“A morning without coffee is like sleep.”
This month, this post is rather late – 3 months late. Blame the busy-ness of work, xmas season, then preparing for a 4 week journey along with airline strikes and personal karmatic things impacting life, then 5 wonderful weeks away, coming home and back into the busy-ness of life. Wow it has been one huge whirlwind. I hope you forgive my tardiness.
These months, I miss….. a long row of shoes lined up at the front door, because my family are visiting or staying with me. The joyous sounds of Aidan, 11 months old when he was here, always happy and laughing and just about to take his first tentative steps. Meals with Amberjee and Kenjee on the balcony at 9pm in the heat of summer. The mess of having a baby/almost-toddler in the house. Waking in the morning to hearing his early morning chatter. Playing peek-a-boo and up-down. Blowing bubbles over the edge of the balcony.
These months, I have ….. been so excited about being in India again, and being with people that I have not seen for 2 years. The journey will be was arduous and long, but so special. But goodness, the preparation has been was huge. Including walking up and down 600 stairs several times per week, to prepare for hill climbing, walking bare foot around auspicious mountains – 16 km! – and getting to those temples that have hundreds and hundreds of steps.
This month I (re)discovered …
- that waking up and smelling the coffee each morning is such a good thing, especially when coffee has been proven to contribute to lowering mortality rates, as well as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, breast and colorectal cancer, and asthma. Have a look at the findings of some Finnish research here.
- an amazing array of chillies here. And I bet this range only scratches the surface. What an amazing variety of shapes and colours.
- salt. I love salt. I use a highly mineralised Celtic Sea Salt exclusively – in cooking and at the table. This month I discovered an amazing site that has hundreds of different salts of all colours and hues, every one of which sound amazing. Most extraordinary are their himalayan salt plates.
- that I dream of where I am going. and once i am back, I dream of where I have been.
- that sichuan pepper, that hot and tongue numbing spice, is all the flavour of the month in blogland because it is now available in the US. A couple of good articles about sichuan pepper can be found here.
These Months …
- In Dec, Amberjee and Kenjee cooked a dinner for me. It was so wonderful. Not only because the food was great, but because one night they cooked for me. I didn’t have to lift a finger. (Doesn’t food taste so wonderful when someone else cooks?) They cooked a baked tomato risotto. I really recommend it. The taste is fantastic. You can find the recipe here - leave out the non-vegetarian ingredient and use veggie stock. Add any additional veggies that you like, as long as they are chopped small. We even stirred through some baby spinach.The next day, we made risotto cakes with the leftovers, and served them with a fantastic pesto. VERY delicious.
- Oh it has been so busy. Phew!
Blog Food to Try
- Try a wonderful three mushroom rice dish from Soy and Pepper.
- Red Chillies has a wonderfully easy Zucchini with Garlic dish.
Hints and Tips for This Month
- Check this out – a post by cookbook catchall on flours, their different properties and how to buy and store.
- I get a lot of googles from people wanting to know how to cook beans and lentils. I have searched out a pdf doc that will help them . It is quite good!
- Talk of Tomatoes has a great post on Beetroot - storing, using, cooking, serving.
Favourites from This Month in previous years
Gradually as this site develops, these recipes will appear. They are favourites from my old old site (see About). If you are desperate for any of them now, let me know and I will make them available. The small numbers that follow the recipe title indicate the month and the year in which they were first cooked.
- Gazpacho (Moosewood) 0197
- Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cream of Tomato Soup 0700
- Caponata Siciliana 0101
- Mr Well’s Translucent Cucumber Salad 0899
- Jenny’s Classic Tomato Salad(s) 0103
- Sweetcorn, Zucchini and Feta Fritters (Gourmet Traveller, January, 1998) 0198
- Goan Ladyfinger Recheio (Indian Stuffed Okra) Tasty Morsels 0103
- Goan Fried Ladyfingers (Indian Fried Okra) Tasty Morsels 0103
- Bistecche id Melanzane (Eggplant Steaks) Best of Bugialli 0103
- Gratin de Pommes de Terre et Courgettes (Gratin of Potatoes and Courgettes) 0198
- Italian Tomato Sauce (Moosewood) 0198
- Home-made tomato paste 0199
- Sesame – Lemon Bread (Moosewood) 0199
- Foccacia #3 0101
- Indian (Goan) Rechad Malasa Spice Paste (Flavours of India) 0103