Out of the blue this morning I got a ping from the local store of Macey's Grocery chain to do a one-night cooking demonstration in the Little Theatre of their Provo store. I'm thinking of
- Saag shorba
- Tandoori chicken
- Vegetable khurma with cauliflower, also carrots and peas
- Fancy rice with traces of roast cumin and coriander, plus saffron threads
- Roti brushed with oil, garlic and parsley
I'm having trouble imagining myself as Provo's Indian answer to Yan Can Cook. I mean, some fat, white guy who, until he got corrective surgery at 40, couldn't eat spicy food? On the other hand, I do a passable imitation of Indian software engineers arguing about how much turmeric to add to a dish.
Well, I could do something like a French country loaf. That would take me all of 10 minutes. —Nah, too boring.
I'd have to do the chicken ahead of time because there probably isn't a grill handy, at least not inside the theater, plus I've only got an hour and it would ruin the presentation (and possibly the rest of the food) to have to pop out constantly to watch over the grilling. So, uhhhhh, reheat the chicken in the oven?
I'm supposed to do stand-up, make bird calls or carry on other entertaining antics during the cooking so it doesn't get too boring. I'm thinking I'll have to do a dry-run at home to make certain I've got enough material. Maybe if I work hard on my Indian accent and memorize something out of an episode of Flying Circus? Hmmm... well, I don't want to offend.
They've got an electric range. That will be a challenge, but then, that's what I have to use when I'm doing Thai at the house of my friend, Jay Sevison. Anyway, the trick will be to prepare just enough ahead of time not to fail, but not so much that there's nothing going on during the demonstration.
My nightmare? Someone Indian actually shows up. If this little activity happens, it will be in October. I won't be crying the date from the rooftops for all the reasons you can imagine.