For the gringos, “Tia” means “aunt” in Spanish.
Once upon a time, I ate a cereal called “Puffed Kamut.” It was an unsweetened grain that had the most delightful taste and texture. It was mostly air and came in plastic bags about the same size as a cereal box. Breakfast each morning would consist of pulling a metal mixing bowl from the cupboard, emptying one bag of puffed kamut, pouring in milk until the grains floated, and eating it all over the course of a few minutes. It was heaven.
Breakfast is an unusual meal. For one thing, it’s purportedly the most important meal of the day, for another, it’s also the one that I tend to have the least time to make (or I did back when commuting was a thing people did in the real world). To measure puffed Kamut on my chart of breakfasts, I would recommend it for convenience and pleasantness but not for affordability and health. As I finally admitted sometime in my mid-twenties, even cereal that is not infused with sugar is mostly just carbs.
So, I switched to eggs. Eggs are not as high as a cereal on convenience, but they’re high on pleasantness, nutrition and affordability. Serve them on top of sliced sweet potatoes you baked in the oven the night before. That’s good eating!
One problem – my wife is sort of a little bit egg intolerant . She can only eat so many. Not every day for breakfast on slices of baked sweet potatoes! What to do? Enter oatmeal. I was sure oatmeal would be just as bad as any other grain, but my explorations online have suggested that’s not the case. It consistently ranks at the top of healthful grains to have for breakfast. The number one warning is not to add sugar or salt. That’s the worst thing that comes up when I try to find the downsides of oatmeal. I happen to love grains of all kinds, so I don’t need to dress up oatmeal in sugar and salt. I just toss on some fresh fruit and chia seeds, add sunflower seeds for protein and I’m happy. This places oatmeal high on every category. It’s good for convenience, pleasantness, nutrition, and affordability. At least before my professor of public health mother comments and informs me I’ve been living a lie.
I found a glass of mole sauce mix in the pantry. If you haven’t heard of mole, it’s a meat sauce and Mexico’s national dish. Mole comes in various colors, but our usual mole is a black, savory chocolate sauce for chicken. The jar was confusing enough that I actually needed a YouTube video to show me how to open it, but after that everything went great.
Also, after several weeks of describing them, Karime finally made her famous quinoa burgers for us!
She even put together a recipe for everyone’s benefit!
Just another ordinary week in the Apocalypse Kitchen!
My household has had the first serious injury of the apocalypse, and it’s mine. My dog is not doing particularly well with doggie distancing, and is getting harder to manage. So much so that several days ago when I was queuing up a phone call as I opened the door she saw another dog and bolted, yanking the leash. Caught by surprise, I fell over, and landed on my back on the post on the porch. Now I am injured enough that simple tasks like laying down in bed cause me immense pain. Fortunately, the pain is worst when I’m moving from one position to another. Most of the time I hurt just a little or not at all, and my wife is taking good care of me.
At the same time, my mother in law has instituted fast-paced Spanish lessons. One hour a day plus homework. In case some of her methods are proprietary, I won’t describe them here, but it’s been a long time since I had assignments for my own learning that someone was actually checking and pressuring me to complete. I feel like I’m in school again.
One of my tasks is to learn how to roll my “rs.” The first step of this is to say the word “ladder” over and over again, because this word exercises the same tongue positions that are required for r rolling. I’ve said “ladder” enough to drive my wife crazy, but still not enough that I have any idea how to roll an r when my mother in law tells me to.
Karime has become an excellent chef and is now doing much of the cooking. Between the three of us, we’ve made hamburgers and french fries cooked in the air fryer, carrot cake with chocolate frosting (for Nydia’s birthday), pork chops, gallo pinto, yellow rice, pad thai, coconut chocolate mousse, beef stir fry, hamburgers and french fries cooked on the stove, italian pasta with sausage from a local farmer, and more! We’re getting more accustomed to cooking for ourselves. Lately whenever we order out we end up feeling sick, such as when the three of us ate a whole fried chicken in one sitting, so that helps to encourage spending time in the kitchen instead.
We have not yet had any issues with food supplies running low. In fact, we have branched out beyond pizza and pasta. We unpacked our gifts, including some cool new kitchen appliances. I’ve already gotten some use out of our new air fryer. I had some asparagus laying around, and I started with a lime-parmesan asparagus dish. After that was a big success, I tried making up a recipe with orange juice and zest, sesame oil, and fresh ground peanuts. I called it “Pad Thai Asparagus.”
It turned out well.
On the left is my sweet potato hash. On the right is my pad thai asparagus. I tried air frying the sweet potato hash, and it got a little burnt, but it was nice and crispy and I still liked it.
Over the weekend I have not had a moment to offer an update. I have been out and about in Connecticut and New York City packing my days with activities. Now I’m in Bermuda and things have slowed down to the point that I can take a little time to report. I have marked statements not meant to be taken as literal fact with “*”.
A visit to NYC is not complete without a stop in Ridgefield Connecticut to visit my old college roommate, Greg. COVER ART: A somewhat menacing woven tapestry of swans in the Aldrige Museum of Modern Art in Ridgefield.
Carl Jung’s “The Red Book” gives readers a friendly introduction to the realms of madness of which men do not speak*.
New York City
In NYC we visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Next week: Bermuda!