It just seems like that shouldn't happen. Not in Pennsylvania, anyway. It's been relatively overcast for a couple of days and yesterday we had a few moments of snow-globe weather that we paused a meeting at work to observe. Tonight, streetlamps and traffic signals are reflected on the slick city streets. I'll admit, I'm grateful they are reflecting on wet roads and not ice-coated roads, but there is something more depressing about December rain than rain in any other month (except possibly February).
Additionally, it seriously interferes with my weekend ritual of food shopping. That is the one advantage I'll grant to suburb-dwellers - grocery shopping in the rain isn't that big a deal because you shop inside and are only outside long enough to move your groceries from your cart to your car before returning home in an enclosed, heated box. I, on the other hand, walk to the store and walk home and I have to say - it's not easy to carry groceries and an umbrella. I got the first leg of my shopping in before the rain but I'm a little leery about what tomorrow brings (according to weather.com, it brings nothing but more rain, but there must be a break in the clouds sometime).
Even though I didn't have my usual hectic schedule today, I still taught my lessons, which is becoming more time and effort consuming with the recent addition of two bright young ladies, so I didn't get a chance to relax. Tomorrow morning is definitely for lounging, especially if it's going to be raining and gloomy, so I'm already plotting a luxurious breakfast (we'll see if it actually happens). The point of all this blithering nonsense is that I got home from teaching around 7ish with exactly no motivation to make a pastry crust, find space to roll it out, and then take all the other necessary steps to make Samosa Pie.
Fortunately, Dragani and I put together a handsome menu last night and one of the options could be constructed solely from food I buy at Superfresh, so tonight's dinner was the perfectly hearty, homey, and savory Chickpea Stew with Fried Polenta from Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook.
I can't say it enough: I love this meal. It is so easy to make that I probably should have saved it for a night I'm feeling more braindead, but I guess you could say I'm still recovering from the week. It combines nearly all of my favorite things: polenta, blended sauces, savory garlicky-tomato goodness. How could I go wrong?
As you've probably observed, I branched out for this week's menu, consulting more cookbooks than the one I've been using for three weeks straight. We still don't have any money, but I had a few recipes on my mind that I really wanted to make and this week I am more interested in quick-cooking meals than inexpensive ones. As a result, I spent twice as much at Superfresh as I spent on all of my groceries a couple of weeks ago, but I think Mister was about to cry for lack of frozen pizza anyway.
1. Samosa Pie from Vegan on the Cheap will be tomorrow night's dinner. Tomorrow will probably be a lazy, inside-chore day (yay for laundry and the Christmas tree!), so I'll have plenty of time to make the crust during the afternoon hours. There might even be time (and energy) for cookies!
2. Jerk Seitan on Coconut Rice from Vegan With a Vengeance. I got a huge craving for this when I made the Island Rice Casserole last week, so now, I'm going to fulfill my own fantasy.
3. Warm Chickpea Ragout with Swiss Chard, Carrots, and Harissa from Vegetarian Times: Fast and Easy because nothing warms you up inside quite like a burning tongue and lips. Look how diverse I was this week - three meals, three cookbooks!
4. Chili and Polenta Casserole also from Vegetarian Times: Fast and Easy. Once again, a meeting of all things beloved by me and the Mister: chili, polenta, and [ta da!] something I can prepare tomorrow and stick in the fridge for a couple of days before we eat it, a convenience that will come in darn handy by mid-week, I'm sure.
5. Potato Corn Chowder from The Accidental Vegan. I couldn't tell you exactly what caused me to crave this, but this was another recipe I specifically hunted through this book to find. I just seem to recall loving it more every time I made it, so it's kind of like comfort food.
6. Cajun Red Beans and Rice also from The Accidental Vegan. Speaking of comfort food...as long as I had the book out, I flipped through looking for a final fast and easy meal and found this - I may be a vegan cliche, but this is my favorite rice-n-beans recipe. Speaking of vegan cliches, how's this one for you: as I was riding the train to the southwest suburbs today, the train stopped to pick up passengers in University City (imagine that). As I sat against my window, I noticed a little weed garden full of long, green leaves and thought to myself, "I wonder what those taste like. Someone should gather those for cooking." Then I realized they were probably skunk cabbage.
PS: I still haven't slept, so it's still Saturday. ;P