The week started off with what was meant to be a spouse-pleasing biriyani, but the dustbin, not his stomach, became its receptacle instead.
Don't try to imitate the dum action by weighing down a light and unsteady lid with a heavy stone mortar and pestle. They will overturn the lid and fall inside the biriyani if you're lucky, otherwise spill the biriyani all over the stove and under the microwave, in which process you would burn your arms too.
I was lucky.
After fishing out the hot mortar and pestle from the hot biriyani and washing your arms to make sure the experience doesn't leave any scars, a most familiar fire and brimstone smell (well, not really, it smelt like well done kababs) tells you your biriyani is going going gone to hell anyway - that you should have trusted your gut instincts and added some water to the meat underneath the rice in the heavy-bottomed pan despite the instructions in the fancy cookbook.
Cook in its own steam? Hah!
It's a few days later and you remember having soaked some dried cranberries overnight a few days ago, forgotten that you drained and stored them in the fridge. You have an hour before work starts, why don't you set about making the salad as planned with quinoa, that wonder grain with all the eight essential amino acids, among other goodnesses?
Step 1: Retrieve the cranberries. Reach in, pluck that dish out and realise it was the milk after it spills all over the fridge and under. There's some on your feet too - rub it in for a free beauty treatment! Clean up the mess (the bonus is that the dust bunnies under the fridge come out).
Step 2: Set to making the salad on the dining table with the TV news on in front of you. Topple the basket of TV remotes over, fix all the loosened parts and leave it in the same precarious position.
Mince, chop, boil, grind.
The salad, that is.
Meanwhile, YOU can go have the third bath of the hot, humid summer's day that it is, sit under the fan a while to try and calm and cool the tortured spirit and flesh and give thanks that bigger misfortune hasn't befallen you.
Get through the day thinking of this new, never-before-in-your-experience salad.
Here's the original recipe, or is it from here? (And below is how I made do.)
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
4 tbsp honey
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons minced green chillies
1/2 cup dry cranberries, soaked overnite, drained
Juice from 2 big limes
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
Salt to taste
Rinse quinoa several times. Boil water, add quinoa and simmer 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Let rest, cool a bit. Add some salt, fluff.
Meanwhile, combine half the honey, garlic and green chillies in a bowl.
Whiz the cranberries and remaining honey and lime juice in a mixer.
When quinoa has cooked and cooled a little, stir in both mixtures.
Add the mint, cilantro and red onion to the quinoa and mix thoroughly, but not with a heavy hand.
This goes off to The Cabinet of Prof Kitty who's hosting Kalyn's WHB this week, now administered by Haalo.
Weekend Herb Blogging Quinoa Salad Vegetarian