My childhood friend S was Indian (Asian, not American), and as such, I was introduced to the cuisine at a very young age. What I remember very specifically and with much fondness are these crunchy, spicy snacks:
When her mom made these, she usually gave me a tin-full to take home. No one else in my family cared too much for them, so they were all mine! I had forgotten what they were called though, and may very well have forgotten about them entirely. I hadn't had them since I was young, and I can't remember the last time I thought of them. But last night, I was craving Indian food so I stopped off at the local restauarant on the way home. It wasn't open yet for dinner though. I noticed that the grocery store across the street (same owners) was open, so I popped in to confirm that the restaurant would be opening in a few minutes, and wasn't closed for any other reason. The happy and friendly proprietress confirmed it was so, and invited me to wander around while I waited. The shop reminded me of the Korean groceries that I'd frequented often with my mom. That memory led me to think of traditional snacks those groceries often held. A memory of these "crunchy, hard, pretzel-like, spicy snack-y thingies" then popped into my head, and I consulted with Ms. Proprietress, who knew exactly what I was talking about. She pointed me toward a bag -- they looked exactly like I remember them!
I told her of several failed attempts in the past to discover what they were called. Whenever I described it to various Indian friends (as I had long lost touch with S), they never seemed to know what I was talking about. She told me that they are also called murukku in the south. I'm thinking that my friends may have asked me if that was what I was talking about, but the word probably didn't sound familar. But now I know what they are and where I can get them!
I inherited a few more technique books over the Christmas holiday, courtesy of my bro. I am happy to announce the new additions to my knitting library:
Accompanying them, he touched on my other favorite hobby -- and gifted me with Terry Gross' Fresh Air collection of author interviews. What a lucky gal am I!
We saw Syriana over the holiday. A bit heavy for holiday fare, but I quite enjoyed it. It really is superbly done, though it doesn't all gel until the end. This definitely needs a second viewing.