Celebrations and food – they go together, don’t they? In our home they do!

On New Year’s day when talking on the telephone to my mother, she asked us what we planned eat for the day.  She was a little taken aback when I told her I planned to cook lunch and dinner and suggested we go out or order in. Julia Child, the celebrity chef and cookbook author said: “I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.” Well, I’ll have add 10 years to Julia’s statement- I was almost 42 when I really started cooking and that explains my mother’s surprise, I guess!

But José is an absolute foodie and it has completely rubbed off on to me. So we had our New Year’s menu planned at least four days before 1st January. Yes, Cafe  7Eight believes in planning sometimes and here’s what I turned out.

Lunch consisted of Portuguese pork chops. This is something I remember my Mum making and we all loved it. Pork chops marinated with rum, garlic and chilli flakes….my mouth is watering even as I write this. We normally avoid red meat – eating healthy as we do – so it’s only on special days that we indulge. However, we always ensure that we have plenty of vegetables – either raw or cooked – to balance the meat. So we had a big cabbage and green apple salad with a ginger vinaigrette.  Two pork chops apiece, loads of salad and a bread roll – made quite a meal.

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 For dinner, I took a big risk by offering to fry fish! Usually, I leave all the fish frying/cooking to José – but this was pomfret and wanted to show off a bit. Dinner was pomfret marinated in ginger, garlic, pepper and lemon and fried in a batter of eggs and bread crumbs. The accompaniment was one of our favourite salads – cucumber with coconut, mustard and green chillies. A light meal, like our dinners usually are. The wine was in honour of the day, of course! 😉

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Most days, including special ones, we eat home cooked food, but off and on we get lazy or we want something special that we don’t have the ingredients for or the inclination to cook. That’s when Food Panda comes to our rescue now. Have you tried it out?

It’s an easy way to order food online anytime, anywhere. All you need to do is go to the Food Panda website and enter your city and location and a whole lot of options for restaurants in the vicinity pop up. For example, if you’re in Mumbai and located in Colaba, you’ll have all these restaurants show as options. You decide which restaurant you want to order from, browse the menu and select what you want to order.

Tonight is celebration time –  it’s Republic Day in India  and the eve of our wedding anniversary – so it is Smokin’ Joes – we believe that they give the foreign pizza brands a good run for their money – and with less cheese if you say so.   Our pizza choices included – Woodcutter – spinach, onion, mushroom and basil; Hot chicken – spicy chicken and cheese and Barbecued chicken – chicken, mushroom and onion. Since most restaurants in Mumbai, have a cash on delivery only option, it’s a big plus to order our pizzas (or other food) via Food Panda, since we  pay by card. We got an email to confirm our order, followed by a confirmation SMS from the restaurant.  And our pizzas arrived in quick time, yummy as usual, with no extra delivery charges for ordering online.

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I must confess I was salivating too much to take a picture and have snagged one off the Smokin’ Joes site to make your mouths water! 😉

I would love to hear your how food forms part of your celebrations of special occasions in your home.