Mario Batali paneer
It's been a busy week, and by busy, I mean I didn't sit around reading and/or wasting time on the internet as much. Ian and I started the week off with a hike on Billy Goat Trail. Columbus Day is one of the few federal holidays that are not also school holidays. They had an open house at Sophie's school the same day--my friend Barb who is a teacher says that schools usually plan something special for Columbus Day so parents won't keep their kids out of school. Ha! We had no trouble sending Sophie off to school and then hiking and having a lunch date. We did watch her play "pickle ball" in PE class and spent a few minutes in her Introduction to Engineering Design class feeling grateful that we don't get graded on perspective drawings. Tuesday night was the first PTSA meeting where they successfully bribed a small group of parents to attend with the promise of free food. There was an interesting presentation about the "fixed mindset" vs. the "growth mindset" where I realized that Sophie's knee-jerk negative reaction to something new is not unusual for the adolescent and something we can work on improving. Wednesday was the first home cross-country meet. Sophie has yet to make the top ten team, but was able to participate in a "fun run" after the official meet. She said, "I didn't have a good race," although she did run 11:26 for the 1.5 mile course, and the post-race egg cream still tasted sweet.
It was also a stellar week in the grocery department because I discovered Wegman's--the Valhalla of grocery stores, and there is a Super H-Mart <2 miles away from Wegman's. Two-stop shopping is good enough for me, even if H-mart consistently has the thermostat set to "meat locker" in every location I have visited. I found the remainder of the ingredients for all the dishes I plan to make from my new cookbook: "From Curries to Kebabs: Recipes from the Indian Spice Trail." I never realized how many tomatoes are required in Indian cooking--this required another trip to the grocery store for 10# of tomatoes. A homeless man approached me as I was loading the tomatoes into my scooter asking "Please do you have anything?" I never carry a lot of cash and handed him my last $2. He asked if he could have a tomato which he proceeded to eat immediately like an apple. I wished I had something more substantial in my grocery bag to give him. He thanked me and said, "You be careful on that scooter." I am sincerely glad he didn't know how much money I spent on spices this week. Even though I made my own paneer using this recipe I found on Indian Simmer's blog, it was hardly cheap. I continue to legitimately save money on bread using this recipe from the Artisan Bread in 5-minutes a Day folks. Of course you need a refrigerator and an oven and a house to make any of these things. Maybe we can all put the "thanks" back in Thanksgiving this year. Canned food drive, working in a soup kitchen, having that growth mindset--avoiding that knee-jerk negative reaction to somebody's request for help.
I will be posting the results of my first attempt at Indian cooking soon. My house still smells like curry, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Make some paneer today so you will be ready to cook your own feast. And somebody tell me what to do with this Kabocha squash or else it's going to wind up on the porch with the other pumpkins.