It was a breezy and cloudy summer afternoon. I was waiting for my girl friends to confirm what our plans will be for the next day’s girls night in. It is a culture we started a while ago, maybe around almost two years ago, which includes 5 girls best friends spending the evening together with food and lots of different stories. We started to hang out a lot in Giovanna’s place, but as she moved from Gothenburg, we’ve missed her so much but we continued this weekly gatherings. It is nice that technology allows us to video call each other during these evenings. It is also nice that sometimes the gatherings grow into a bigger family gathering with more close friends to join us.
The weather for the next day was not better, but we wouldn’t mind. As we always find a way to have fun whatever the situation is. It feels, in fact, like the world outside our cozy room freezes whenever we meet. No matter what the world is struggling with outside, inside, we are safe. This culture of ours has meant more than just a night in, instead it is our sanctuary in this foreign place where families are far, and adulting can be tough.
I was really happy that we finally confirmed to meet up at Phryne’s cozy apartment, as we decided to try out an easy shawarma recipe developed by Nadiya Hussain. It was even like we were sending telepathic messages towards each other – that both Phryne and I already saw the recipe and we were dying to try cooking this delicious meal.
As the cloud still covered up the Gothenburg sky, Allegra, Annsofi, and I gathered at Phryne’s place. We prepared 4 bottles of wine (yeah you read that right), two liters of swedish strawberries and marinated the chicken shawarma in a spice mix from Nadiya’s recipe. It consisted of cornflour, salt, cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, cloves, cayenne, cinnamon, and oil. You can read her full recipe here or watch her show on Netflix: Nadiya’s Time to Eat episode 3, or in this TV show.
We marinated the chicken for about half an hour and put it in the oven for 45 minutes. When it came out of the oven, boy oh boy. The whole room smelled divine. The spices really brought out the flavorful, mouth-watering aroma. We served it with tortilla, salad, and baked potato wedges. Nadiya, THANK YOU! The recipe was excellent. The chicken shawarma was a great success, it was so flavorful and best of all, the meat stayed tender and juicy inside.
As usual, we were in food coma as we sat back and drank our third glass of wine. Happy as we could be, 2020 couldn’t even bother us that night. For great reasons, I am thankful for this culture we started. For whatever happens, I kinda am sure that everything is going to be okay, as what matters is how we enjoy the present with the right people who cheer each other on while sharing silly jokes and simple meals even in the hardest times. Cheers for more delicious home cooked meals and cozy times on our couches!