Stephanie Burgis
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Matar Paneer daze
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Okay, this journal is coming perilously close to becoming a cooking diary....but I'm so proud of myself that I have to write about it anyway: I cooked matar paneer yesterday! My favorite Indian dish in the world! And (I swear) it tasted just as good as the one I had in a restaurant a couple of weeks ago! I am in shock. I am also very, very reluctant to give back the borrowed cookbook (The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking, by Yamuna Devi) that made it possible. One of the coolest things about Leeds is that there are so many great Asian supermarkets in easy driving distance, which means that we can get Indian cheese and spices incredibly cheaply. There will be many more experiments to follow!

In non-cooking news... I started work on a new short story this morning (very tentatively titled "Snow in Summer"). It feels strange to be working on short stories again. I'm not sure how long it'll last--I'm really aching to get back into novel territory, which feels so much more natural for me--but it's interesting to experiment with different ways of handling ideas. This story is based on an idea I had several years ago, which never really got off the ground before. Following Patrick's suggestions, I'm trying to write it in a very spare style, with paragraph-length scenes and lots of emotion conveyed in tightly compressed language. Even if it doesn't work out, it's a useful exercise.

It's been raining all day, and I had to mark one last, surprise essay (bleaghh! late hand-ins!) this morning, but now I'm listening to Hayley Westenra's "Pure" (my most embarrassing but beloved new CD) and feeling good. Maybe soon I'll even brave a hike through the muddy woods with Nika....

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