Monday, August 17, 2009

magical talking devices

Every once in a while, I have this moment of clarity where I find the time to truly appreciate something that I take for granted every other day/hour. A couple of days ago, I was driving and suddenly I realized how cool that was. Now, I drive every day, just about, and there are times my 60 mile roundtrip for work everyday makes me want to sell my car, but a few days ago I realized how amazing it really is that this piece of machinery yields to my every whim. With just a tug this way of the steering wheel and some gentle (or sometimes quite abrupt) pressure on a pedal at my feet, I control the way the vehicle operates and it does what I command (this was not always so with my last car).

I had another one of those moments earlier today. This one is not nearly so deep and philosophical - actually, I think it's more comical than anything else, but I still appreciate it. Today's amazing moment was when my sister called me from a grocery store in Arizona. Here I am in Pennsylvania and my cellphone rings and connects me instantly with my sister, wandering the aisles of a grocery store thousands of miles away, asking me where to find pomegranate molasses (because she's such a wonderful sister that she is going to make a modified version of the Pomegranate Saute for a potluck). I know, you think I'm crazy, but that's because you're taking this moment for granted.

Stop and reflect on that story for a moment. Cellphones, though invasive at times, are magical!

Today was a fun day. First, Mister and I went to the spice store to get red lentils (and ground cloves, crystallized ginger, and black licorice, because I really did marry a man just like my father), then we went to a diner for breakfast at 3:30 PM. We're still celebrating his birthday, and if breakfast at 3 (after we'd been up for hours) was what he wanted, that's what we were doing. After stuffing ourselves full of omelets and potatoes (and craptastic coffee), we waddled home in the 95 degree heat and were thrilled by the still-working a/c in our home.

For dinner, we had Red Lentil Coconut Curry (thus the trip to get more red lentils):
Red Lentil Coconut Curry
serves 6-8
Spice mixture:
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp curry powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp canola or olive oil
2 cups water, divided
3/4 cup jasmine rice
2 large carrots
1 small head cauliflower
14.5 oz petite diced tomatoes
1 cup peas
1 cup red lentils
15 oz lite coconut milk
1/2 tsp honey

Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add rice, lower heat to lowest possible setting, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes, until all water is absorbed.
Meanwhile, mix together all the spices and salt in a small bowl. Quarter and cube the carrots and cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
Heat the oil in a large, deep pot and add the spices, stirring continuously for one minute. Add carrots and cauliflower and stir to coat with spices. Allow to cook for a minute or two, then add the undrained tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water. Stir well to dissolve spices, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas, lentils, coconut milk and honey. Cover and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and continue to simmer for 10 more minutes. Serve over rice.

It was a nice tasty birthday curry. Now I'm ready for leftover birthday cake!

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