I’m sure some of you reading my blog may say, “Hey, she bakes a lot of sweets!” and most are probably wondering if I eat them all.
No, I don’t eat the sweets I bake. Yes, I do have a bite or two to taste, but generally I never consume what I bake when it comes to confections. So, what do I do with all these mouthwatering desires? I give my baked treats to those I know will enjoy and appreciate them.
Most recently it has been my lucky neighbors and the family that runs the 24/7 bodega around the corner from me. On a planned trip to the west village, it would be my sister and her bo, but my sister is on a very indecisive food regiment where if I introduced sweets, she would personally be mad at herself for succumbing to the sugar. So, I have to respect her food diet/issues and not temp her.
I have become somewhat close to the bodega family, as I have shown up there at least every other day or so for the last 8 years since they re-opened the store. They are a great family and I have really felt that they are the real deal. They are originally from Pakistan and in most cases I cannot and unfortunately understand the parents due to a language barrier, but their kids do speak English and are very well spoken. I have seen at least 2 of their children grow up and as I understand it, there are a total of 5 children in all.
I know 3 of the 5 kids, which work in the store in place of their father or during their respective shifts, while they attend HS or college. The mother and daughter do occasionally work in the store, but they haven’t in the last 5-6 months. Only on rare occasions do I see them now. I do miss seeing both of them there, as they are amazing women. I love talking to them.
But to the point of this post…Because I have been giving my sweets to my Bodega family, they have also reciprocated kindly by making/giving me some great eats. I was recently honored by a container of chicken and basmati saffron rice, with an onion raita. I cannot tell you how good this dish was. It superseded any restaurant Middle Eastern (even Indian) dish I have ever had. There really is no comparison to an amazing home cooked meal and done to its traditions.
Now, I know the woman that cooked and gave me this meal and I am enamored by her. This woman CAN COOK! I am humbly honored that she would take the time to think of me and give me a care package of amazing food. I hope that maybe she can show me some of her secrets one day!
I do believe in traditional food, as no restaurant, I have ever been to, can replicate the honest to goodness home cooked meal no matter how hard they try. There is nothing like an excellent home cooked meal. Restaurants can try, but they can never match the home kitchen and love that truly goes into food.
This post is in honor of my bodega family and the woman that put her love and effort into making this dish! I hope they are willing to deliver me more of their goodies!