Back to the grind and my forray into Indian cooking

After a wonderful winter break, the kiddos are back in school. I am amazed at how much work I can finally get done in the three hours Bode is in preschool.

I may just go into shock when he’s in school full-time.

To those mothers who feel lost when this milestone hits? Welp, ICan’tRelate.

Because these are treasured, fleeting days, I try my very darnedest to get my work done before they wake up in the mornings and while they’re in school. That way when they come home, we can delve into whatever activity we have planned.

This month, they’re doing swim lessons twice a week. My little fish Haddie is progressing toward joining the swim team next year. And Bode? Welp, he flunked the Minnows class last summer because he refused to put his face in the water.

And yep, he gets that from me.

We’ve also been spending time in the kitchen. Bode made chocolate chip cookies for the first time yesterday and I’ve been cooking up a storm from my new Indian cookbook Jamie gave me for Christmas.

Though I’m trying to figure out for whom that gift was really designated.

I remember once upon a time when I wanted frivolous presents. My, what a difference a few years make because this bureau was what Jamie and I gave each other.

Y’all can have your jewels and fancy electronics. This organizational system for our mail and miscellaneous items has given me a much needed gift: sanity.

I wish I could say my ethnic cooking is going as well. The last few years, Jamie and I have become moderately obsessed with Indian food. Every time I return home to Calgary (where there is a large East Indian and Pakistani population), I curse that I never capitalized on it in my youth. Not only are there some killer restaurants but our grocery stores are chock-full of glorious Garam Masala-esque products vs. the Mexican-heavy offerings in the U.S.

It seemed only natural to learn how to make our own so on Tuesday, I attempted Adraki Murgh Tikki (ginger chicken bites) and Naan Bread. Last night, I made our family’s favorite to celebrate back-to-school: Chicken Tikka Masala.

I pride myself on being a pretty good cook but Indian food calls for entirely different ingredients that will require me to track down a specialty market. And then there are the funky methods of cooking include cheese clothes (huh?), “Tadka” (tempering), “Dum” (steaming) and Tandoori. Normally Naan bread is made in a clay oven but knowing the book is targeted to Gringos, the author suggested broiling it on the top rack.

I don’t know if you’ve ever done this but here’s a little insight: Food gets done VERY quickly when using this method.

And yes, dinner was served when the smoke alarm went off.

Next stop: Our local Indian restaurant.

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