Well friends, I am plum-tuckered, spent, zapped and officially feel as if I could sleep for the next two months; I’ve been traveling since September and I haven’t been home much these past several weeks. But I also have to say that I’ve never been more inspired, humbled and ready to tackle new projects than I am now . . . that is, after I sleep for the next two months . . .
My father passed away three days before 9/11 in 2001; he’d been diagnosed with cancer just 18 months prior and even though we knew what was coming, I’m not sure you’re really ever prepared for someone you love to pass from this life into the next. My family is spread all over the country and we all took shifts in traveling to Washington during his illness; my brother from California, a sister in Arizona, me in Indiana and our youngest sister, on the same street as my parents – and we were fortunate to make it home before the towers fell and all air travel came to a halt for several days following.
Can you believe it’s September???? Does this surprise you as much as it does me???? And why am I using multiple question marks???? I have no idea. Other than I’m truly gobsmacked September is here and I’m not ready to let go of summer – can I just get an ‘amen?!’ It’s still hot and humid and because the Winter of 2013-14 was so. very. long., I’ve got a death-grip on summer and will not release her until Mother Nature pries summer from my slightly wrinkled, tightly-clenched fist, one finger at a time. Even then, I predict I’ll drag myself into fall kicking and screaming.
I’m not sure there has ever been a winter when I waited for spring to arrive with as much anticipation as this last one; it was a winter that just kept on giving and would not quit. Unseasonably cold and arduously long, when spring finally made its way to the Midwest we all uttered a collective, ‘Hallelujiah!’
We’ve just come off of one of the best weekends we’ve enjoyed in a long time; it was one of those weekends where even though there were many items on my ‘to-do’ list, I was successful in setting it all aside and forced myself to just ‘be’. But it was hard.
The month of May is National Celiac Awareness month.
And while I could rattle off the numbers of people who have Celiac or some form of wheat intolerance or allergy, I’m going to share some of our family’s story instead. Why? For me, it’s personal; it hits deeply and closely to home. I have celiac, and so does my sister, so it doesn’t get more personal than this.
This is one of the down and dirty, quick and easy recipes. While most of the cooking and baking we do here on the Smith Bites homestead is from scratch, there are times – like now when I have several deadlines looming over the next two weeks – we still want to eat well yet have something ready in less than 30 mintues. And this soup is one of those recipes.
Seven months. Seven months of flannel sheets. It was the ‘winter-that-wouldn’t-die’ and for seven very long months, The Professor and I wrapped ourselves in those flannel sheets while dreaming of white sandy beaches where they serve sweet fruity drinks with umbrellas in tall, chilled glasses. But today . . . off with the flannel and on to the Egyptian Cotton, baby.
So these little bites came about because The Professor and I both really enjoy Indian food – and we don’t make it at home – although I’m not sure why. I think it’s probably more a mindset than execution – and we don’t have any cookbooks covering this particular cuisine. But it’s a lovely marriage when curry, garam masala and chili peppers meld together with the tang and creaminess of yogurt and . . . well, just typing the words and I’m like Pavlov’s dog.
This is a post I’ve wanted to write for a while now because almost two years ago, The Professor and I completed a mini-kitchen update and streamlined our pantry into one area. Before then, we had pantry items stored on shelves in our basement, on a shelf above the stairs leading to the basement, on shelves in our studio area, an extremely deep pantry, and non-functional cabinet in the kitchen and anywhere else we found empty. There are just two of us. I may need an intervention.
The Professor and I have done our fair share of entertaining; we don’t as much anymore as our family has aged, college life has spread us about and schedules seem to be busier than ever. And even though there aren’t as many people sitting at our table as often, a couple of rules remain the same: whatever we serve at a party, needs to feed a crowd and the recipe needs to be make-ahead so we have time to enjoy our guests.