Winter loveliness at the 224
Winter loveliness at the 224

This photo was taken nearly 3 months ago but it accurately reflects how INHOSPITABLE the conditions are, here in St. Paul, Minnesota, today. Negative 2 degrees, some new snow that’s so agitated that it refuses to land on anything permanently, and a nasty wind. And with the time change over the weekend, we’re robbed of some morning light that we would have had last week, at nearly the same hour. We have at least a month before any flowers even think about surfacing. And yes, I’m jealous of my friends in Washington who already have crocus coming up.

And so it is with some degree of befuddlement that I found myself craving Nepalese food, for lunch. And not just any Nepalese food. Nepalese food at a restaurant named after (from everything I’ve read) a beautiful but often inhospitable mountain: Everest on Grand. I’m not usually a fan of buffet food, but EOG has a great lunch buffet, which rotates. The pakora, naan, and, if I go there on the right day, ram-toria (bhindi), were just what I craved today. I craved it far more than rushing through a workout at the Y, over lunch, that’s for sure.

And, today was the right day! Ram-toria (bhindi) was in the buffet. Wednesdays appear to be okra (bindhi) days! Prior to having okra at an Indian restaurant in New York a few years ago, I’d never eaten it. Not once. I’d never been offered nor forced to try it (same deal with Brussels sprouts. Methinks my parents didn’t like these foods?). What a crime that was: it has the most lovely, slightly squishy texture, and pleasantly piquante flavor when cooked, at least in this way. I really should eat more of it.

Wednesdays do not appear to be Kheer days, but my tradeoff was more than acceptable. Besides, I had some warm, sweet and lovely chiya as my beverage.

This savory, satisfying meal is going to help me get through the afternoon, if not also a dreadmill workout, this evening.

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