Tuesday, December 8, 2009

brush the dust off the cover

Sometimes you need a little time to fit obscure gifts into your life - have you noticed that? Sometimes, someone gives you something and your first reaction is, "Oh...gee...thank you." Or, to borrow a phrase from my mother, "that's interesting..."

My sister has devoted her adult life to the service of others. After college, she did a year with Americorps, and I think she was only stationary for about 6 months before she was getting shot up with immunizations and plunking down in an airplane bound for Africa. Her heart preceded her by about 10 years, but she finally made it, courtesy of the Peace Corps. She was in Zambia for about two and a half years before taking the long way home (through Zanzibar and Thailand, and I think a few other places before landing in California and my beloved Tahoe). Upon her return to America, she moved to our nation's capital to actually work for (as in, get paid and wear clothes from a store and live in a building with a closing door) the Peace Corps. She is currently about 6 months away from getting her Masters degree in something long that I can never remember but will help her help others more effectively.

Last Christmas, she was full of Peace Corps influenced/produced gifts, including my everyday-is-a-holiday calendar and a spiral bound collection of recipes from all over the world, appropriately titled:
Food From Around the World: A Global Health Alliance Cookbook.
Apparently, it was a collaborative effort of her fellow students, the introduction would lead you to believe:
The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH) is a diverse college with students, staff, academic professionals, faculty, and alumni who have lived, worked and traveled all over the world. This cookbook highlights the favorite recipes of the members of the MEZCOPH community.
The Global Health Alliance (GHA) is a student organization within MEZCOPH which is dedicated to improving the well-being of diverse populations. The proceeds of this cookbook will support various donation efforts as well as the GHA in future projects.

Anyway, a lot of the recipes call for meat and when a recipe from some hitherto unknown part of South America (as an example) uses meat in a recipe, it's really not the kind of meat you can replace with tofu or seitan. Considering the impoverished status of most of the countries visited by these students, though, there are a few vegetarian meals as well. I figured that since this week was so weird menu-wise anyway, this would be a good week to explore this cookbook a little more. I'll be honest - I looked through it when I got it, and it's been spending quality time with my relatively unused WIC cookbook on a shelf in the hallway ever since. It's okay, though - I know she just bought it to support the GHA.

Enough babbling - tonight I made the Coconut Curry Tofu from that little cookbook and it was really good! I really think that surprised the heck out of me and Mister.
You're supposed to serve it over rice, but I kind of like it swimming in broth/sauce. I think my husband would disagree, but he's okay. He just dumps the excess sauce in the sink before refilling his bowl.

I have finally resolved the rest of my week, so I will probably complete my menu tomorrow night (so I can shop for it on Wednesday), but I'll tell you now that the other recipe I will make from this book (probably tomorrow...duh) is called Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew, but since I do want Mister to eat it, I will be substituting carrots (yes, I got some) for the sweet potatoes.

1. I am grateful to have enough money to keep my home warm when the wind is howling forcefully outside the windows.
2. I am grateful for the resolution of today and the revelation of tomorrow.
3. I am (now) grateful for my sister's support of the GHA planting a really good curry recipe in my Pier 1 (that's international!) bowls.
4. I am grateful that my old coat is still so warm :)

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