not all who wander are lost.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Rice + Curry Birthday Celebrations!

I love love love Fredrik, so I wanted to make his 30th birthday super special. I organized a big rice and curry feast around the corner from us at the home that my friend Lindsay had stayed at. The family there is incredibly friendly and embody the gentleness and kindness of Buddhism (we call the man "the floating buddha"). Anywho, the Floating Buddha makes the best curry in Sri Lanka. It's light and refreshing, two words that aren't often associated with local food!! I came a few hours early to help him prepare the feast, and it was such an education! We snacked on some sweet Jackfruit, which is not easy to breakdown, extracting the edible goodness, and saving the seeds (for which I would learn later...). He uses all sorts of herbs and greens in his curries and cooking, which I thoroughly appreciate. He had me slicing and dicing, and stirring and simmering. He is very precise in how he does things, even having a very specific method for how he puts the cooked rice into the serving platter, and I appreciate every detail and ounce of love that he puts into purchasing, preparing and serving this countries staple meal. And best of all, he loves food more than ME, so he is over-the-moon to share his secrets with me and have me alongside in the kitchen. Alas, all of this excitement makes it sound like it was MY birthday. Back to the man of the hour...

I headed into Weligama in the afternoon, scouring the dirty streets in the hot, heavy heat that the mid-day has to offer. I was able to find a "Happy Birthday Banner", a badass party hat, those obnoxious noisy birthday bazooka things, and I went to the bakery and got a customized cake. Oh yeah, and I got lucky- not only finding birthday candles, but numbered ones!!! Hooray!! I headed to our neighbors house, decorating for the party and setting the table for dinner. I taped balloons around Fredriks chair and then was back in the kitchen to help the floating buddha....

Fredrik was so surprised when he walked in for dinner, and he must have thanked me 100 times. Apparently I'm still the hostess with the mostess and capable of throwing a proper dinner party, even on the opposite side of the world! The little birthday bazookas were a huge hit with our group and everyone left happy, healthy and full! So so so many blessings to my beautiful friend Fredrik for a wonderful year ahead!

Fredriks Birthday Rice + Curry:

-Red Rice
-Pol Sambol (coconut Sambol)
-Cucumber curry (yes, we cooked cucumbers and it was freaking delicious)
-Fish Curry
-Jack Fruit Seed curry (so this one is so crZy and so delicious!! If you have a sweet jackfruit, you save the seeds and can use them for up to two days. The hard, seemingly-inedible seeds are cooked in coconut milk and voila- a nutty, somewhat potato-texture jackfruit seed curry!!!! And did you know, two of these seeds have the same amount of protein as one egg??!!)
-Gotu kola sambal
-okra, oyster mushroom and cauliflower curry

Dessert was chocolate cake, fresh pineapple and sweet jackfruit.

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