Well gosh, lucky me got flowers.
Flowers can say “I love you” or “I’m sorry” or “I think you’re pretty”. These flowers say “You got a job!” (well there are also other nice sentiments involved seeing as they’re from my very sweet boyfriend and all :D)
Yes, friends, I am out of unemployedland. After a surprisingly short stint therein, all things considered (yknow, this beastly beastly economy and all).
So where is this job? At the Capital Area Food Bank, an organization I’ve already worked a lot with in the past through my Americorps position. I was actually featured as a guest blogger in their blog earlier this summer, but as they’d recently rejected me for a different job—and misspelled my name on the blog post before I politely corrected them—I declined to share.
Anyway, I’m going to be doing work in all the things I’m passionate about- bringing good food and solid nutrition education to a vulnerable part of the population. Specifically, I’ll be working for the Food For Kids program, of which the afterschool program where I worked in Americorps was a recipient. You can, if you are so inclined, hear about some of the things I did with help from the food bank in this post about our farm visit, this post about all the planning that goes into baking bread with kids (with bonus dorky Halloween costumes worn by my coworkers and I), a peek at the rolls made by the baking club I started, and (well actually this was all me :D) our apple picking field trip.
The Food for Kids program specifically delivers nutritionally sound daily snacks to daycare centers, schools, etc. It’s another way to get to low-income kids who may not have enough to eat- or enough healthy to eat- at home. I’ll also hopefully get to check out the myriad other programs the food bank offers, for kids and adults alike. It sounds like I will have a lot of opportunities for professional development, which is GREAT!
Anyway, how fitting to celebrate this food job than with FOOD. Steve had a Groupon to Afghan Kabob House, which turned out to be fabbbb.
It seemed like the owners really were Afghani, and there was some very cool art from that country.
I was immediately struck by the somewhat dizzying menu selection (or you know, that could just be my inability to make up my mind about anything). Having a boyfriend is great cause he’ll go “I want the combo kabob!” and I’ll go “Great! Yeah! That! Sure me too!”
Combos are good because they provide variety. Especially at THIS place. And variety is nice because I’m a Libra and poor at making decisions in a decisive manner.
Kabobs are clearly the name of the game- there’s someone constantly manning the grill, flipping heavenly-scented kabobs over hot coals that occasionally flame up and lick the sides of the meat.
Meanwhile in the front as kabobs are brought out, people are given a dizzying selection of side dishes: four kinds of rice, salad, hummus, or- my preference, of course- beautifully prepared vegetables.
Due, in all likelihood in part to the breadth of the selection, we had a bit of a wait before we got our food. As we waited by the counter, I noticed the heavenly aroma of cardamom wafting around me. I remembered the wonderful tea I’d had at other Afghani restaurants and inquired whether they had it.
“It’s on the house! Help yourself!”
A repurposed coffee pot with a mini strainer on top tipped out this wonderfully scented, oh-so-soothing for a sore throat cardamom tea. Mm mm mm.
Steve’s combo kabob meal appeared first. For the combo you get two kinds of meat, and he opted for the lamb (on the left) and the ground beef kabob (on the right). The ground beef is so unique! There was this Persian place I loved where we used to go with our friends and they did the same kind of kabob, same shape and everything, and I was heartbroken when they went out of business. I don’t know that I can even properly explain the consistency, but it’s ground beef wonderfuly seasoned and artfully arranged around a kabob so it can be grilled. Great stuff.
For sides, Steve opted for the carrot and raisin rice (which came steaming fresh right before we started picking out our food and smelled great), the spinach,
and the eggplant! Which was seasoned with spices I can’t quite place and was great!
Steve said his favorite part was the oil, which I pointed out was probably just infused with whatever spices were in there. And yknow, my man loves him some oils.
Plus a gargantuan piece of bread. A Steve sized meal.
I also got a Steve sized meal, eek! I do not have a Steve sized appetite!
For my meat I chose the lamb and the chicken. (Have I mentioned, by the way, that like many of the kabob places where I live- and maybe other places, too- all the meat was halal? That means ethically raised and slaughtered, similar to kosher rules. Yay!) The lamb was wonderful and tender. The chicken was a little dry, so I happily passed the majority of it to Steve, who dunked it into sauces and didn’t mind one bit.
For my sides, I also got the spinach (which was quite possibly the best spinach I’ve ever tasted—more mystery spices!), the cauliflower (a little soggy…)
and lentils! I was hoping they’d have that wonderful Afghan pumpkin (my faaaaaaaaaaavorite) but they didn’t. Hopefully their menu varies with the season and they’ll have it as it gets colder.
Anyway, I was torn on what to get but I was intrigued by the lentil puree. I asked what spices they used and they said just turmeric. And it was great!
I also read an article TODAY saying that turmeric can help slow the growth of certain kinds of cancers. So if I have some tumor in me, I just ruined its day!
For condiments, there was a wonderful rich yogurt sauce; a dark green condiment that I’ve had before that’s both herby and spicy; and a light green that was possibly a blend of the two?
They made a great dipper for the bread, which was great! I have had so-so bread at some other Afghan places, but this was quite similar to naan, and lord knows I love me some naan.
As suspected, I could not finish my meal in the slightest. Though I dominated allll of the veggies, cause they were delicious. I honestly thing that most cultures, when cooking authentically, make veggies better than meat. When things operate in a natural way, meat is rare! Too expensive! You take what you can get and make it delicious, and plants are abundant and available! Anyway, all was delicious.
A great celebratory dinner for great news!