Some of you may know that I dreamed of moving to Michigan for a long time. There was a long period during which much of my and the kids’ immediate futures were out of our control (nobody was hurt physically; suffice to say that a few missteps made by another person affected one and all).
The house was sold last fall. Kids, kitties and I spent quite a few months in a period of transition.
Here then, is the serialised synopsis of the story!
Packing up the house was quite a little job
the kitchen halfway through packing
If my favorite place in the old house was the kitchen; my favorite part of the kitchen was the ‘wall of fame’. From the time the kids were small, I would periodically stand them against the wall next to the cellar door and measure their height. This grew to include the heights of random friends and family who happened to pass by.
A quirky bit to be sure, but then, I have always let the kids write on the walls
wall of fame
Once the last box was packed and on the moving van, the m’n m’s and kitties and I relocated to the hometel. We made it a merry Christmas in spite of generic surroundings. Home is where the heart is, indeed! We had alot of fun with the luggage cart, which m dubbed the ‘awkward turtle’ when we used it to haul groceries upstairs!
Christmas at the hometel ~ note kitties and decorations ~ random cooking show on HGTV!
After the new year, we celebrated m’s 21st birthday with the usual popcorn fanfare…
note car full of smartfood popcorn and laughing kids ~ hooray for birthday surprises!
In late winter, with M successfully installed in his first very own apartment (!!) and m settled back at college after winter break, the kitties and I moved up to NH to stay with my dear friend S.
You may recall S from my New Year’s Feast a while back
We enjoyed S’s incredible hospitality until mid-April; when the uncertainty of the past two years was finally resolved and it was time to take a leap of faith! Dear G flew out to drive home with the kitties and me. Before leaving New England, we took a little trip to the White Mountains.
beautiful Franconia Notch State Park
Here, the Pemigewasset River tumbles through the woods to a magical place called The Basin.
the basin ~ a natural wonder!
Continuing north, we passed by Sugar Hill, home of some locally renowned cheddar cheese. If you visit, you will be greeted by friendly folks offering up samples galore… yum!
From Sugar Hill, the road winds down before turning up again towards the White Mountains.
the historic Mount Washington Hotel (now an Omni property… kind of sad)
close up of the Mount Washington Observatory ~ some of the highest wind gusts in the world have been recorded here!
Snow was still on the ground when we arrived back to dear S’s place in the early morning. Bags were packed and waiting; we loaded my most precious earthly treasures (can’t even count the kids in here — they are just *out of this world*!!) into the little Subaru.
The kitties went in last, not entirely pleased with me…
… and that very day we wound our way south from New Hampshire to northern Massachusetts, to pick up the Mohawk Trail which would take us into New York State.
But that is for part two. On to the beggie subzi!
The humble rutabaga usually makes its appearance on the autumn and winter table in the form of “mashed beggies” or as an integral part of pasty filling. This brassica can have a pleasantly bitter taste which is much improved with long cooking and liberal doses of butter, salt and freshly ground black pepper — the way it’s been dressed for Thanksgiving as long as I can remember.
Here in the north woods, I am learning all over again what it means to make do with what’s in the fridge. I had a hankering for pumpkin subzi, but there’s no room for new veggies ’till the old ones are gone. No worries, there’s a beggie here! I made pumpkin subzi with a rutabaga. This is probably not a traditional Indian dish, but with a little imagination it worked out beautifully. Carrots add sweetness, while fennel gives the dish a subtle something special that can’t be defined.
This is simple as can be — takes awhile, but well worth it
1 medium rutabaga (beggie, swede, yellow turnip), peeled and cut into chunks
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tsp canola oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 black cardamom
1 TB ginger-garlic paste
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 tsp methi powder
1 TB Kitchen King (I like MHD) or your favorite masala
On medium, heat oil in a heavy pot, when hot splutter mustard, add cumin, fennel and black cardamom and stir one minute. Add gg paste and cook a couple of minutes, then add onion and cook till it begins to soften. Lower heat and add ‘beggie’ and carrot chunks, stir to coat with spices and cook over low heat 4-5 min. Add 1 c water, raise back to medium heat, cover and cook approx. 60 min, checking every 10 min or so, until veggies have softened. Add optional masala powders if using, stirring to mix well. Add another cup of water and cook until veggies are completely soft. This may take another 60 min, or less if you’re in the kitchen watching the stove closely.
When veggies are soft and liquid is almost absorbed, mash roughly and serve with rice or any bread.