The hubster was out of town for work this past week. As soon as my mother found out, she frantically began searching for a flight to come out and stay with me. Why? Because she was afraid I'd either a) be kidnapped or b) die of loneliness in the hubster's absence. After much convincing (and more than one reminder that I was almost thirty years old), she agreed to stay home but only if I called the second I set foot in the door every night. And she meant it too. The one night I forgot to call, my mother almost summoned the National Guard.
Me? I was perfectly content to spend a week home alone. Don't get me wrong. I love the hubster. He is my best friend and partner in crime for gyro and french fry making adventures. He makes sure I don't eat biscotti for dinner every night or watch back-to-back Real Housewives of New York marathons. In short, the hubster is awesome. But sometimes, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. And in my world, that means vegging, shopping, crafting, cooking, and most importantly, eating.
See, when you're cooking for and eating with someone, there's an unstated pressure to measure up. You can't serve grilled cheese for dinner every night. At least not without a homemade soup or side of veggies. Otherwise, you just feel inadequate. It doesn't matter if you're married to the most understanding man who would be perfectly content eating a grilled cheese with a bag of Lays. No, there's an ever-present pressure to be a good wife. Cue 1950's music here. I imagine this is what mothers feel like, always striving to do what's best and expected for their kids while their kids would be perfectly happy (if not happier) eating an Eggo waffle for dinner.
And yup, as soon as the hubster left, I had a grilled cheese for dinner. With a side of flamin' hot Cheetos. While watching a Real Housewives of New York marathon. 'Cause I'm classy like that. The next night, I spread out my scrapbooking supplies and made a fugly scrapbook documenting our last vacation. I swear, the thing is truly hideous. And yet, while I was gluing flowers on plaid paper (told ya it was ugly) and listening to Eminem and Rihanna's Love the Way You Lie on repeat, I felt like Marth Stewart. The night after that, I went out for fro yo with my girlfriends and we chatted and giggled for hours about absolutely nothing. Afterward, I went to Sur La Table and pawed all their shiny, new gadgets and bought a cookbook. Ok, two cookbooks. Fine, three cookbooks, two squeeze bottles, and some pie weights. And then, for the three nights after that, I had scallion pancakes for dinner. Not scallion pancakes with grilled chicken or shrimp stir fry. Nope, scallion pancakes by themselves. In all their crispy, flaky glory. Dipped into sticky, sweet soy dipping sauce. 'Cause I was cooking for and eating by myself.
And today, after a week of Azmina time, I'm kinda, sorta, maybe glad that my best friend is coming home tonight. I'm tired of eating by myself and rumor has it, he too, likes scallion pancakes. Oh, and he doesn't mind that I spilled glitter glue on the living room carpet. Right, honey?
PS: MasterChef is on tomorrow on FOX (or CTV for those in Canada).
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup canola oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup ginger dipping sauce, recipe to follow
In a bowl, sift flour. Slowly add water in a steady stream while mixing with a wooden spoon. Keep adding water until a ball is formed. With the same procedure, one can use a food processor with a metal blade. Let ball of dough >relax for about 30 minutes and cover with damp cloth.
On a floured surface, roll out dough into a thin rectangle. Brush on oil mixture, cover with scallion and season with salt and pepper. Carefully roll dough like a sponge cake. Cut into 4 pieces. Take one piece and twist 3 times. Make a spiral out of this and roll again and flatten to achieve a 5 to 6 inch pancake. In a hot non-stick pan, coat with canola oil and pan sear both sides until golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve immediately with dipping sauce.
1/4 cup thin soy sauce
1/8 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
Combine all ingredients. Thin out with a little bit of water if flavor is too strong.
Adapted from Food Network