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December 28, 2011

Think Kit: New Skills

December 28, 2011

One of my favorite things about SmallBox are the conversations we have with each other that aren't related to the work we do every day. Don't get me wrong, conversations and discussions about our work are fun and rewarding. But it's these side conversations that provide insight into the passions that help make us well-rounded people. I love learning about what my workmates love to do in their spare time.

Many times these conversations steer toward food. We have many talented cooks on the team (as evidenced by the number of tasty chills we sampled during our Chili Cookoff). Many of us randomly bring in cookies or other baked good experiments to share with the group, and we regularly share stories of our latest culinary adventures at home or a dinner out that was just delightful. Because of these conversations, I have learned new ways to prepare quinoa, made my first reduction sauce with great success, and become aware of the joy of thumbprint cookies and their infinite possibilities of variation.

Inspired by my workmates and our food chats, my goal this year is to learn to cook in a cuisine I don't normally cook. Choosing what cuisine was easy: for Christmas, my sister gave me Madhur Jaffrey's At Home with Madhur Jaffrey, and I've always wanted to learn to cook Indian food (having enjoyed it the past few years, courtesy of India Garden). Jaffrey's book is recommended by Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of The Splendid Table and a woman (and food genius) I have long admired, so I figured it's a good place to start. My goal is to dive in, study and explore Indian food and learn all I can about the history and culture of food in India. Over the course of 2012, I'll prepare every recipe in the book (supplementing it with the previously mentioned history and culture explorations) and hopefully (very likely) find a few dishes I can add to my regular cooking repertoire. I'm really excited for this new adventure! (And if you want updates over the year, I'll definitely blog about it over at my personal blog: wanderlydia.com.)

So, anyone have advice in the world of Indian cooking?

This post is part of Think Kit 2011.


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