- Date: Saturday, May 17, 2008 -- 7pm
- Location: Somerville, MA
- Kitchen: Matty's Apartment
- Fellow Chef: Matty
- Dining Companions: Yano, Irene, Phil O, Ben W, and Alp
- Recipe Rating: A-
The main course of our meal last Saturday was fish tacos, and we needed some salsa to go on them. The salsa recipes in The Book are running a little low, but I hadn't yet made this one. This salsa came out delicious! The papaya made an excellent salsa base, both flavor-wise and texturally. Pineapple provided a refreshing and bold contrast to the papaya. The lime juice, scallions, and garlic balanced out the dish perfectly. Everyone seemed very satisfied with this salsa -- they piled it high on their fish tacos! (Cooking bonus: this is an excellent forum for practicing your knife skills. Matty chopped all the papaya, and by the end he had perfected his 1/4 inch dice!) There is no heat to this salsa, but if you are looking for something with a kick, I think this salsa could support a bit of minced serrano. As it is though, it would be delicious not only on tacos or chips, but also atop simply prepared fish, or chicken (or anything done with jerk seasoning). The fruit salsas in The Book have been very good so far, and this one was no exception.
The recipe in The Book is the same as this one, except that the ratio of papaya to other ingredients is twice as high in The Book as it is online.
After several days of working hard with V in the University of Chicago math department (plus plenty of hanging out with V and Shihchi: eating, playing Wii, etc...), the work part of my Chicago trip has ended, and it is on to the party portion of the trip. Deniz's bridal shower and bachelorette party are both today, and I am excited!
The first bridal shower I ever went to was the summer after I graduated from Stanford. I was about to move across the country to start graduate school at MIT. The bridal shower was for my best friend, at her family's house in Oregon. I was living with them at the time, helping out with wedding stuff and hanging out with Emilee before she tied the knot. The shower was gorgeous: it was outdoors in lovely Oregon summer weather, with flowers everywhere and delicious food. The memory of that shower that is burned most deeply into my brain, though, was a conversation I had with one of the guests. I was chatting with a woman, probably in her late forties or early fifties, when she suddenly took my hand in hers and said to me very sympathetically, "Don't worry honey. You'll find someone eventually. You are very pretty." I was shocked. I was 22 years old. I didn't know that already landed me in the old spinster category. Intrigued, I continued talking to her. Eventually it came out in the discussion that I was about to start my PhD in math at MIT. She looked at me with wide eyes, and asked, very honestly, "Why?" I told her the truth: I love math, I love teaching, I want to be an academic, etc... but my explanation was met with the blankest of stares. Since the truth wasn't panning out, I tried an outrageous lie: "Well, actually I am going to MIT to find a husband." "Oh, ok," she said with a sigh of recognition, "That seems like a very good idea."
I am 28 now, with that PhD in hand but no ring on my finger. I wish I could chat with that woman again -- I am curious if she would think I have failed!