I think of myself as being a halfway decent cook, but I think that's mostly because I only cook for myself and one other person, who is unfailingly enthusiastic about anything even remotely edible I turn out. And the occasional dog. Ditto.
One nice thing about living at the Peace Corps house is that there is always somebody around to cook for, and lately there has almost always been both running water and electricity, both of which make cooking so much more productive. Sadly, I have begun to wonder if I have been overestimated my talents in the kitchen. Tonight I whipped up a delicious-looking Indian kidney bean dish using a packet of spices and recipe sent by a lovely Americaland friend. Because this is the City of Plenty, I actually had every single thing the recipe called for, except fresh cilantro which has all gone to seed. And I actually followed the recipe. Still, something was off about the final dish.
Maybe it was because the called-for quarter cup of fresh ginger made my tongue go numb. Well, there are lots and lots of leftovers, so we can re-examine the situation for the next two days.
Happily, I am currently in the process of redeeming myself via a big pan of homemade granola bars that look like they might turn out ok. This would be a major step for us because granola bars have traditionally occupied prime real estate in the food pyramid of Trevor, yet are inexplicably absent in Zambia. Before I moved here, I would have no more thought to make homemade granola bars than comb my front lawn. But here we are.