Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Thanksgiving Menu

A hodge podge of fancy new recipes and tried and true traditional favorites:

Aperitif: Fresh cranberry cosmos
Appetizer 1: Bacon-wrapped, goats-cheesed stuffed dates
Appetizer 2: Pistachio arancini with cranberry sauce

Wine 1: Prosecco!
Course 1: Butternut squash soup with ginger cream
Side 1: Indian handvo

Wine 2: Greener Planet Tempranillo-Grenache
Course 2: Roast turkey a la Anderson ! (friends are bringing the bird, using their family recipe)
Sauce 1: Apple cider gravy
Side 2: Homemade green bean casserole
Side 3: Mixed indian dahl with chickpeas and red kidney beans
Side 4: Basil rice pilaf

Wine 3: Fritz Zinfandel
Course 3: Spice crusted pork tenderloin
Sauce 2: Mustard tarragon sauce
Side 5: Chestnut, apple and leek bread stuffing
Side 6: Roasted white and red sweet potatoes with fried sage and honey butter

Dessert: Pie assortment !

Looking forward to the cooking and eating . . .

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours !

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wha' Cola? Pakola!

I'm generally not a soda drinker.

But the other day I saw an 8oz can so unusual in an Indian grocery store, I had to try it. It was green. Like, bright candy apple green. Any Pakistani reading this probably already knows what I'm talking about.

It's calld Pakola and it's a self-proclaimed "Ice Cream Soda." The flavor is unlike any ice cream you've probably ever had, though. Let's just say this flavor doesn't exist in Baskin Robbins. If you've ever had South Asian ice creams, you may recall the overwhelmingly floral and fruity taste of something called "Tutti Frutti." Well that's more or less how this can of pop tastes. It's a strong, sweet taste. Almost like cotton candy mixed with jasmines and roses, if you can imagine that on your tastebuds.

But while the flavor may be vaguely identifiable, the sensory experience of staring at a bright green, bubbling glass of soda is still disconcerting. I've never had ice cream with this texture or presentation! If you have a sweet tooth and a sense of adventure, the 160 calories per can are worth the splurge.

So what is it, exactly? Pakola is a Pakistani soda that is made by Mehran Bottlers. As the name suggests, it was the first national brand soda in Pakistan (Pakistan's Cola = Pakola). The peculiar green refreshment is the original flavor, but I understand in Pakistan you can now get Pakola in other flavors like Lychee and Orange (which is actually Orange).