Category Archives: Journal

Karma and the Art of Butter Chicken

There are people you meet – live, in real life, in the same room and breathing the same air, a handshake and a hug away – and now there are people you meet via the ether of  Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other platforms , who are

Intermet

I intermet Monica Bhide maybe ten years ago. I’m pretty sure she called or e-mailed me about Thanksgiving for the Washington Post, and then I found her blog and  her books.

In a scenario that could be the basis of a Hugh Grant movie some day,

Hugh_Grant_2014

I decided to order her newest book, a novel,  Karma and the Art of Butter Chicken  through my local bookstore instead of the internet. Score one for brick and mortar!

Through a series of mishaps, misfires and  miscellaneous modern life confusions it took  six – 6 – weeks to come in.

Karma, indeed.

But the reason I wanted to own her book, and not check it out of the library ….

Monica’s husband was rushed to the hospital : (click for Monica’s blog)

So many of you, my readers, friends and fans have repeatedly reached out to ask how you can help. As you all know, medical situations come with financial concerns. To that end, as a writer, words and books are how I make a living. Sameer will need 24-hour care as he heals and recovers, and I will not be able to work full-time for a while, other than just completing a few writing projects here and there.

 

So this is how you can help: If you have enjoyed my work and want to support me through this, all I request is that you buy a book or two or more to share with your friends. The sales of the books will help keep our dream alive. I say “our dream” as my writing career is not just my dream. It is a dream that Sameer and I created together and we don’t want it to die.

So buying the book was (supposed to be) a quick and easy way to support and help and keep them in my thoughts and share the story.

Since then

Inspiration Through Tragedy

(click the title for a link to the gofundme page)

a Gofundme page has been set up to raise money for Monica to

“…write a book, an interactive journal to help families and primary caregivers in the ICU and in hospitals so that they may benefit from my experience. This interactive journal will be filled with inspiring and thought-provoking stories of what happened with us, how we managed our emotions and found meaning in the most impossible moments. It will also have sections for people to write down thoughts and feelings during their own difficult time. The book will become a keepsake; each person who writes in it will make the book their own.”

So I’m asking if you could help – buy a book, or donate  money, or share the story on social media, or keep this family in your thoughts and prayers –

Monica Bhide

Moncia Bhide

 

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Filed under Books, Journal

Flat Bread Journal

A year of baking flatbreads – on the griddle. That’s what I want to do this year.

English Muffins are probably the flat-bread that has most recently been on your plate

English Muffins are probably the flat-bread that has most recently been on your plate

Part of my inspiration was the reading this

52 loaves

He bakes every week for a year, trying to perfect one recipe – but I’m looking for range, not just depth

And that inspired me to pick up this….

The Bread Journal

The Bread Journal -A Year of Weekly Baking CHART YOUR PROGRESS toward baking the perfect country loaf in this weekly baking journal. Lists, check boxes and prompts provide a satisfying record of every decision. That’s what it says, I kid you not.

Which begs the questions:

  1. When did bread become perfect?
  2. When did the country loaf become the ideal?

But I digress…

I’ll start with English muffins and move on to oatcakes and farls, to tortas and testa and spend some time with Johnnycakes – these are my jumping off points,  the beginning, so  it’ll be interesting to see where this will go.

I’m starting with English muffins because I’ve made them before, and I have a variety of recipes for them. Some call for more of a batter and muffin rings, which I’ve pretty much left behind, and others call for rolling and cutting with a biscuit cutter, which I can easily live without, and most of the rest are a dough that is cut into pieces that are rolled into individual little loaves that are them cooked up.

And then there’s the griddle issues…..

mine is cast iron

cast iron griddle - 12 " - I bought this either at Charlie in North Plymouth or at the Bradlee's that was in Kingston - it was over 30 years ago, so it all blends together

cast iron griddle – 12 ” – I bought this either at Charlie in North Plymouth or at the Bradlee’s that was in Kingston – it was over 30 years ago, so it all blends together

Even if it weren’t perfectly fine and familiar, the temptation for a soapstone griddle…

Isn't this pretty?

Isn’t this pretty? How much would this weigh? I could lift griddles instead of kettle-balls as a get-fit program…

is tempered by the expense of something new, and expense in time as trying to figure out how it works, and how to make it work better, as well as the cash outlay – and then there’s whatever the shipping would be to move a hunk of stone to my doorstep….all expenses I can well do without for the now, and for a good piece of now to come.

And this is the first English Muffin recipe I”ll be trying. It may be the first English muffin recipe I ever tried.

The Better English Muffin

1 C milk

2 Tbl and then 1 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp salt

3 Tbl butter

1 ¼ C warm water

2 packets dry yeast

2 ½ C whole wheat flour

2 ¼ C AP flour

¼ C wheat germ

Cornmeal

  1. Scald the milk and add 2 Tbl of brown sugar, the salt and the butter. Put aside and cool to lukewarm.
  2. Stir the 1 tsp of brown sugar into the warm water. Sprinkle in the yeast, stir again and wait for it to bubble and froth.(about 5 minutes)
  3. Mix the flours together with the wheat germ in a large bowl.
  4. Gradually mix in the lukewarm milk mixture and then the yeast mixture.
  5. Knead until it forms a soft dough. If the dough is sticky, add a little more flour.
  6. Put the dough in a covered bowl and let it rise in a warm place 15 minutes.
  7. Punch the dough down and divide into 16 pieces.
  8. Roll each piece into a ball.
  9. Place each little dough ball on a cornmeal sprinkled baking sheet.
  10. Press down on the dough to flatten them, about 3” diameter circles. Cover and let rise for another ½ hour.
  11. Heat a griddle on high and grease lightly with butter.
  12. Place dough circles on hot griddle and cook for 5 minutes each side.
  13. Cool on a wire rack.
  14. Before serving, split each muffin in half with a fork, toast thoroughly and butter.

Ruth Ann Manners and William Manners. The Quick and Easy Vegetarian Cookbook. M. Evans and Co: New York. 1978. Pp.118-9.

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Filed under Bread, Journal, Recipe