Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Break The Matrix! My Virtually Real Dinner Party

  We live in a virtual reality a great part of the time. We go by avatars and twitter names and who knows who we are really talking to, tweeting at or friending out there? We have whole existences within the confines of our laptops, our smart phones and or iPads, We may have laughed our asses off at all the doofuses who've devoted their lives to World of Warcrack but face it dude, we are living in the Matrix.
   So, if we are living in The Matrix, what happens when we unplug and step out into the "Real World"? What happens when people one only knows as "@bayareaglutton" "@endivechronicle" "@FoodAperture" and the ghost of the great Horror Producer "@billcastle" show up in a real place, at a real time for some very real food? I had to find out. I had to mess with the primal forces of the internet universe and bring these entities together. To do that, I needed bait. But what sort of bait?

Cypher: "I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? Ignorance is bliss." 

   Okay, so scratch the steak. I'd dangle a very very real Lamb Biryani and see what happened.

   I knew I needed to cook a very, very special dinner with only the best ingredients, so I took myself off to my local organic paradise, Oak Hill Farm which is just down the road apiece and happens to be a little piece of heaven. Every time I shop there, all the thoughts I ever have of missing the convenience of late night spots in LA and being able to get the most exotic things whenever I want them easily, just fly out of my brain. If only all supermarkets looked like this.
 I shopped for all I needed and then looked for something beautiful to grace the table. Wild dill and Amaranth seemed to fit the bill and really looked great when I got them home.

I I  carried all my stuff home and started cooking. But as I cooked, I wondered what would these people be like outside the limitations of 140 characters? We do a lot of entertaining around here and most of the time when we have a party, someone at least knows one other person who's attending. Yesterday was different. This was going to be a flashmob of an event with @endivechronicle  (Erin) and @FoodAperture (Phil) writer and photographer from Mutineer Magazine.
    Our friends Tom and Terry drove up from Marin County...
...and of course the guy who's tweets teasing me about goat meat started this whole thing off, Foodbuzzs' own BayAreaGlutton and his son the charming Oliver.
  When one invites a pack of virtual strangers into the real world, it's a total crap shoot as to how they're going to get along; anyone one of us might have turned out to be a crazed serial killer. I withdrew into the kitchen and left our guests and Alan out on the deck with wines and a bowl of boondi chaat.
When I went out to call everyone in to eat, to my delight they were all enjoying themselves. Seven people who had never met each other before, getting along great. Who says we can't have world peace? All we need is a little bit of Biryani...
 ...a spinach and corn dish and some mango salad,
Eggplants with peanuts and coconut,
 And wines galore...
 ...made everybody happy.

And who doesn't like cookies and ice cream?

And the primo caramels that BayAreaGlutton brought along.

And a few Leggos didn't hurt.
   Did it work? You betcha!  Out of the ether of virtual personalities, real people (and one ghost) emerged. It was one of those classically great days with friends, that went on into the evening, and it was amazing that people who had never met before that afternoon got along as though they had known each other for years.
   If you haven't tried one of these virtual/real meetups it's worth thinking about. Life is short, the internet is vast and there are so many great people out there that we only "know" virtually, it's worth it to bring some of them into ones' real world.

   Meanwhile I'm celebrating my 2nd Blogiversary (yes, that is a weird word) this month, and I've decided to celebrate it with some great gifts from the very generous people at Workman Press, and Tropical Traditions.
   I'm giving away 2 great gifts: The first is a Copy of the fabulous cookbook Mangos and Curry Leaves 
The other prize I have is Organic Coconut Water Vinegar from the nice people at Tropical Traditions. This vinegar is great and what can I say, a must have for old skool Indian cooking!
 So how do you get this stuff???? Here's what to do?
1.) Follow  @WorkmanPub  and  @Troptraditions on Twitter 
2.) Follow @kathygori on Twitter or follow my blog The Colors Of Indian Cooking
3.) Tweet about the sponsor and my giveaway  or mention it on your blog
4.) Let me know you've done so

   The drawing is going to be conducted on Random.org. It starts today July 1st and ends on July 14th. Thanks again to everyone who helps make this blog possible, especially my husband Alan Berger for his great photographs.  
    Coming up next, I go Gluten Free with an answer to the regular wheat chapatti. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori  


  1. I love that you did this. I have gotten my imaginary friends from the internet together many times with great success. Hell, I married one of the strangers.

    Great post!

  2. What a fabulous party, Kathy! I find myself here daily. Poof! [via teleporter]

  3. @Annapet,
    thanks so much..it was really great to make Twitter real for a few hours

  4. This was an amazing dinner with great company. Fantastic photos as always.



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