This is the very last thing I ate before I went into labor and had a baby:
I'm afraid the picture does not do this meal justice. In fact, the picture makes it seem a little unappetizing. Believe me, however, when I say that this is probably one of the most delicious take-away dishes I've ever had in my life. It's called Roti Kip, and it's a Surinamese specialty. "What the hell is Surinamese food?" you might be asking yourself. To be honest, that's what I wondered the first time a friend of mine served up a delicious helping of chicken, potatoes, green beans, and warm potato pancakes. I wish I could answer in detail what Surinamese cuisine is like, but my knowledge is mostly limited to what you see in the picture above. However, I always appreciate seeing some good flavors of the Caribbean foisted onto the traditionally bland food of the Low Countries.
I love Roti Kip, and during the latter part of my pregnancy we ate it fairly often. That's saying a lot for people who never go out to eat. There's just something so amazingly comforting and filling about this dish--probably the breaded and deep fried goodness of the food. My concept of modern Dutch cuisine has changed so much in the last three years. Mostly I see, at least in the urban centers, that there are vibrant infusions of flavors from other parts of the world. It actually took me quite a while to notice that there is a market for all those different flavors, even in "mainstream" Dutch food. That is something to be celebrated in a way, although it's accompanied for me with a wave of guilt about European colonialism, which is strange because I'm not even Dutch. Why should I feel guilty about Dutch colonialism? Maybe it's because I don't think the Dutch public feels very guilty about it, so I feel like I should apologize on behalf of others. It reminds me of the time I took a post-colonial historiography class, and I was the only Europeanist in the room. When I walked into that seminar every week, I felt like I should profusely apologize for even wanting to study European history. Obviously, I shouldn't have to apologize for studying Europe, but there's only so much talk about "the other" and dominance a girl can take before she wears down a bit. Regardless, I can come to terms with it enough to enjoy ordering a serving of chicken for dinner. And why should I not? It's absolutely delicious.
When I return to a less zombie-like state--someone please tell me that will happen sooner or later--I will actually start to cook again for pleasure instead of purely for survival. I may even try to make my own Roti Kip. I just stumbled on a recipe for it on this blog. Her photography is so beautiful. I feel like I could make anything if the step-by-step instructions were always that gorgeous.
And, obviously, I will leave you with a pic of an adorable baby. She's so cute!