In which I love my family, but also find myself having unkind thoughts.
I don’t know, maybe you are in the camp of people who are currently posting photos on Instagram of your first date with your beloved and tagging them #loveofmylife, but all of this quarantine coziness is not making me the sweetest roommate.
My son is generally in good spirits, but he is really testing me lately. Poor kid, I have flown off the handle more than once. I saw some child psychologist being interviewed on the news the other night, and her advice was to be a source of love and patience for your kids right now. The science project or piano lessons can wait. If all we do as parents right now is provide safety and hugs, then we are winning.
On a positive homeschool note, James and I had a Google hangout with his dear elementary school librarian, Ms. Locke. I told her how we are newly into exploring chapter books, so she kindly sent us a robust list of some of her favorites. Here are some of her selections if you are into books geared toward the Kindergarten set.
In case you are feeling a little bored, things are getting crazy in my kitchen! This week, I made chickpeas TWO ways. I know, try to contain the excitement.
This recipe for Chana Masala is one of the best Indian dishes I have ever made, which was pretty exciting. I have for years been trying to find a recipe that matches the deliciousness of Indian restaurant chicken tikka masala.
We have been on a veggie kick here, so I decided to try Chickpea Tikka Masala, or…
adapted from a recipe by Melissa Clark
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, minced
1 teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, grated or minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup of heavy cream (add more if you like it richer)
2 (15 oz.) cans of chickpeas, drained
pinch of ground cayenne
Cooked white rice for serving
1/2 cup cilantro for serving
Melt butter in large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in onion and salt; cook until golden and browning, about 20 minutes, lowering the heat if it starts to burn.
Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook another 1 minute. Stir in spices and cook 20 seconds more.
Add tomatoes and their juices. Stir in heavy cream and cook for 10 minutes over low heat. Stir occasionally.
Stir in chickpeas, and a pinch of cayenne. Simmer another 10 minutes, and taste for salt.
Serve spooned over rice garnished with cilantro.
*Note, this recipe could easily be made vegan by subbing out the butter for a neutral oil and trading the heavy cream for coconut milk.
I also made a simple raita to serve alongside.
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber, grated
1 garlic clove, grated,
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix together. Voila. Warm naan is great for cleaning the bowl.
This chickpea focused recipe has been in heavy rotation this past winter/ early spring. The roasted kale and broccoli make it earthy, while the lemon brings great brightness. Any long noodle would work here.
Lastly, I am including a more pedestrian recipe because my dear brother in law sent me the above tweet saying it reminded him of my newsletter.
Nina’s Blueberry Cake
My mother would have been horrified that this is the recipe of hers that I am sharing. She was an excellent cook who prided herself on searching out high brow ingredients while living in a small Mississippi town. But this cake is a gem, and our whole family continues to love it. Sorry, Mama.
1 box yellow cake mix, I prefer Duncan Hines Classic Yellow, but whatever.
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed and softened to room temp.
1 15 oz. can of blueberries, drained
Heat oven to 350. Grease a bundt pan. Follow the cake mix package directions. Then mix in the cream cheese. Then fold in the blueberries. Bake 40 minutes, or again, what your cake mix box recommends for a bundt pan. Cool, and share with your favorite people who also agree that cake mix cakes are yummy.
Enough with the baking: I would love some Netflix or Prime suggestions. I can’t for the life of me figure out why it is so difficult to search on Netflix, but by the time I scroll around for half an hour, I usually give up.
We did just finish watching Unorthodox on Netflix, which we thought was excellent.
Lastly, I recommend this article from the New York Times about tragic optimism as viewed through the coronavirus lens. This right here: “Tragic optimism is the ability to maintain hope and find meaning in life despite its inescapable pain, loss and suffering.”
Hang in there.