Saturday, January 20th, 2018
New Year, new cuisine, new food, and new opportunities! RDC is looking forward to another fun year of cookouts! It's been 9 months since RDC was born and we have come a long way. We decided to make a few changes to roles within RDC this year. Nitya will be taking on blogging for our monthly cookouts going forward. I will be focusing on our "Special Events" and looking for opportunities to involve more of our local community and also set up a few fundraising events to raise funds to scale up our meal donations. Ria will continue her current role of Head Chef.
Last year we have experimented with many types of cuisines and are looking forward to trying many more. This month's cuisine was Turkish. The food was very exotic. For our main course, we made Ali Nazik (chicken skewers) and Saffron rice. For the dessert, we made Meskouta (Orange Cake)
We had a lot of preparing to do for the dinner. We decided to split our work into two days. The first night, Friday, we chopped vegetables for the chicken marination, made orange zest, and marinated the chicken. The next day, we started by baking the chicken. We needed three big trays to bake the chicken in the oven. We also chopped some tomatoes and broiled them for the chicken and rice. The rice was cooked with saffron, hence it's name. We used an instant pot to cook the rice in. When the saffron rice was done, we opened the lid and the whole room was filled with an amazing aroma. The rice smelled like saffron, and saffron smells amazing. The rice had a yellowish tinge to it as well. Finally, the dessert was an orange cake. When we made the batter, we had to put some orange zest in it. Then, we baked the cake. By the time it was done, we were famished. None of us had eaten dinner and it was almost 8:30. Since, we had some extra food, we just sampled some for dinner. Since none of us eat chicken except for Ria, Ria got to try the full course meal. She said that it was really tasty. I personally loved the rice and cake. The rice had a distinct sweet flavor. The orange cake was very tasty, in my opinion. It kind of tasted like a pound cake with a slight orange flavor.
Since we made dinner, we had the opportunity to serve this month. All of us went to serve. We saw a few familiar faces at the shelter but we saw fewer at the shelter this time. Shelter did not have any donors for Lunch next day and they were glad to use the left overs for lunch the next day.
We weren't alone this time either. Anjana and her sister Anusha helped us out this time. Anjana has helped us in three consecutive cookouts and we are truly grateful for that support.
While we enjoy cooking and serving, we also have fun during these sessions. Below are a few pictures that captures our moments during the cookouts. Enjoy!
This month's meal was sponsored by my uncle and aunt (Arun and Archana). Thank you for always supporting us in all our endeavors and being there for us. It only takes a moment to say "Thank You" but your thoughtfulness will be remembered for a long time. -Neha