It is gonna be American Thanksgiving on Thursday and then Eid on Friday, Inshallah. Usually we have people over for Thanksgiving, but this year I haven’t bothered to invite anyone. I still want to cook for Thanksgiving, though. And then the next day is Eid. So this coincidence could potentially make for way too much cooking. Even though I have not invited anyone over for Eid, and we don’t know anyone well enough for any Eid milan unannounced but expected popover stuff.
I am just cooking because I am imposing on myself a pressure to play a role of wife cum-family cook who produces holiday meals. My husband could care less and would just as well enjoy ordering a pizza. And my kids are way too small to care. So it is all me. All in my head.
I don’t want to invite anyone for Thanksgiving. I just don’t feel like it. I know that’s bad. I am getting so anti-social. We get these huge turkeys over here and every year I end up freezing a bunch of leftovers even when we do have guests. So this year I bought a fresh leg-thigh piece. It is still pretty huge. And I have no clue how to cook this thing. I was thinking of pan searing it in butter and then baking it. But for how long? Maybe 45 mins to an hour? I just don’t know. I will have to research. I hope I don’t screw the dang thing up. But you see, I MUST cook turkey. Even if it just a piece of the bird. It is a compulsion.
And then the next day is Eid. Once again, I am being a recluse and have invited no one. And no one has invited us. That is how it is in Dubai. We may go all dressed up in our Eid finery to the Global Village or to a mall. So sad, I know. At least on Eid day 2 we are invited to a one-dish party. I plan to do dam ka queema. But for day 1 I am tempted not to cook anything. Yet I feel I should just to go through the motions. Isn’t that so silly? I will probably end up preparing my husband’s family recipe for qabuli pullao. I should make a sweet dish but actually no one will eat much of it but me. My husband isn’t too crazy about desi sweets so if I make muzaffar or kheer or sheer qorma or whatever he will have one tiny bowl and I will end up eating the rest of it, a bowl here and there a few times per day over the next few days, loading up on ghee, sugar and thickened milk fat calories. No thanks. I write this now. But watch me cave in and make a sweet dish anyway. The qabuli pullao we will eat for lunch. And then we will probably end up having some Eid dinner out at, perhaps at the Global Village at Kausar Pakistani resto. Or if we are at the mall it may be…gasp…Chili’s. Chili’s for Eid dinner? Oh, scoff away but I promise every Chili’s location will be packed and there will be a 25 minute wait for a table. And I will have a fajita salad and my husband will have a burger. Eid in Dubai. Hmmm. Last Eid, I did make a biriani for lunch and then I believe at 10 pm that evening we were at the mall and had Hardee’s burgers.
Anyway, I could invite. But I just don’t feel like it. Some people love entertaining, but I find it stressful. Especially cross-cultural entertaining where I have my American “help yourself, make yourself at home” type thinking and a lot of people here have the “you are my guest so let me attend to you ever so well ” style. I am just not up to playing hostess right now, I guess.
Somehow I don’t want to play hostess, but I want to play chef. Sigh. I know. Just go ahead and order that pizza.