“Marrying Out”

I agree, this phrase sounds like “coming out”. In fact, it’s the phrase used to describe people who marry out of their culture. Like me. And, incidentally, like Varun.

Mad props to my Mom who sent me this link to a recently published Pew Report about “Marrying Out”. The findings basically say that interracial marriages are becoming increasingly popular. (They must have been to Vancouver). I read this and thought, “Ahh, what a relief, we ARE normal!”.

Not so fast.

In reviewing the results, I found that in many ways Varun and I are the outliers, even in this study about outliers. While 40% of female Asians married out, only 20% of males did. Here’s my favorite: Asian men who are born in north America are 4 times more likely to marry out than those born overseas. (Apparently growing up in Asia as a treasured son in a house with servants makes marrying a white girl challenging. Hmm, perhaps Varun could blog about that).

As you can see, Varun and I still don’t fit the mold. But I suppose if you’re going to bother “marrying out” and being different, why not be different from the other people who marry out?

I thought I’d do a little analysis on my own. Since marrying out is on the rise, allow me to illustrate some of the pro’s of this decision.

Advantages of Marrying out:

1. Your food horizons grow exponentially.
2. Higher likelihood of awesome dance music at your wedding.
3. 63% of people reported that they’d be “fine” with it if their family member were going to marry someone of another race. (And who doesn’t want in-laws who are “fine” with you?!)
4. Adorable babies. (I tried googling famous interracial couples to show you their babies, but apparently besides Barack Obama, there are few interracial people who are famous). (I’m sure he was a cute baby though)
5. Love know no bounds. (…What, I had to say it!)
6. Higher likelihood of bilingual children.
7. You can adopt each other’s accents. (No, actually: I answered the phone yesterday and the mother of our Indian Friend J was on the phone. I immediately went into Indian-Daughter-In-Law-Mode, complete with an indianized accent and headbob).

Finally, you could have pictures like this, which my Mom loves. Because I’m getting engaged to my best friend? Well, no, because she finds it funny that he’s dressed like a westerner and I’m dressed like an easterner.

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A Man Who Irons

(This post was inspired by a friend of a friend talking about a man who irons AND takes out the trash)

Long ago, Varun and I met while on a trip in Northern Africa. One day, I was at the guys apartment and I saw Varun ironing his jeans. As someone who irons about 2 things a year, I thought to myself that surely he must be a very particular sort of fellow.

Me: Um. Wow, you iron your jeans?

Varun: Ooh yeah buddy. This way, I don’t have to wash them and they look clean for another week.

Me and my team: *LAUGHTER*

{Who knew that I’d one day be ironing his clean pants….}

Just like Mama Makes It

I recently got inspired to learn how to make roti (flat unleavened bread) and poori (flat unleavened¬†bread which is deep-fried, ooooh yeah). I realized my Indian culinary skills can’t progress if I don’t master the bread, and poor Varun must be getting homesick with all this tortellini and pasta salad.

I gathered my flour, my allrecipes.com and got to work. Let me warn you about the hazards of making roti. First off, it’s harder than it looks! When I was in India, the lovely woman cooking for the Rana’s, Hoosna, simply patted the dough, threw it on the tawa and then finished the roti off by putting it directly on the flame. Voila, thin and lightly-browned roti.

I should have known from the beginning that something wasn’t right. First off, the dough was sticking to the “lightly buttered bowl” and my fingers had gathered nearly 50% of the dough. I left it to rise, or whatever it is unleavened dough does, and got ready to cook. I filled a pot with oil. Yes, you read that right. I put 700 mL of OIL into a small pot. I wondered as I poured, is this right? Could one person possibly use so much oil in one go? Is this even moral?

Doubtfully, I set it to boil.

Back with the dough, the roti would not roll out into round, flattened forms. In fact, they stuck to the rolling-pin, the cutting board, my fingers…So I did what any Martha Stewart would do: I doused them in flour. So much flour, in fact, that when we were eating them our hands were dusty. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The first bit of dough was placed gingerly into the vat of boiling oil. Unlike the demonstrations by Hoosna, this would-be poori did not bubble and get fluffy floating at the top. Nope, this bad boy sank like a rock. A badly formed, oil-soaked rock.

Repeat 4 times.

In desperation I set the oil to cool (I did save it in a yogurt container for future poori making ventures. Is this unhygienic?!)and decided to just make roti. The dough goes into a tawa (like a frying pan) and is let to cook, then flipped, then, if you have a gas stove, you remove the pan altogether and let the roti quickly cook on the flame. Somehow this is done without burning your hands. Since I have about as much grace and quickness of hand as a two-toed sloth, I used chopsticks. Yup. Not tongs, not even a utensil from my continent. I thought I’d make it easier to grab something out of fire by using chopsticks.

Did the plastic on the tips of the chopsticks melt? Umm. It’s not my fault someone painted a design on the tips!

Needless to say, Roti Attempt #1 was an epic fail, but my brave and ever-loving husband gulped the rotis down, and would have eaten the poori had I not wrested the oily-doughy mass from his hands.

Roti Attempt #2 was a vast improvement and I’ll post the recipe shortly so you can have your own mishaps. The only disconcerting part of that attempt was when Varun asked me if the tawa is lead because it smells like a welding project. Am I cooking with lead?

Oh dear.

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