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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ongoing Education

I have lived with a whole lot of people in my lifetime.  I've probably had around 200 roommates if you count nights spent in hostel dorms, which I do, because that was my life for three years.  I've learned a lot from these people. In the last year I have lived with two British women, one Indian woman, and one Italian woman, and here are the lessons they have taught me...

Philosophies from the East (Or Lessons from an Indian):

1. Aura cleansing is important.  You might be looking particularly good one day and attract a lot of attention-a lot of positive, but probably some negative too (people sipping on hatorade, no doubt).  It's important to aura cleanse because you don't want to carry around all that energy other people have thrown at you. It's bad for your health.  The best ways to cleanse your aura are to burn sage (dried herbs are best, but if you can't get them, incense is a good alternative).  Waft the smoke up and down the front and back of the body, going all the way down the arms, under the feet, and over the head. Another way to aura cleanse is to take a handful of salt and do the same, touching the salt to the soles of your feet once done, then throw the now dirty salt into an intersection- preferably an intersection that has three or more roads meeting there.

2. The universe is listening.Whether or not you believe it is benevolent or mischievous, it is there, and it is just waiting to either bless you with something or teach you a lesson. In my experience, its pretty benevolent. I often find money in the street, but i think that always happens to me because I use it to buy lunch for the person I'm with, so the universe helps me out, cause it knows I'll be cool about it.  If you're a dick, you're probably the one who lost that money in the first place with the aid of the Universe- so hey, thanks for the cash.

3. Balance and order inevitable... but you make life a lot easier if you help it rather than hinder it. Don't let your clothes even dry inside out, much less fold them and put them away like that. If you lose your gloves, don't worry- remember lesson 2, and wait, you'll find a scarf or someone will move to a new town and ask you if you want their gloves. Just relax, do what needs doing, and if something goes wrong, just keep breathing until it goes right again.

4. Delicious curry can be simple. First, saute chopped onions and tomatoes until the onions are clear and the tomato is paste like, then add your spices. I like to use garam masala, paprika, chilli powder, turmeric (half as much turmeric as everything else though), salt, and cumin. Then toss your chicken into the pot. Chicken on the bone is best- let the chicken brown, then add garlic and ginger paste and mix. It'll look like brown sludge with chicken in it. Now you have two options, you can add water and let it simmer and thicken to the consistency you like, or you can add coconut milk for added flavor. Either way, make sure you cover the entire contents of the pot in liquid. If you don't have enough coconut milk, add water til its all covered and stir.  Make sure everything is well mixed, then reduce to simmer and wait. mmmmmmm.

Mamma Knows Best (or lessons from an Italian)

1. How to be a Domestic Goddess:  First, make sure everything is clean, all the time. It's not as hard it seems.  If something is dirty, clean it. It doesn't actually take that long or require that much mental or physical effort. Second, feed everyone, all the time; whether or not they are hungry, if you make pasta-they will eat. Finally, keep the kitchen organized, it makes your life easier.

2. Mamma and Grandma know best.  Follow the recipe, wash your sheets once a week, and keep your room clean.  Again,simple philosophies that have been handed down from generation to generation, that are pretty easy to grasp but for some reason we just can't do it.  Do it. You'll feel better.

3. The secret to being naturally beautiful.  Eat pasta (no more than 100 grams per serving), smother it in tomato sauce, and don't worry about it.  Don't wear a lot of makeup. Don't fight your hair's natural state of being.  Walk instead of taking the bus.

4.  Italian Pasta is all about the sauce.  Simple tomato sauce is delicious and easy.  Get canned tomato chunks and pour into a pot on medium heat, add a can of water and a healthy dose of olive oil. Simmer with a lid on the pan. Add a clove or two of garlic and blend well with a hand blender. Let it simmer with the lid off, and thicken.  Once its reached the desired consistency, add salt and pepper to taste, and put the lid back on. boil your pasta (fresh is best if you can get it). When its soft but still has some bite to it, take it out and mix it into the tomato sauce in a warmed sauced pan, then put on your plate and add another ladle full of sauce. Top with grated Parmesan.

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