February 21, 2011
Things I Have Learned:
It feels good to be the one to shave your spouse’s head when her hair starts falling out in chemotherapy-induced clumps. You’ll come up with (new) goofy little nicknames for her in her baldness, and—cliché as it is—you will find her as beautiful as ever.
It also feels good to go to the gym, or for a run, or for a bike ride. These things will, in fact, seem like the very things keeping you sane, and for the power and ability of your body, you will be grateful. After a particularly excellent workout, you may well feel like you can fly.
When you get up early Saturday morning in San Francisco while attending a work conference and go for a run from the condo you and your colleagues are renting to the waterfront where the seagulls squawk cheekily at you, the only folks you will encounter are pot-smoking bums and old Chinese ladies walking their poodles, plus a couple of fanny-pack-wearing tourists. You’ll be able to smell the bean paste they’re making in Chinatown, to be stuffed into little balls of sesame-seed dotted and fried dough, like the ones you had the day before.
A friend will visit for the weekend and surprise you with a sonogram photograph so that you’ll squeal to wake the dead, serve her and the tiny one a big ole mess of breakfast and be so, so, so happy.
You will conclude over and over again that there isn’t any good language for anything. Because you want to tell the people in your life just how much you love them and how much they make your life better, but you can’t really manage with language and you’re afraid you’ll freak them out with trying, so you offer hugs and hand-written notes instead.
All of your plans will be laid out as close to perfectly as possible, because hey! You’re really good at planning, but then something like a low blood cell count will change all of your plans in an instant, but instead of that freaking you the heck out, like it normally would, you discover that it doesn’t really matter to you anymore. You decide it must be a result of that thing called “perspective.”
Your mom is coming to town soon and you can’t wait to see her. Because nothing will be more comforting than her presence and nothing will ever, ever taste as good as food that she makes.
Fairly straightforward but possibly my favorite way to consume kale. We Indians know how to make vegetables taste good without a ton of added fat. Go us!
2 bunches curly green kale
approx. 2 lb. red potatoes
a few sprinkles asafetida
1 tsp. whole cumin
1 tsp. each, ground cumin & coriander
pinch (or more, if you like) red pepper flakes
salt to taste
Prep the kale by rinsing it and stripping the leafy parts off of the middle rib. Chop the kale into small pieces. Peel and chunk the potatoes.
Pour a good tablespoon or two of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, toss in the whole cumin seeds and let them sizzle a bit before sprinkling in the asafetida.
Swirl oil and spices around in the pot before tossing in the kale and potatoes—be careful, they will splatter! Cover and let the kale wilt a bit before adding the rest of the spices: ground cumin & coriander, red pepper flakes, and a good teaspoon of salt.
Cook, covered, over medium heat until the potatoes are done. Then uncover the pot and turn the heat down to medium-low in order to evaporate any water. You want the sabji to be quite dry; it’s done when the vegetables begin to stick a bit to the bottom and sides of the pot.