And this is on the other side: unfurling growth,
a breath of peace,
and a pause for memory.
And always, but always, a spot of vibrancy and joy
not to mention play! Much of which happened on shabbat, when I could not take photos.
What photos I do have, I'm saving for spousal blackmail. But do imagine the Man on a child's pink tricycle, knees up by his ears and careening around corners. Me, screeching with laughter, while a crowd of sane adults cheer for him, or for the equally scrunched up athlete behind him.
With the children delightedly in grandparental arms, the Man and I flung ourselves into the car. For a weekend, we lived in a fantasy in which we slept, ate and walked around the lake. I was persuaded to try acupressure, courtesy of a group of volunteers. I then managed to be persuaded to try massage, then reiki, then any number of excellent slices of angelfood cake with oooh, lemon-orange sauce. (Eight parts confectioner's sugar to one part lemon juice, said the chef, plus orange zest. Because you know, I really had to ask.) And endless cups of tea. And popcorn. And how-to insurance tips. And yes, you've got me, there were sketches of our ideal home. Mine was not, by the way, the only one with solar panels and a veggie garden. And I was totally out-greened by the person with the imaginary goat. And in-house claims manager.
Oh, but we talked. And talked. And laughed immoderately. And, while I was relaxing in a haze of not-my-allergens and people who know how to find the knots in my back and persuade them to relax a bit, the Man was reaching.
He made it to one handhold and paused. Then he reached for another. And another. Until, blinking and alarmed, he was at the top. (need a visual? Scroll back up. Yep, that's it.) Roughly 35 feet off the ground, the Man sat down and laughed. The guy hates stepladders, you know. Made no difference.
Those Holes in Walls can hold the damndest things. Reliably, I fail to describe the place, let alone explain it. And I'm not even going to try now. Suffice to say that oh, it brings laughter and joy.
No KoolAid so far from the HitWGC folks, although there were many carbs rich with dairy and gluten. I tried hard to eat my weight in allergens, and I think I nearly succeeded...
We staggered to the car and drove home - where most of our GF, allergy-friendly fridge had been emptied. The grandparents nearly trampled us when we walked into the door, fleeing, perhaps, to more culinarily friendly climes? Well, maybe not. Taped to the countertop was a list of requests for recipes...one of which is below.
Curried Chickpea Polenta
(adapted from the Voluptuous Vegan, serves 4-6, can be made 1-2 days in advance)
2 onions, somewhat finely chopped
4-6 Tb olive oil
1-2 Tb curry powder, depending on your tastes (and the heat of your curry!)
2 tsp salt
1 c. chickpea flour
.5 c medium ground cornmeal/polenta
4.75 c water
In a cake mixer or food processor, blend the chickpea, cornmeal, water and salt. The stuff will clump, so a fast whipping is helpful. You can try mixing the water and salt while slowly adding the cornmeal and chickpea flour - sometimes that helps avoid lumps. Personally, I embrace my lumpiness (to a degree), and just move on.
In a pasta-sized pot/medium pot, saute the onion in the oil until deeply browned. Add curry powder, and stir for a couple of minutes, until the curry powder is warmed and smells wonderful. Pour in the batter, and stir to mix. Heat uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it comes to a boil.
warning: this stuff will splatter a bit, so take me seriously when I suggest that...
Once the mixture begins to boil, turn the heat down to med-low and stir constantly. The mixture will start to thicken, but keep stirring for another 20 minutes or so (almost constantly, slightly less so if you have a really kickass nonstick pot). The chickpea flour can have a beany flavor, but heating it steadily like this will mellow that flavor wonderfully. At this point, you can add optional yumminess, like fresh corn kernels, freshly ground black pepper or a sprinkle of minced fresh herbs, or whatever else makes your mouth happy.
Spray a springform pan (or other pan, I like the springform because it's easy to uncrate the thing after baking). Pour the batter in, and let the pan sit on the counter for a 30-45 minutes. Then, bake at 350F for roughly 30 minutes.
The top will be golden and somewhat cracked - and entirely delicious. Serve it warm!
note: for the non-vegan/dairy consumers, a grating of Parmesan might just be perfect here. If it is, for heaven's sake don't tell me, okay? I think I might just be dairied out for now.