Friday, March 25, 2011
Friday ...a snowy spring
Woke up this morning to an inch of snow. It snowed for most of the morning, turning to rain as the day went on. Most of it is gone now, and as a matter of fact it's warmer now (after midnight) than it has been all day. Goofy...happy spring!
I took advantage of the fact that the Irishman took his truck in to have the brakes worked on to stay home and clean and do a little laundry and cook. He called me in a panic...the truck needs another $400-$500 of work done, in addition to the $400. they did today. They did the initial stuff and it is road safe, but we'll have to get the other stuff done early next month. Sigh...grateful we have the money to do it.
At any rate, today I cooked an Indian feast for our supper. I made Chicken Tikka Masala...which is a yogurt and spice marinated chicken that you grill and then place in a tomato and heavy cream sauce. I made jasmine rice to serve it over, as well as a cucumber and yogurt and cilantro salad type of thing called raita..I guess it's a condiment more than a salad. It was delicious. I fixed roasted cauliflower and chickpeas...mixed up the raw florets and the drained beans with a jar of home canned tomatoes and okra, used garam masala spice, salt and olive oil to coat and then toss in the oven. Oh. My. God. It was amazing. I also made naan...but it turned out more like a flatbread than the stuff you get in Indian restaurants. It is a yeast and flour bread mixture, and after it rises, you knead in minced garlic. It was great, even though it was puffier and soft. As it cooks on a grill, you brush it with melted butter. Patrick helped me with the naan cooking--definitely a 2 person job. He was blown away by the food quality and had second helpings of everything. I have to admit...I was pretty impressed myself. lol
A friend gave me some kefir grains to make my own kefir with. Today I made the second batch of smoothies with it...every time you use it, you replenish it with milk and put it back in the dark pantry to grow again. In fact, I need to look at it and see how it's doing. It needs a little rocking every so often. It is a very healthful foodstuff, originating in the Slavic countries. It was originally made with yak milk probably, and the culturing was a method of food preservation in a time with no refrigeration available. Turns out--SURPRISE!!-- it is full of probiotics and all kinds of healthy vitamins and minerals. If you've never had kefir, try it. It is pleasantly tangy like yogurt and lends itself well to fruit mixtures. I'm happy to have been given the grains by my friend Lynne!! (Thanks, girlfriend!!)
An interesting thing happened to me today...I got a request to teach a one day class on canning in the fall at the community gardens. And also a winter soup class after that. I was most honored and hope I can do a good job. It was really a boost to my old self esteem. lol Exciting!
Just checked the kefir grains. They are looking good...they're in a wide mouth pint mason jar with one of my sprout jar lids on it. The curds form and all rise to the top...they look a little like cauliflower, lol. So in the 24 hours that you are culturing the milk and forming whey, you rock the jar a little to mix the culture back into the milk. It's all quite fascinating and I've read a lot of stuff online and keep finding more. Lots of people are doing this now it seems. Hurray!
Alright. Time for bed. It has been a wonderful day here at Honeysuckle Hill...hope yours was too.