Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chappati chatty bo batty banana fana fo fatti....

Man.  Life is good.  A few days ago, Tom got a new job that looks just wonderful-- even better than his last!--and we found the perfect wedding and reception site!  Such a great day!  I hope you guys can celebrate with us from afar!

Today was good-- no such momentous happenings, but good!  I went to go observe a few classrooms for preparation leading up to my big Teach For America leap in the summer, and I had a great time!  Being in the classroom feels so right, especially teaching English.  I observed for about 3 hours (not including my hour commute to the school), got my fingerprints taken for my FBI background check, and headed for lunch with Betsy to discuss the upcoming things for our ministry project.  We also chatted in general, and it was a great lunch.  I was ravenous and ate half of France.

Another good part to the day: I escaped awful "learn to speak French" lady whose voice is piped into the bathroom.  I have extreme dislike for this tape.  Firstly, it's idiomatically iffy.  Secondly, the girl can't pronounce French to save her life.  It drives me CRAZY to hear her pronounce "cinque" as "sink."  One stroke of fortune, larger than you can know, was that I was able to run out of the bathroom right as she got to four.  I didn't even have to hear her butcher "quatre."

My trip to the doctor was good (just a whole chain of goodness going on!), and on the way out, I stopped into an Indian grocers whose proprietor I had met a few days earlier at the gas station.  He'd told me to come by, so, I did.  I'm adventurous like that, and I need to find a good purveyor of Indian foods.  Even for this very week's menu, I needed red lentils, black mustard seeds and curry leaves, all of which he had!  I was so happy to find the curry leaves.  Not every Indian market around here carries fresh curry leaves.  More fortuitousness.  So tomorrow will be a catfish curry recommended by my friend and fellow nature adventurer, Esther.

Raj also gave me a sample of his mango lassi (gorgeous) and a sack of his potato chips, which he makes himself and which have been named among the best in Dallas.  He also has a selection of food to-go which he and his family make.  Apparently he cooked in fancy schmancy hotel restaurants for a good chunk of his first years in the States, and he helped me decode some recipes.  A second try at saag paneer is coming up!  Dallasites, go check him out.  It's a small, modest market, but Raj is great, friendly, helpful and makes awesome food.  It's on TI boulevard and called B&P Snacks.

But today is actually not chappati, in spite of what the title says.  I came up with the title before I made the recipe and before I compared it to other chappatis.  It doesn't so much resemble other chappatis, soooo....Of course, this was irrelevant, because I had thought up that name song.  Once I had thought up the name song, I had to use it.  To further mar the chappati's authenticity, I added some pesto because I had some left over from last night.  In fact, if you investigate these ingredients, you find that this meal is exactly the same as last night's--pesto, ricotta, whole wheat flour product, veggie.  Of course, today's veggie is spinach whereas yesterday's was zucchini.....

All the same, I present it to you as something unique and different!  I served it with a beans and greens course: spinach, garlic and white bean.  In all honesty, this bread thing isn't good yet.  The goodness train hopped off the tracks during dinner preparations.  I will need to tweak it.  But the beans and greens was truly a star-- a mash fit for a king!  And since this blog post is more to chatter about my day and to share my experience with this bread thing than to encourage that you go out and try the bread thing right away, I'll toss in the beans and greens recipe too.

1 c whole wheat flour
.5 c spinach
.75 c cottage cheese (I used ricotta)

1)   Blend the spinach, pesto (if using) and cottage cheese until smooth.
2)  Add the whole wheat flour and mix until smooth.  Cover with fresh kitchen towel for 30 minutes.
3)  Roll the dough out to 6 inch circles
4)  Cook in a hot skillet until bubbles form on the surface, flip, repeat.

ricotta: $1
pesto:  $.50
whole wheat flour: $.30
spinach:  $.4
Grand total:  $2. 20 for 10 or 22 cents apiece

Beans and Greens

1 c white beans, over-cooked
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp evoo
1/2 c spinach, chopped
salt to taste

1)  Give the garlic a soak in the oil as the oil heats up in a sauce pan.  Add the white beans and spinach, mix well, and stir until heated through.  Salt to taste and serve!


  1. curry leaves! I am jealous.... I used to be able to find them until recently when my local indian grocer told me that curry leaves had been banned from being imported. o_O

  2. I wonder what's sitting in my fridge....

    Want me to mail you some??