Wednesday, April 28, 2010


It's full moon day and I feel the impulse to post a little something... I realised after posting my last contribution that I had forgotten to talk about exam-time cooking.

In early April, when the three young men who share this house with me were heading into exams and final papers etc, I made them the same offer I made last year, to do all the shopping and cooking and cleaning until they were done with school heaviness. Like last year, their reaction was very gratifying, "You really mean it? We can help with the washing up..."

They are so great. All year we have shared kitchen chores, with me getting one night a week's duty and each of them taking two nights a week. We share shopping in a loose collaborative way, and it's easy anyway, since we live right near Kensington Market with all its choice and plentifulness. And so they really appreciate what is involved in my doing all the food-providing this month. How lovely is that!?!

Of course I also feel the challenge, because after several years of NOT being responsible, it's an interesting change for me to know that I am on every night, that they are relying on me. In turn that means that when I've had evening plans, I have had to make sure that supper is made ahead. Many people in many households do this every night, and let's give them a huge tip of the hat for that effort, but it hasn't been my situation at all.

We eat rice most nights, and on it we put Thai curry of some kind, or dal of various kinds (mung or masur or urad) with vegetables in it, or stir-fried vegetables or meat or a combo, or beef stew or South Asian-falored burgers, fried or grilled. It's a homely array of easy-to-make and easy-to-eat food, supplemented by various salads and stir-fried vegetables, and roasted root vegetables.

There's not much in the way of sweets or desserts, except that this month I have felt they needed the extra treat of an easy and accessible piece of skillet cake. That's meant that I've made some version of the skillet cake, topped with chopped apple or frozen berries or a mixture, pretty regularly. It's always a success, and takes no effort, no thinking, jsut the wets in one bowl, the dries in another, and a fifty minute bake.

Yes, I know, the next step is to get them comfortable with making the cake itself. Maybe next fall, when school starts again?

For now, they are done, and so am I. I mean, I'm off the full-time kitchen duty, the young men are off doing their summer things, mostly gone and sometimes back here, and life moves forward. I'm planning to spend a lot of time figuring out food from Burma this summer. It's going to be great!


kbro said...

Nice to hear you are looking after the students (don't care their gender). In some countries they are EVERYTHING!) Enjoy your blog. Love the bread book, use it every week. Blessings.

kbro said...

Kbro again here ~ have been there before. One of the things I always remember is seeing the poinsettia plants growing in the forest off the highway. One of the treasures of travel. Seeing your houseplants growing wild or in yards is just so awesome.