Monday, May 17th, 2004


I made two good dinners in the last two days and now I have leftovers. Sunday was pan-seared tuna with a soy-kaffir-lime glaze, soba with wasabi vinaigrette, and eryngii mushrooms (I think that’s what they were) simmered in mirin. Tonight I lucked out and found this shiitake and asparagus risotto, which I had all of the ingredients for, thanks to the Berkeley Farmer’s Market, with the exception of the wine. I went to the corner store and got a Bella Sera pinot grigio, simmered away, and had a tasty meal.

And to top it all off — fresh cherries at $0.79 a pound from Oakland Chinatown. Delish.

For someone who takes great care to declare his identity separate from Mother India, a country of which I have only been a tourist, I found myself overjoyed at the recent elections there, in which the Hindu fundamentalist BJP was thrown out government by an irate electorate. The Congress party, which some of my relatives support, is only the lesser of many evils, but since they can’t form a majority government either, they will be forced to work with others on the left.

The BBC characterized the elections as a demonstration of India’s “anti-incumbent” trends, but Sudhanva Deshpande thinks this is bunk. I’m a little dubious myself of the economic policies that will be formulated by the new govenment. I find myself unconvinced by the old-school return-to-pastoral-life attitude of Mahatma Gandhi, but the free-for-all globalization that went on in the last few years (including an Enron power plant in Maharashtra) was clearly not the way to go.

All in all, I am hopeful, but not too hopeful. And Congress is so much better than the BJP that it makes me do a little jig, even in these times of no good news from abroad.

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