Ok family, here’s the post you’ve all been waiting for. Last night was the night we almost burned the house down.
All of the pieces were there. It was late, we were tired, and dinner was just about ready. I gave Jack the “five minute warning” to get the camera and computer set up, and he decided right then to do a bunch of software updates on the computer because he must always do this at the most inopportune moments possible.
What’s this have to do with a fire? Between being annoyed 20 minutes later at the “5 minute” update, and being whiny and malnourished at 11pm, I had completely forgotten about the naan I had put under the broiler for “just a minute” to brown. I smelled burning, opened the oven door, and my naan was on fire. No big deal, I do this all the time so a few flames are nothing new. So I shut off the heat, close the oven, and expected the flame to go out. Instead, I opened the oven to find the flames getting bigger and I didn’t know what to do. Jack offered the genius idea of “open the oven door so the fire will go out.” I helpfully offered that adding oxygen to a fire will only make it worse.
The kitchen was now filling with smoke and panic starting to set in. I felt like it might be time to get serious, (or at least prepared) and I yelled “where’s the fire extinguisher”. To which Jack replied “we don’t have one, remember?” And I do remember. We had a discussion last year when we moved in about how my dad has one in every room in his house. Suddenly, I had mental images of the placement of every single fire extinguisher in “crazy dad’s” house and my in-denial mind thought “I’ll just go grab one of those off the wall and this will all be ok.”
Luckily, one of us stayed calm and in a rational state of mind. We cleared a pathway to the back door. Jack took the hot sheetpan out of the oven, made it outside without catching anything else on fire and dropped the charred naan on the ground in the dog run. I’m sure Pandora appreciated the snack later.
1 package yogurt of your choice (icelandic, greek, soy, coconut)
seeds from 6 cardamom pods, minced
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of sugar
tiny squeeze of lemon
pinches of salt
mix all ingredients together and set in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the meal. Before serving, if it’s too thick, thin with water until it’s at desired creamy consistency.
tomato vegetable curry:
1/2 package tofu, cubed (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon vegan butter
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 serrano chile, minced
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon fenugreek
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
pinch of sugar
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
about 1.5 cups of mushrooms, chopped
about 2 cups of cauliflower flourettes
about 2 cups of broccoli flourettes
1 cup frozen peas
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 cup lite coconut milk
cilantro for garnish
Bake cubed tofu in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until slightly golden brown and a little more firm.
Meanwhile, prepare and chop all ingredients so you have them ready to go before you start cooking.
In a large skillet, heat butter and oil over medium/high heat. Add onions, garlic, ginger and chopped chile. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add spices – curry powder, cumin, fenugreek, and mustard seeds and stir for another couple of minutes until fragrant.
Add mushrooms, a few pinches of salt, and cook another minute or so. Add carrot, broccoli, cauliflower and cook for another couple of minutes until the mushrooms have started to cook down.
Add tomatoes, a pinch of sugar, coconut milk, and stir to combine. Turn heat down and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 more minutes. Add peas and tofu cubes and let simmer over barely any heat until the peas are warmed through.
This is forgiving – ours sat longer due to our fire situation and it tasted better the longer it sat, giving the flavors a longer time to marry together.
Taste and adjust seasonings as you wish. If you would like it creamier add more coconut milk. Add more salt if necessary, etc. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Serve with cardamom yogurt, naan, and rice if you wish.