Hoping for a Quiet Night

Hope everyone reading had a quiet night. I was grieved to read of a death at the North Riverside mall yesterday; I hope we can swiftly move forward towards justice without further bloodshed.

It’s the last week of school here; I woke up before Anand for a change, and decided to exert myself a bit to make a nice breakfast — waffles and sausages. The kids have done okay with remote / unschooling during the pandemic, but they’ll be relieved when it’s over, and so will we. I thought they could use a little strengthening food as we contend with the final week.

I’ve recently discovered that waffles + seeni sambol + syrup = delicious. You don’t even need butter, as there’s enough oil / ghee in the seeni sambol. It’s so good, if I had a little cafe, I’d put it on the brunch menu. Serve with fresh mangoes if you can.

Plan for today — finish reading Sorcerer to the Crown, which continues a delightful, ridiculous romp. The next book in my queue is the graphic novel, Vanni, centered on the Sri Lankan conflict, which is rather more somber; it helps to have something light to interleave between the darker pages. A little sweetness.

Exercise soon and a walk through the garden, then by 9, I hope to be settled in my writing shed for the first day of summer writing. Minimal goal of 1000 words for the day (about an hour of writing), although I’m hoping to get quite a bit more done, as I have a story overdue to my local workshop; if I can knock that out today, or at least enough of it to be worth showing them, I will. It’s a story about riots and revolution; hoping I have the heart and mind to do it justice.

Wishing you strength and sweetness for your battles today, and rejuvenating rest when you need it.

Mother’s Day Breakfast-in-bed

The kids are now old enough (at 10 and 13) that Mother’s Day breakfast-in-bed doesn’t require anything of me other than telling them what I want and when I want it. Well, the ‘when’ was a little off, as I’d requested 8 and it arrived at 8:30, but the ‘what’ was perfect. And that was just fine, because I happily went back to sleep for another half hour.

Kevin got up to make the bacon, which also meant that he wasn’t sleeping, which normally precludes morning TV-watching in bed. So today I got to lounge in bed watching Nadiya’s very sweet _Time to Eat_, eating the kids’ bombatoast (it’s perfect), along with the host of clementines that Anand brought me. “We might be a *little* late with breakfast because Kavi just woke up…”

Lovely. Counting my blessings.

Bagels for Breakfast

I had an Amanda Daly onion bagel for breakfast, and I have 5 bagels left. (Well, I expect Kevin will eat one soon, but the kids probably won’t, more fools they, and if I were a good mom, I would have gotten chocolate chip bagels for them, oh well. So probably 4 bagels left.)

I’m going to eat something fruity or salad-y or yogurt-y for lunch, but am already craving another Daly bagel, so planning on it for dinner. I had my morning bagel with her goat cheese spread and lox, v. good, but want to do something different for dinner. Variety = spice of life.

So here’s the crucial question:

a) mackerel curry
b) beef curry

You decide — I throw my dinner fate entirely into your hands. (You have until 4 o’clock or so, when I’d start cooking, to vote.)

BONUS: If I feel like I have the energy, and if Kavi is willing to play videographer, I’ll make a teaching video out of making the curry, so factor that into your vote!

(Hm. I need to take better photos of both of these. Well, this is what I could easily grab, in case it helps. Not pictured with bagels!)

D20 Waffles

Kevin made waffles for us yesterday. It’s a little cheerful thing in these dark times, having a d20 waffle maker, and some fantastic local barrel-aged bourbon vanilla from Mackinac Bluffs Maple Farms, Inc., picked up at our local Sugar Beet Food Co-op, to indulge with. I slathered it with butter, and then I slathered some more.

(Funny thing — he made them from scratch, but then was annoyed with himself because we actually have waffle mix in the pantry, and he could have saved the precious flour and eggs. I told him not to stress about it. Poor munchkin.)

Kavi and Anand Make Bomatoast

Kavi decided she wanted to teach Anand how to make bombatoast for breakfast this morning. Fine with me!

One of the unexpectedly lovely side effects of all this terribleness is that the kids have grown closer again. Kavi had started disappearing into approaching teenhood, always off with her friends, and I think Anand was a little lonely. They still spend lots of time on their own, but also more time hanging out together again. It’s really nice — a tiny bit of sunshine in the midst of all the dark clouds.

Healthy habits

Content note: diet & exercise.

Today I finally started the morning with 30 min. walking on treadmill (at 2.0 speed) while doing recipe posting (instead of sitting on couch). I’ve been meaning to get back to that for weeks, and somehow every morning I just didn’t. But today I did.

And I’m now making a batch of sherried mushrooms with Swiss for an omelette this morning + egg bites for the rest of the work week. Going to grill some shrimp later today, to toss into caesar salads, etc.

I’ve been so harried for months that all my healthy habits fell by the wayside, but am determined to get them back, esp. as clothes are getting a bit tight. Bah.

Also, this is yummier than grabbing random carbs just because they’re easy and fast, and I feel physically better if I start the day with walking — more energy throughout the day, sleep better.

Just need to slow everything down a little bit overall. Breathe.

Our Valentine’s weekend brunch, courtesy Kavya

Our Valentine’s weekend brunch, courtesy Kavya.

(How much mess was generated in this process? So much. Did we make her clean it up? Not this time — we’re mostly working on her being confident in the kitchen right now; we’ll get to ‘clean as you go’ when she’s a little steadier on the actual cooking part. Our Valentine’s present to her was silently cleaning it all up later in the day…  )

Chai-Spiced Banana Bread Recipe

Chai-Spiced Banana Bread
(serves 12, 45-75 minutes)

(for gluten-free option, use Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1 to 1 baking flour; used for snowflake-shaped breads below)

We are perpetually throwing overripe bananas in the freezer around here, and when they start squeezing out the other items, we know it’s time to spend a Saturday morning baking banana bread. This is based on a Cook’s Illustrated recipe. Adding in the spices we’d use for chai, along with dried fruit / ginger, makes for a festive and hearty holiday loaf. Makes 1 loaf, or several mini loaves (nice for gifting).

2 c. flour
3/4 t. baking soda
3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
1/4 c. plain yogurt
2 eggs, beaten lightly
3/4 c. sugar
6 T butter, melted and cooled
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. cloves
1/4 t. cardamom
1/4 t. black pepper

Optional add-ins (1 c. total): dried cherries, dried cranberries, crystallized ginger, chocolate chips, chopped cashews…

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour pan(s).

2. Mix flour and baking soda in a large bowl; set aside.

3. Combine remaining ingredients (except for optional add-ins) in medium bowl with a wooden spoon.

4. Fold banana mixture into flour mixture with a spatula until just combined. If adding in dried fruit, ginger, chocolate chips or nuts, fold in now.

5. Scrape batter into prepared pan(s) until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hr for a loaf, 25-35 minutes for mini loaves.

6. Serve hot, slathered with salted butter.