Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mostly done on the mat, unless I make it larger. Since I have plenty of yarn, I'll be adding a border.

I sit up straighter, apparently, when I needlepoint than when I knit. I've had no back pain at all since starting the mat. On the other hand, my right hand is so swollen and sore I can't wear my rings. Oh, yeah, that's why I dropped needlepoint in the first place.

Today, it's off to Beaverton to pick up culinary staples. I keep hearing about "arroz con gandules" as a staple of the Puerto Rican diet, if not the national dish. My mom came from Puerto Rico, and I've never seen such a thing, or heard her speak of it. I looked it up online, to see whether we call gandules, aka "pigeon peas" something else, here on the West Coast, and I knew it by another name. Nope, gandules are something that has not penetrated Latino culture this far west.

I kept looking, though, and found that gandules are native to Asia, from whence they went to Africa and became part of the staple diet. They came to the Americas with the slave trade. Okay, so they're an obligatory feature in Afro-Caribbean cuisine. Given the theme of my soon-t0-be-realized restaurant, I'd better have them on the menu. Can I find them? Sure. In India, they're known as "arhar dal" or "toor dal." There are more Indians on the West Coast then there are Puerto Ricans, so I'll look for them at an Indian store. I could get them online, but I don't want to commit to ordering 50# of them, in order to qualify for free postage. If I don't like them, I won't have them on the menu. I also don't want to pay the flat rate $10 postage for trying out a small amount. Now, this isn't completely logical; it takes $20 worth of gas to drive to Beaverton and back, but we have other things we can do while we're there.


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