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Amparo Bertram

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06:34 am: In with the new
I hope that everyone is having a happy New Year. It's pretty much business as usual at the airport, though it won't be long before we get the rush of students returning for the winter semester.

I've been having a busy week, trying all kinds of new things. First, I used my accumulated cup of sliced kumquats to make marmalade. Unfortunately, I was distracted by making supper at the same time as the final step, and I wound up burning it a little. It still tastes okay, but the color turned dark brown.

I tried out a new flavor of bread, this time potato and roasted garlic. It's quite good, and it goes really well with curry. Speaking of which, I'm continuing to try new types of curry from 660 Curries, and the one I did last week was even better than normal. I want to record it here for easy access.

Slow-Cooked Sweetened Yellow Split Peas with Coconut
1 C chana dal (yellow split peas)
3 C water
1/2 t ground turmeric
3 C boiling water
1 T sugar
1 t salt
1/2 t cayenne (ground red pepper)
1/4 C ghee (clarified butter) or unsalted butter
2 t jeera (cumin seeds)
1/2 C finely chopped fresh coconut or shredded dried unsweetened coconut

1. Rinse the peas in a medium-size saucepan, add 3 cups water, and bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Skim off and discard any foam that forms on the surface. Stir in the turmeric. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 25-30 minutes.

2. Remove the lid and raise the heat to medium. Cook until remaining water has been absorbed by the peas. Add 1 cup of the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas absorb it all. Repeat twice more (1 cup at a time). [Note: If you are using dried coconut, you will probably want to leave the peas a little watery after the third cup, because the coconut will absorb some water.]

3. Stir in the sugar, salt, and cayenne.

4. Heat the ghee in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they sizzle, turn reddish brown, and smell nutty. Immediately pour this, ghee and all, into the split peas.

5. Stir in the coconut, and serve.

Tuesday I spent alternating between cleaning my apartment and reading my Christmas present. The cleaning continued until Wednesday morning, when I finally got the huge pile of recycling sorted and carried out to the bins. I had an unfortunate cleaning accident when I sucked my headphone cable into my vacuum, severing the wire in two places. (Luckily I was able to find a replacement at a store nearby, so I'm all set for the next Warcraft raid.)

mangaroo came over Wednesday afternoon for a nice visit. We went out for lunch, had a stroll around downtown, talked about manga, and watched the pilot episode of Due South from the DVDs I got for Christmas. We also made some cheddar bread, but there was a bit of trouble getting it into the oven due to letting it rise too long while we were otherwise occupied, and the loaf came out a bit deformed. It still tasted like fresh bread when it came out of the oven, though, so no harm done.

I talked with the supervisor in charge of the canine program at work, and he's hoping to reserve two slots in the summer training program. Since he believes it will be the last two positions for a long time, he thinks many people will apply, so I don't know what my chances of getting one will be. At least I've been consistently showing my interest, so maybe that will count for something.


Date:January 1st, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
Oooh. Thank you for sharing the curry recipe.
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Date:January 3rd, 2010 01:00 am (UTC)
I can certainly post more, if there's interest. Most of them have great long lists of ingredients, though, so they're not the kind of thing to make on the spur of the moment.
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Date:January 1st, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)
Hey, that deformed bread represents our friendship! It was also delicious with the omelette I had for brinner yesterday.

Thanks for including the curry recipe. I love curries and have no idea how to prepare 'em.

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Date:January 3rd, 2010 01:01 am (UTC)
I'm glad the bread is serving you well.

I love curries and have no idea how to prepare 'em.

See, if you had stayed longer, you could have joined me in making curry for supper. Maybe next time...
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Date:January 1st, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC)
Yummm, it all sounds so delicious. I'm glad you were pleased with all the results. It always makes the time invested worthwhile. Sorry about the headphone. I once got my hair caught in the vacuum when I leaned over to pick something up out of the way, like a cord or something. I screamed and Rob was able to run into the room and turn off the machine. Now I tie my hair up when I cook or clean.

I hope Mangaroo enjoyed Due South. I love that series.

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Date:January 3rd, 2010 01:03 am (UTC)
If I make another batch of marmalade, would you like me to send you some? I don't know if you like marmalade, it's kind of an acquired taste.
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Date:January 3rd, 2010 01:19 pm (UTC)
I would absolutely love to taste your marmalade. I love marmalade, jams, jellies, preserves, conserves, compotes, etc. But it might be a lot of trouble to send it. I could taste it when I go visit if there is still any left and if you have a chance to make some more by then. (Does it keep?)

I always think it's hard to mail anything with glass so it won't break on the way. I'm assuming it would be in a glass canning jar.
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Date:January 3rd, 2010 05:48 am (UTC)
Ah, the Due South pilot is so fun =) I wish you the best of luck in getting one of the canine slots.
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