It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?

My time away from here has been mostly work, sleep, and weekly visits to the Daley Center. I’ve been wandering the labyrinth of Illinois family law sans lawyer since April. Successfully managing my own divorce has been an interesting experience. Of the many things I’ve learned, here are two:

1) When asking for compliance from civil service employees, use your polite words. “Yes, m’am,” “No, m’am,” and “Thank you, m’am” will get you everything you need and then some.

2) Being an obsessive control freak who crams her emotions into the pit of her stomach is very effective as far as gettin’ shit done goes. It’s terrible for your overall health though.

There have been some interesting food exploits in between April and now. May wasn’t particularly warm, so I decided one Sunday that I should attempt to make aloo paratha; a breakfast favorite of my scholarly gentleman suitor. They seem simple enough as presented by Manjula of – the dough doesn’t require yeast and the potato filling is simply seasoned with salt, fresh green chiles, and cumin. You do, however, have to cram a metric shit ton of mashed potatoes into a small amount of said dough. That’s where shit gets tricky.

You want to put what into where?

You want to put what into where?

My volatile relationship with dough is well documented and I should probably formally press charges against the entirety of baking, but I’m so over the Daley Center. If the dough even gets to the right texture, I can then managed a rustic “round” and do a basic pie crust, but no one is getting perfect Zen circles and lattice-work pie from me. Apparently, Manjula aunty is a ninja and a wizard, because it actually worked. There was only one botched paratha and nothing thrown out of a window. (I live on the third floor now. Perfect for chucking unruly food.)

Note the deformed one on the cutting board.

Note the deformed one on the cutting board.

As it turns out, one botched paratha isn’t a big deal. You’re supposed to have naked bits of potato peeking out since they will crisp up and get delicious when you fry them in a large skillet.


Of course, you need butter and lots of it. As each paratha comes out of the skillet, put a pat on top while it waits for its companion.

Do not argue with S. Asians about things like cholesterol and gaining weight when butter is on the line.  You won't win.

Do not argue with S. Asians about things like cholesterol and gaining weight when butter is on the line. You won’t win.

After you make all six or, in the case of my kitchen, five, serve with various pickles and yogurt. My personal favorite is garlic ginger. Eat heartily. Carb crash about an hour later. Just try not to get too outwardly cranky before the nap.

Voila! Breakfast!

Voila! Breakfast!

If you do find yourself in the downtown Chicago area and desperately need a coffee after battling bureaucratic minotaurs, go to Do-Rite Donuts. They pull their iced coffee from a tap. It will crack you the fuck out. In fact, I’m fairly certain that large iced coffee was the kick over the cliff into three weeks of heart-racing panic mode. Oh and they make fancy donuts too.