“You look too happy to be married! So you must always be this happy?”
I made a friend on Sunday. I was coming off a long bus ride which I rarely don’t enjoy and I was walking to my destination. The Seattle Center (their spelling, not mine), a place that I feel like staying away from more and more as I realised that day. The footpaths are always full of people and we all walk sl-owwwww. Then we come up to the man with the “Wanted: Sugar Mama” sign and we all chuckle. Except when he sticks the sign right in your face. That’s usually distracting. I had a reason for being there and I was late.
As I passed the fuel pump on *streetnameIdontknow* and *otherstreetnameIdontknow* (I’ve a lot to master still), I slowed down myself. There was my new friend. She was looking down at her feet after just having crossed the road. I like looking down sometimes too so I stopped. We both looked down. I must’ve asked if she was okay but only I can understand my accent sometimes. She sort of understood me because she said something back to me.
“I got a corn on my toe and I just hit this thing,” she said with that scrunched nose, tiny eyes face.
“I had a corn too! On my thumb. It didn’t hurt,” I said back, thus getting hired for that job as a too much information sharer person.
“Ooo. I didn’t know you could get them there.”
Thus making her my new three-block walk BFF.
Rita told me the meaning of her name (“There’s no meaning. They just took the end of Margarita and you got Rita”), where she lived (For 27 years. “That’s longer than you’ve been around!”, how she had a 19-year affair with a man she parted ways with mutually and that she just bought apricots from the farmer’s market. She took a bus there. If I wasn’t walking to where I was going that day, I might have seen her at the market. It’s the same one I’ve been at, ogling the vegetables and sometimes the farmers behind them. But if I wasn’t walking to where I was going that day, I might have never met her. I asked her about her pink hat; it said “CAUTION: WOMAN SHOPPING” on the front and something about shopping being a career choice at the back. “Women love to shop! Ooh you don’t want to stand in a woman’s way when she’s shopping!”
Rita wanted to talk. I let her, knowing well that I’m a much better listener anyway, especially with people I’ve just met. She had a lot of friends, she said. She told me I was so young, interjecting with stories about how she had no regrets because she did what made her happy. She lived with people she loved and left when they didn’t work out. She married the love of her life and he bought her puppies (!!!).
By the time we reached the point where we had to part ways, my day was made.
We walked slow. It was a Sunday. I must always be this happy.
This recipe makes enough for 2 people plus one tiny person or normal-sized person with a tiny appetite. We ate this as a taco filling along with some grilled salmon and other things for which I’ll write down recipes soon. You can also eat is as a side or just munch on it when you’re bored.
I wanted to char the corn like the awesome, life-saving vendors do on the street during the monsoons in India but there is a dangerous lack of fire burners in this house. I am appalled at this limitation every single day of my life. If you have a fire burner on your stove at home, I have some instructions for you as well. Use it please and be careful.
- 1 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
- 2 ears of corn
- 1 lime, cut in half
- 2 tsp fresh dill, chopped
- 2 tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
Dice the cucumber and put it in a bowl, into the fridge. If you want, seed it but it won’t affect the final outcome. In a small bowl, mix together the chilli powder and the salt and set aside.
Heat an outdoor grill. Peel back 1 or 2 layers of the corn husk but make sure it still got some on. Place the corn on the grill and cook it for 3 minutes on each side, turning it so it cooks all around. The kernels will turn a bright yellow once it’s done. Pull back some of the layers to get a closer look before you decide it’s ready. At this time, take the corn off the grill and let it cool before peeling the corn to expose the nakedness.
Put some clothes on that corn!
Clothes aka chilli powder and lime. Dip half the cut lime into the chilli-powder salt mix till the lime no longer looks like lime and rub it all over the corn. Squeeze the lime just a tad so some of the juice gets absorbed by the cob too. Once this is done, stand the corn up straight (soldier!) and using a knife, shave the kernels off into a bowl. Bring the cucumber out from the fridge and add it to the corn bowl. Add 1 tbsp of lime juice and the chopped dill to the bowl and mix well.
If you want to char the corn (which really, is the true meaning of life), turn on your normal-like-the-rest-of-the-world stove with a flame on to medium. Put the corn directly on the burner and let some of the kernels get slightly blackened. Too much char and it’s burnt. Use a pair of tongs or your hand to turn the corn so it chars on all sides. Be wary of very tiny kernel explosions. Kaboom. The rest of the lime-chilli powder rub down is the same.
Try it and be awesome.