i don’t really know how it happened. one friend asked if i could make biryani for him. someone else mentioned a family-style lunch would be fun. it all coincided with alex and marcus’ summer sojourn in new york. and before i knew it, i was volunteering to make chicken biryani for sunday lunch.
this past sunday, we finally made it happen. jen happened to be in town for a quick visit, we invited alex, marcus, matt, and michael to partake, and we had ourselves a fabulous sunday spent eating, drinking, and laughing.
it was my first time making my hodgepodge chicken biryani on my own since the first time i did it in 2011. and seriously, what are these directions* i wrote for myself? chop “some” onions and tomatoes? stir every 5 minutes, sure. but for how long? wash and cook a vague amount of rice? reading back through that old blog post had me laughing a lot, but i was also very grateful to have it.
i was also grateful i split up my tasks. i did my shopping on friday, in case there was anything i couldn’t get at my local shop. on saturday i cleaned and marinated the chicken. and then on sunday morning “all” i had to do was cook everything and assemble it. but splitting it up like that made it a very smooth process and also made cleaning up a lot easier.
and it went off without a hitch. i am generally very self-critical when it comes to my own cooking and know it could have been better, but everyone had second helpings and a few took leftovers home with them so i take that as high praise. more praise? the question of “so what’s on the menu for next time” being asked whilst we’re still sat around the table.
what’s funny is that as i have thought about it, i want there to be many next times. one of my goals for this year was to host some get-togethers, and while for some reason i had evening gatherings in mind a leisurely sunday lunch is much more my style. i am still letting the idea percolate, but i think it would be fun to do something every few months / once a quarter — those stakes feel low enough as to not overwhelm me. and i am happy to cook as long as someone else is willing to do the final washing up.
but mostly i am grateful for this village i have assembled for myself. friends i’ve known for 13 years and friends i’ve known for 4 months coming together and getting to know one another. it was a really great day, and hopefully there will be more to come.
*one of these days i write up a slightly more exact version of this recipe. i still won’t have exact measurements for salt and ground spices, but i’ll at least be able to tell you that you’ll need 2 onions and 4 tomatoes if you’re making enough for 8ish people.