Baking with Fooey this morning. Listening to the radio. Turning my back on cynicism and doubt for at least a few hours, because even though the man cannot possibly, even if assisted by miracles, live up to the hype, these moments are rare and can only be celebrated in the moment. That's why rituals actually matter: punctuation marks in the run-on sentences of life. Change. Hope. Imagine the best.
Now. Two recipes. Both are very good and worth posting. First, the banana muffin recipe that Fooey and I are making this morning; this is a dairy-free recipe, and my guess is it could be made quite successfully with any flour. Second, the hugely successful chickpea recipe which EVERYONE ate and enjoyed last night (the meal made out of the recipe, not the actual recipe, for those of you literal-minded seven-year-olds questioning your mother's every grammatical slip-up).
Banana Muffins (adapted from Annabel Karmel's The Toddler CookBook)
Makes 20 large muffins, more or less. Line muffins pans with muffin liners (or grease tins, if you prefer). Preheat oven to 350. Have child squash two ripe bananas in a bowl. In another bowl, have child mix two eggs with 2/3 cup brown sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Add mashed bananas and 1/2 cup vegetable oil and mix thoroughly. In another bowl, have child sift 1 and 1/3 cups whole wheat flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/8 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, and (optional) 1 tbls. unsweetened cocoa powder. Mix dry with wet, and (optional) 1/2 cup or more chocolate chips. Spoon into prepared pans and bake 18 minutes.
Baby CJ just ate and destroyed one of these, and I will post a pic on the blog opposite.
Chickpeas with Pork (adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking)
Soak several cups of dried chickpeas overnight. Boil up the next morning, adding salt once the chickpeas have softened (could be hours). In another large cooking pot, fry up 2 lbs pork sausage (or other meat), adding oil if needed. Add and saute: 1 chopped onion, five minced cloves garlic, 2 inches (or so) minced ginger root, 1/2 tsp. ground cardamon, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp. cumin seeds, 1 tbsp ground cumin, 1 tbsp ground coriander, 1 tsp. turmeric. When everything's nicely sauteed, add 2 cups (or more) canned or fresh or pureed tomatoes; add the chickpeas (the amount can really vary, to taste), and some of their cooking water; add six finely chopped potatoes. Season with 1 tbsp salt, or to taste. Add more chickpea water if needed. Cover and cook till potatoes are soft and flavours combined (25-40 mins). Add 1 cup of frozen peas and cook a couple more minutes. Optional: add 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper. Serve over rice.
Note: The recipe could easily be made meat-free. Other veggies could be added, too. I apologize for not giving exact measurements for the chickpeas, but I cooked up about five cups (dry), and eyeballed the amount added to the stew.
Seriously, this recipe got unanimously rave reviews. It looks like a lot of spices, but don't be afraid of the amounts.
And, now, to turn on the tele for a dose of collective joy.