Often I think back on the intense friendships of my youth with a bit of wistfulness. Good friends in high school are somewhere between siblings and romantic partners, sharing your clothes and sleeping in your bed. As we get older, it's seldom quite the same.
But while the friendships of adulthood involve fewer sleepovers, tears and all-nighters, they do have an intensity all their own. It's something that comes from knowing each other deeply (as well as finally knowing yourself), and the deep well of trust that forms over the years. Your good friends in adulthood may have busy lives in other parts of the world, but they still drop a line whenever something reminds them of you, and it's just like old times. These friends let you stay with them whenever you're in town, and somehow make you feel like you're doing them the favor. And they come through for you, no matter what.
My friend Katie is one of the good ones. She has a singular way of looking at the world that manages to be whip-smart witty as well as hugely kind, and she's repeatedly flown across the country for friends who need help with a new baby or a wedding (even when she's had to leave or schlep along her own family to do it). And so, when she had her second child, I spent a week with her in the Midwest. And it was just great.
Between diaper changes, neighborhood walks, and failed pantry reorganization, I spent a lot of time cooking. A new freezer arrived the day after I did, and we filled it with quiches and curries, Thai marinated skewers and picada-thickened Spanish sauces. But best of all were these masala breakfast burritos.
My friend Brian introduced me to the wonders of the DIY frozen burrito last year. While his recipe is a sort of Mexican/hippie hybrid, I decided to give the traditional breakfast burrito an Indian spin. It's still got soft scrambled eggs, sharp cheddar, and a sprinkling of chorizo (or, if you're vegetarian, soyrizo). But the standard hash browns are spiked with mustard seeds and turmeric, like the filling of an Indian dosa, and instead of salsa they're given a swipe of punchy green chutney (in this case, I made a version with cilantro, fresh mint, green chilies and a bit of dried coconut and lime juice). I tripled the recipe, and threw in a bit of quick-cooked broccoli for good green measure, which netted us about 2 dozen burritos. Wrapped in foil and stashed in freezer bags, they should provide grab-and-go breakfast, lunches and snacks for months to come.** Which, really, is the least a friend can do. You can find the recipe over at The Oregonian.
* lead photo thanks to the amazing Rebecca of Cakewalk
**To update: the burritos were embraced by Katie's 7-year-old, and ended up lasting less than a month