Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lazy Sunday turned into busy Sunday.

People always talk about spring cleaning, but I can't be the only one who does autumn cleaning. It's that weekend when you realize, oh snap, it's time to put the spaghetti-strap tops away and bust out with the down jackets. Of course, the weather here doesn't do a nice, gradual transition; no, it swings wildly from too hot to too cold, and doesn't give you any time to adjust.

For most of this weekend I've been raiding the closet and trying to de-clutter. That's sort of my theme for the upcoming season--an early New Year's resolution? I want to get serious about getting rid of all the stuff I hold on to because it holds memories. Clearing away stuff makes space for new ones, and I'd rather be living in the present and future than in the past. I'm also getting serious (again) about my health by eating cleaner, taking out more time to go to yoga, and trying to hack away at debt. I want my life to be sleeker and more functional. Maybe keeping myself focused on my goals will keep me from getting into my usual winter funk.

Ugh, but back to Sunday. It started out languid and early, and a pot of coffee later I was zooming around. I had cooked down a sugar pumpkin earlier (in all honesty, if it hadn't been so hot today I would have roasted the bad boy) and boiled the potatoes from my CSA box and, all in all, got more accomplished than anticipated.

Late lunch/early dinner came out blander-tasting than anticipated:

So the game plan was kofta. I peeled and mashed the cooked potatoes, then added in jalapeno and Scotch bonnet peppers, fresh cilantro, some turmeric, garam masala, garlic, red onion. I formed that into patties and rolled them in garbanzo bean flour, then pan-fried in butter. I made a quickie raita with labneh, grated cucumber, and plenty of sea salt (since I was a putz and forgot to add it to the kofta). Bland, the texture wasn't exciting, and my spicing was off. It's been so long since I've made malai kofta or korokke that I've forgotten just how much spicing the humble potato can handle. (Ate three of those, tossed the rest, alas.)

The cat-in-law is growing in her winter puff. She already looks like she's gained half her body weight in fur. She spent most of the day airing her belly in a patch of sun.

There's just no way to make my kitchen lighting better. Here's a hint of the mess in my kitchen by suppertime. The artistic dribble of coconut milk and scattering of hot pepper seeds are, I assure you, not intentional. To make the quick bisque, I sauteed red onion, jalapeno peppers, habanero peppers, garlic, and ginger in a little extra-virgin olive oil; I added a bit of parsley root and celery root, a pear, then the cooked pumpkin from earlier, and covered everything with chicken stock. Brought to a boil, reduced, simmered while I cleaned. I added a dash of turmeric for color and a pinch of curry powder. Pureed with an immersion blender and stirred in a can of coconut milk. To finish, I drizzled in a teaspoon of hazelnut oil and another of maple syrup, then made a quick-and-dirty dukkah of pumpkin seeds, butter, and curry powder. The seeds gave this a great texture, definitely needed, but something about the type of hot peppers I used and the coconut milk made this taste like Generic Thai Soup rather than a spiced pumpkin soup. Again, roasting the pumpkin would have made this special.

...I'm so not ready for it to be Monday.

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