling a little lonely, and knowing he'd want the aloo gobi for dinner/snack when he got home, even if I was the one to make it, I set out to do just that.

This too has been another new thing. Comforting myself with food, without needing to eat it. My body wanted bacon and ketchup sandwich this morning for breakfast; a banana for lunch; a piece of cheese for snack; lentil and veg japanese curry with rice for dinner, and then cheese and tomato on toast for snack. But my soul, that was a different story. I needed the sensual comfort that is the heady aroma of indian cooking. Alaskaboy's Indian cooking. And I know the apartment actually smells like home to me tonight, and I'm hoping it will for him too. In time, if we cook enough of our foods and create enough memories, it will come to be our home too, rather than just 'the new apartment' masquerading like a girl wearing her mother's perfume.

It doesn't hurt that the aloo gobi banishes the paint smell for a little while as well.

2 Nibbles:

Wanna_B_slim said...

Oh that sounds devine... I hope alaskaboy enjoys it when he gets home...
It wont take long and this new place will feel like home...

Kada said...

He enjoyed it as much as he could in amongst the trauma of dropping his palm pilot, while leaving work, and destroying several months of work...that he hadn't backed up. The bag he dropped also contained the laptop--my work laptop--but luckily that wasn't damaged. Poor PP is kaput though.

Yes the curry did help a little. Was able to keep most of the windows closed today, but it's still lingering. Stupid oil-based paint. Another friend suggested hanging a bag of curry spices in each cupboard! Might just do that if it's not gone by the end of the week.

Thanks, it is feeling more like home already. Was kinda hard to leave the house where Alaskaboy proposed and where we first met though. Looking forward to making many new memories that are just as happy here.