Showing posts with label Cookery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cookery. Show all posts

Sunday, July 07, 2024

the news... and nourishment

Heartbreaking news about Alice Munro... and tragically one reminiscent of the world she evoked in her fiction where children are betrayed and damaged by adults (plural!) who were supposed to care for and protect them. I hope Andrea Robin Skinner finds peace and experiences continued healing.

and

Unfathomably soul-crushing news from The Lancet (medical journal of record) warning that conservatively, "the true death toll in the Gaza genocide could be 186,000 or more." And that this "staggering figure amounts to 8 percent of the population of Gaza. A similar percentage of the US population would be 26 million people." I'm coping through a cocktail of hope (there has been an increase in public support for Gaza including from the French left--the surprise election winners), drugs (including OTC Ashwagandha), busy-ness (deadline after deadline), and the loving support of family and friends.

Pic: Some of my farmers' market haul from this weekend. I used the summer abundance for dinner today--ratatouille, which I served with focaccia (also from the market) and tzatziki. Our meal was already solidly Mediterranean, repping French, Italian, and Greek foods, so I cut up some Valencia oranges to add Spain to our dinner mix.

Friday, June 07, 2024

a longer table

At some point in the early Trump presidency years, I came across the saying: "build a longer table, not a higher wall." It really spoke to me, and I took it to heart. 

An intergenerational mix of loved ones to dinner tonight and we found plenty to celebrate and laugh about. 

(And the prep conveniently kept me too busy to brood. Yes, I know I have a deadline coming up, but I really needed this.)

Pic: We scooted a card table to our regular table and scrounged chairs from other rooms to accommodate all of us. Max and Huck are by my feet.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Easter: rising to the occasion


Our egg hunt with the rhyming clues and then Easter brunch went on till nearly 2 pm, so the day seemed shortened, but there was still plenty of time for other stuff like a leisurely two-hour ramble by myself.

I even managed to get the last pesky details of a five-person panel proposal worked out; finished up the Works Cited page for an article that was accepted; made a sleep playlist (it's 4:30 am and I'm typing so it's probably not the success I thought it would be, but it is lovely); and need to work on some "context notes" for three poems accepted to an anthology. But also tomorrow is soon enough.

Pic: A partial pic of our buffet before people got there. The kids and I have been making those little boiled-egg chicks with carrot beaks and sesame eyes and cheese-filled pepper "carrots" since they were tots!

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

"mid"

I like the way the kids are using "mid" to describe things that are stuck in the middle to mediocre range. Here's my mid list for today.

*    Another day of freezing rain and grey skies... but not quite as cold and there was a fair bit of a thaw too.

*    I won't have my car back for five weeks (they have to order a part from Germany)... but they gave me a newer model as a loaner.

*    I headed to the gas station for the first time in years (Bluey is all electric). It felt spend-y to fork over 50$ for gas... but I found a lucky penny.

*    Last semester, I grandly agreed to give a talk in January 2024... and now it IS January 2024 and my talk is on Friday.  Thankfully, I was able to use my writing group time to get some slides done... but it did mean that I didn't get any new writing done.

*    I love, love, love teaching... but I'm on two search committees (SIX campus interviews--four more to go), three committees that meet every week for a total of four hours, on deadline for two career reviews, on deadline for recommendation letters for people's grad school applications, on deadline for rewriting our land acknowledgment, making final arrangements for two different guest speakers to visit campus (PBK and Women's History Month), arranging travel for the student honorary convention, vetting papers and programming the WGS portion of the MASAL conference, CASA report due next week... And the list for the next month goes on and on. Each of these things is important and has its own bulleted to-dos, and by itself, each would be something I enjoy doing. But cumulatively, having them all clustered together like this, feels overwhelming. One day at a time, I guess.

Pic: I cropped out guests' faces since I didn't ask people if I could post. But now the focus is on the happy plates (everyone is in the clean-plate club!) from our dinner party on Monday. There were two writers with new books out at the table (Sophfronia Scott and Jan Shoemaker) and I enjoyed introducing them to each other and felt a little bit like I was hosting a salon. Bonus peek of Nu at extreme right. I'm the black blob next to the blue-purple sweater (Big A) at the head of the table. Huck and Max are underfoot. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

just right!

O my heart. 

The bowls of salad Nu and Big A made to accompany the tiny pizzas they made for dinner looked like they were ready for the three bears in the Goldilocks story. 

It made me smile although I was nearly falling down from tiredness from being too hot all day in a twinset. (It was supposed to be cold!) 

I got the Papa Bear bowl because I'm the biggest eater of us three.  (But I do need to find a nice way to suggest that maybe we not team apples and avocado in the same bowl next time. 😄)

Pic: Bowls of salad that were not too big... not too small... but just right for today!

Friday, September 22, 2023

"full hearts, can't lose"

Dinner party at our place this evening. My standing 2:00 pm EPC meeting got canceled, so I happily cooked from 1:30 to 6:00. I made too much food as usual, but was able to send people home with take home boxes. 

Lovely people, terrific conversations, and a happy evening. Nu had requested that they be excused as soon as they'd eaten, but they stayed at the table all evening because they were enjoying themselves. (I guess we teachers know how to talk to young people!)

Pic: Taken by VV, in whose honor this gathering was. While I'm posting just a screenshot here for other people's privacy, everyone looks lovely in it. (Except me--in black at the head of the table with Big A--I was saying "wow" and look hilarious. Ha.) 

Thursday, August 17, 2023

un-doing

Baby steps today: Just one meeting, a tiny handful of emails, a short walk, an easy meal. I keep reminding myself of my spectacular relapse after I overdid things earlier this week. 

Easy does it. 

Unrelated: I can't stop thinking about the food situation with my parents, sis, and BIL. I knew they had let some household help, including their cook, go during the early stages of the pandemic. What I didn't realize is that now everyone just orders food online and then they eat separately and at different times. So all they're eating--sometimes even at breakfast, and almost always at lunch and dinner--is restaurant food. Each one according to their own schedule and by themselves. 

The worst part is that the food is frequently limp, unappetizing, and unsatisfying by the time it arrives, so it seems people eat more than they would otherwise. My BIL won't even enter the kitchen, my sis is too busy with her job, and my parents are too old, so this isn't a problem with an obvious solution. I made soups and stir-frys while there (for the kids mainly, but there was enough for everyone) and everyone acted like it was the most amazing food in the world (although it really wasn't!). My sister takes such good care of my parents and I didn't want to be a dick; so I didn't say anything. But mealtimes were such a time of togetherness growing up and I feel so, so sad that it's not the case anymore over there. 

Pic: Look! A medieval-looking turret on our way to get Big A some coffee at Biggby! 

Monday, July 03, 2023

aunts, talk, and tacos

Cousin N, the kids' aunt and godmother, brought my aunt (mom's sister) and uncle to visit. We're all in touch via text and phone nearly every day, and Cousin N and I have hung out at academic conferences. But it's still magical when you get together in person after years. Years. And nothing seems to have changed. 

I'm the oldest grandchild and my mom's three sisters apparently doted on me when I was a baby. But it's still so sweet/funny/comforting to hear my aunt describe, as she does every time, how besotted they were and how I was such-a-very-special-beautiful baby with all that hair and deep dimples. My kids and her kid are extremely indulgent and patient when this happens.

And too, it was so touching and comforting to notice my aunt use Nu's new formal name a few times and (as they told me after the visit) so did Nu.We are lucky. We know too many kids whose extended family will not validate them. Isn't it lovely when people can make love look so easy?

I made a taco bar and it turned out delicious (and it was good practice run for the upcoming party on Saturday). I think the trick was making/gussying up the accompaniments with fresh ingredients. And putting out pomegranate arils and slivers of pineapple along with the sliced serranos and limes made the lineup look fancy and interesting.

Pic: Our 'ussie'! At, Cousin N, Nu, Aunt, Uncle, and me. (I don't know why I decided I needed to put my hands in the air like I just don't care, but here we are.)
 

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Spring things

Scout isn't feeling very well, so we went outside to work in the garden, because he likes to hang out with me there. And look! Hellebores are coming up around the pond. It definitely gave my heart a much-needed lift. 

But I think I'll call the vet tomorrow if Scout doesn't seem better. I just listened to a show where Karen Fine, who's promoting her new book The Other Family Doctor, talked about her life as a veterinarian--so I have the feeling "doesn't seem like himself" is a perfectly acceptable symptom.

At stopped by for family dinner, and I made Kothu Paratha, which is typically made from leftover parathas and curry... which we didn't have. So I made everything from scratch and now we have some tasty leftovers. 

While At was here, they got a text from Jaz Brisak for the first time and it was fun seeing them figure out what to text back without sounding too much like a stan. I think excitement was definitely warranted;  I mean, I was excited. Then At and I went for a long walk-and-talk in the springy drizzle. Lots of walking, lots of talking--until it got too wet and cold for me, and I caved and suggested we go inside. 

And that's the end of the weekend! But Nu is on Spring Break this week, so things should feel a little lighter.

Pic: Hellebores and little yellow pods I can't identify.

Friday, February 24, 2023

ice, ice, Friday

I have to laugh because everyone at work asked how the drive up was, and to be honest--the iffiest part was our very long driveway. We still have crystal trees and a driveway that could be a skating rink. I thought our high of 46 yesterday would melt everything, but I was wrong. 

I also thought for sure that the falling ice--which was SO loud--would take out our roof and that we might lose power and I was wrong on both those counts... I'm happy to be wrong sometimes. 

Book club (Demon Copperhead) got postponed and an after-work hang with girlfriends got canceled. So I got home from work, dropped off At's new bank card (they lost their wallet last week), and hunkered down for an evening with Nu, Scout, and Huck (and Big A on Portal). I made a fish curry; Nu thought it was a stew: po-tay-toe, poh-tah-toe. Then an impromptu song fest with every Friday-themed song we could think of, including this one.

Pic: The backyard trees are sparkly, heavy, and creaky with ice. So pretty and a bit menacing.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Farewell, 2022

A good last day with two long walks with LB and BSL to round off the year. 

A raucous dinner time with Scout and Huck underfoot, and Nu, At, and Big A at the counter for parathas--the person waiting for me to finish the next paratha were in charge of running a round of Truth or Dare. Some calls to grandparents, the traditional new year presents (calendars and something inspiring), a few eps of Joe Pera... and then At was off to a show with friends, Nu was on with friends online, and I joined PM's write-in for the new year on Slack (where I started and abandoned a poem based on PM's prompt). 

And then, as Big A, Scout and Huck napped inches away from me, it was 2023. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

falling asleep thoughts

Here's Huckie looking so much like Falkor in The Neverending Story (ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah aah ah).

I think I termed Scout Falkor before, but nah, it's Huck. 

Got a ton of work, grading, and prep done. Discovered that Nu really likes chickpeas today. Did lots of planning for Big A's birthday. Did my laundry too, but can't count it "done" until I put it away (which will probably take 3-4 business days 😏).

I'm going to bed and it's not even 1:00 am yet! Nice!

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Happy 15th birthday, Nu 💗

We celebrated Nu's 15th today--donuts at school, Sansu sushi takeout, a pistachio-raspberry cake made by Big A, brownies made by LB, phone calls from grandparents, and enough presents and gift cards to keep Nu in emo swag for a while. 

What a difficult year it has been for this kid in so many ways... I hope this next year is better. 

(I remember picking the date and showing up at the NYU hospital to be induced. I remember it like it was yesterday, but somehow it has been 15 years.)

(And also--speaking of parenting--the love and pain in this voicemail from President Biden to his son is everywhere today... and it breaks me every time.)

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Quiet

Scout and Huck are worried for me... because I play this harp so badly. 🤣😂 They would prefer me to be quiet.

It was otherwise a quiet and fulfilling Sunday: UU meditation, a hang with JL at the Lebanese coffee shop, a chat with my sis and mom, a WhatsApp celebration with the cousins, weekend chores, a soak, groceries, dinner with all four kids, teaching prep, Navaratri invitations and menu-planning, a heart-warming chat with At while I dropped him back at his place, more teaching prep, and so to bed.
 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

exhale

The moon was still up in the sky when Scout, Huck, and I took Nu to the school bus before I went to work and back in the sky when I got home. Three classes, three meetings, and all of them very necessary. It helped that Big A helped in the morning before he left to take the ferry back to WI and At came over in the afternoon to hang out with Nu (and took Nu to some labor meetings 💗) while I was at work. 

I brought back some Angel Tears and Devil Tears from Pizza 1 One for the kids. A long time ago, L asked what they were and I described them; she then summarized that it sounded like they had taken the one healthy thing about pizza (the tomato sauce) and left all the other stuff. She's right. These "tears" always get a rockstar welcome from the kids though--yesterday was no exception.

There was a comment on yesterday's post, which was very true in that there were only two people in my photo. I struggle with this a lot. When we moved to this house we were eight human and non human persons and three generations--my parents, Big A and me, and the two human and two canine kids. It does feel kind of empty with just Nu, part-time Big A, and me as the humans living in this house now. I'm trying to come to terms and make peace and all that jazz because I know that this is the way of things. But it's not easy. And I haven't been successful. (Nicole--I must really put Philpott's Bomb Shelter on my list RIGHT NOW.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

inhale

Checked and cleared off my calendar early today and then I was able to hike with Big A, give Scout and Huck a groom, and make s'mores with Baby A. 

A midweek respite seemed necessary today. Especially since I'll be on campus from 8 am to 8 pm tomorrow (and that's not counting the commute).

It's like the deep breath before a deep dive...

Pic: Pre-s'mores. The bad haircuts I gave the puppies are sadly obvious. (The vet no longer offers grooming, and I didn't want to take them to some chain place because there are so many horrible stories.)

Saturday, June 18, 2022

"An Evening In India"

Not sure if that was foolhardy or plain foolish, but in the midst of all the ongoing drama I decided to go ahead and host the "Evening in India" fundraiser anyway.

Honestly, I didn't have the energy to cancel it and communicate with the eight people who bid $80 to sign up, and then have to find another date that worked for everyone, and then I'd have that date looming on the horizon. It seemed easier to just go ahead and make the four-course meal I'd promised for today. 

So I did.

I was on my feet all day and didn't have time to think about anything but taste and temperature and coordinating time. (And unwrapping and arranging the desserts, which I got readymade at Swagath.) 

And then I had a blast writing a menu and talking to a room full of people I don't know very well. 

I'm so weird.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

the day of "no"

I'm ordering these "Saying No To Things Punch Cards" for friends. The idea is that you reward yourself for saying no to things by treating yourself to an ice cream after ten "noes." There's a version with cocktail reward as well, and they're available here

Anyway, I would have earned that icecream/cocktail today. I evaluated everything against back pain and let most things go. A missing submission could wait, family could make their own dinner, someone else should give Scout his meds, Big A thinks we should go for a walk? I think not. My planner looks bereft. I researched elaborate menus for upcoming parties, read for hours, soaked forever, spent time with the fam, and fed myself what I wanted.*

*What I wanted ranged across continents and was delicious: an English muffin with hummus, jalapenos + sliced avocado, sprinkled liberally with furikake. 


Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving 2021

Time to eat?
(We can't see the three puppies in this one, 
but the fish I was going to feed them
--in the white bowl that doesn't go with anything else--
made it into the picture 😛.)

Friday, November 19, 2021

Karthika Deepam In Michigan

So I got my own lights festival after all 😁. KB drove down from Alma and took me to see the tree lighting downtown. Huge crowds everywhere, a lovely full moon, a lit up capitol building, a sparkly nondenominational tree, and holographic fireworks.

I'd been panicking on what to do about dinner since I would get home after five, but Big A stepped up and made his amazing Brazilian seafood soup and his famous tapioca pao and then Kate brought homemade chocolate macarons (with cardamom! because I'm Indian!) and we feasted.

I know some very good people. And they make delicious things.
 

hanging in there/hanging by a thread: a week of random things I thought about with A in the hospital

Wednesday, July 10:  Big A's healthcare team doesn't have a clear way forward, so neither do we. But I found the buttons to move his...