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The Labor Party

Hi Everyone! My “Small Measures with Ashley” post is up over at Design Sponge. This week’s topic discusses “work” or “labor” parties, a.k.a. “getting by with a little help from my friends.” If you’ve got a chore or task too large, lengthy, or costly to tackle yourself, ask some buddies over for help. After the work is done, ply them with tasty food and bask in a job done well, not to mention done cooperatively.


I know of which I speak firsthand. Yesterday afternoon, 7 close friends came over to help me spruce up my property following the rages of this past winter. In seemingly no time whatsoever, they had the place weeded, cleared, and looking properly suited up for welcoming spring guests. I cannot begin to fully convey the depths of my gratitude to them. In the future, I fully intend to return the favor, because no good deed really should go unnoticed.

After we worked our muscles and sullied our fingernails, we feasted on a massive Indian spread lovingly prepared by my husband. Well, actually, first we sipped on his always astoundingly refreshing homemade lemonade. Then we moved on to mango lassies (with a kiss of cardamom, prepared by yours truly). Next we gorged on the main meal, as 11 friends (some spouses and partners came later for the eating part!) gathered around my long, oak dining table. Here’s what Glenn whipped up:

-Saag paneer
-Dal
-Mushrooms in coconut milk curry
-Potato, cauliflower and peas in a korma curry
-Kashimiri eggplant and zucchini
-Shrimp in tandoori spices

I threw some basmati rice and whole cumin seeds into the rice cooker (and then promptly overcooked it, but, no matter, it still tasted good!). There was also loads of hot buttered naan, along with a cooling raita of cucumber, mint, and cumin whipped up by my gal pals Jenny and Rachel. Unbelievably, there was still room for dessert, so we had:

-Mango sorbet
Naga coconut curry ice cream
Pandan chocolate ice cream

It was delicious and refreshing and satisfying in so many ways. This morning I awoke to the site of a well-groomed yard and an abiding sense of appreciation for having such a generous group of loving friends.

May you all have a lovely week ahead. I’m off to the Big Apple Tuesday-Wednesday. I’m super excited to have lunch at this place on Tuesday with Grace from Design Sponge (my editor, and yet, we’ve never actually met!) and Sarah of Saipua, whose hilarity I can’t wait to experience first hand. I’m hoping to take in a museum on Wednesday, as well as experience the delights found at this place. I’ll be sure to post photos!

*Image from here.

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