Thursday, January 29, 2009

ice storms and Indian food

Hey, all ... greetings from the Ice Storm Capital of the United States! We have FOUR days off this week due to the badness that is severe winter weather. i can't complain, though i do have a slight sniffly/stuffy cold thing that's somewhat unpleasant ... i've spent the time watching movies, seeing very nearby friends, cooking, knitting, reading, coffeehousing ... etc. Though I'm still amazed at how guilty we've been conditioned to feel over doing *nothing*. I'll admit, it's an art I haven't yet mastered. I'm constantly thinking about where I can go to spend my money, even in fun. Last night I took myself out to the local pizza joint, which has great but tres expensive pies .. and while it was nice to sit there in the dim decor and enjoy the slices with caesar salad and beer, once the initial full-tummy buzz and walking home in the pretty snow turning into nightfall buzz wore off, i felt depleted ... of cash i could be saving for something like a house. once more, i've failed. i'm not trying hard enough. i'm trying not to kick myself for it, though, it's not the attitude that will eventually help me to become more comfortable in my own skin, more comfortable living slowly, more comfortable doing *nothing* while nothing is actually so much!! -- cleaning, tidying, cooking, crafting, the business of what really are the basic elements of life, after all. I'm two-thirds of the way into an incredible book called Eat, Pray, Love that's been keeping me relatively more grounded ... along these same lines, I'm going to read Three Cups of Tea next. Along with my required Montessori reading, of course. I still don't feel quite balanced, a bit overly Yin even though I've enjoyed many a Yang (warm, salty) meal lately. Perhaps a B complex vitamin with dinner tonight and some gentle yoga on video is just what the doctor ordered. The rest of my day until that point consists of browsing the independent bookstore (there is a small gift for someone dear in my heart that I want to purchase, as he seems on the verge of a necessary spiritual journey), the fair trade shop (though this is in line with doing my living room up so it's capturing and holding real, positive chi energy, unlike the cold draftiness and starkness it presents to me now, very unhealthy), the library for documentaries/dvds. All the walking and fresh air (i doubt i could get out of my unplowed driveway if i wanted to) is good for my heart and soul, no doubt ... but that slight bit of too much Yin remains and I am still restless. Part of this restlessness comes from knowing I'm ready, once again, to share my life with an equal partner, and having several points of light blinking at me from under snow-laden boughs, but nothing that shines like a beacon my way. Sometimes I feel I'm just filling the days, waiting ... waiting ... and I don't need advice to love myself, I do, fully, and I've grown and all that ... we all feel this way. And I know that this, too, shall pass. If you sit still long enough, it all does pass. So ... I solider on.

This post has certainly taken a turn toward the philosophical! well, on that note, let's turn the tide a bit and I'll share with you the amazing recipe that's been providing me with some much-needed Yang energy on these oft-bleak looking days of winter:

Saag Aloo (the original recipe is not vegan, but i made it that way)

1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
i did all my mincing/chopping in my new food processor, it's a miracle!)
1 tbsp FRESH ginger root, minced
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp oil (i used peanut)
1 lb (16 oz) chopped spinach (i used organic frozen)
1 cup water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain soy yogurt
1/4 cup vanilla or plain soy milk (i used vanilla)

tip: DON'T deviate at all from this recipe, I've already tweaked it to perfection!!

here's what to do:
Saute onions in oil till translucent. Add garlic, ginger and spices and saute another 2-3 minutes.

Add spinach, water and salt and simmer 15 min (i went a little higher than a simmer cause i used a big pot) over low(er) heat.

Puree in food processor (or blender, i guess)

Return puree to pan. Simmer 10 min.

Stir in yogurt and simmer briefly (I think I did 5 more min).

Add cream, stir, and serve piping hot!! You will love it.

Let me show you some more of what's going on around here. Hope you're all well. I think I'm just feeling a little of later winter's low energy/loneliness/lethargy. I'll be fine, just need good sleep, hot tea, and the mindset to push through and realize that "nothing" is really all the essential work i need to be doing. peace, peace, dear friends.

i forgot to take a picture tuesday night, so here is wednesday morning from my bedroom window. i can almost see santa claus! lol

wednesday afternoon

wednesday night (i did NOT drive!! note the pizza, i'd just walked home and decided to clean off my car), the ice was almost an inch thick on the windows i swear!

today (thursday morning), from my bathroom window. note icicles.

this afternoon

we'll talk soon. <3


  1. yay! i spy pretty cherries!! :)

    and, i can't wait to try your recipe - i'm going to copy it to a recipe card this afternoon.

    thanks! xo

  2. wow, so different to here in England, where I am surrounded by grass and the beginnings of flowers.

    Soup looks mighty delicious :0)

  3. Hi, love!

    Your recipe sounds incredible!

    I also love your pictures - I can't believe how much snow you've been hit with. We had an ice storm, but not *that* much snow! - wow.

    I think doing nice things for yourself is really important to reward yourself for your hard work, and when you need a boost. I hope you can enjoy them from time-to-time. I do admire - so much! - how you've worked so hard to pay off debts, pay for school, and pay your own way in your very own place!! The economic situation at our age frankly isn't the easiest, but you've adjusted to yours in all the right ways. And you've really overwhelmingly lived up to your goals -- you are doing nearly everything you can. You barely shop, you don't waste money on cable, you cook from scratch, more often than not. But your feelings are valid.. you want certain things in life that come with time, patience, and financial planning (if one has the luxury to save.) And you deserve those. It just seems like it'll be a lot easier to save save save when you do have that teaching salary - and it will come out of less anguish for yourself. You are really doing so well! I hope you believe it, because I certainly see it!!


  4. arianna -- let me know how it goes!

    frugal trenches (what IS your first name, dear?) -- spring comes that early over there?

    sarah --

    thanks for such a validating response. we all need those words regularly! you're right, that's when i plan to do the *most* saving, but i do want to start now. i considered giving any additional student loan money i get back to the govt. but i think i'll stick it all in a high-interest money market account until the loans come due, that way they'll gain interest and i'll have cash for major stuff/emergencies should god forbid they arise. it's an insurance policy, of sorts ... i just hope to be able to give most of it BACK when the time comes!! i want to become better at saving NOW, finally, before i turn 30 at the end of this year (it really IS a luxury to save in this day and age!), by socking away some of what i make tutoring, doing knitting club, morning child care, babysitting, partylite, etc. i don't want my ehhhhh credit to be a factor preventing me from buying a house in the next few years -- if i can afford 10 percent down hopefully they'll cave and let me have a home. ; ) that's HUGE -- i think most people only do about 2 percent down. i also may need a new car in the next five years, mine's getting up there ... so I want to be able to put something down on a sensible buy, whether it's the Volvo station wagon or Smart car/hybrid at that point.

    i love you!