1. I haven't gotten my hair cut. Yet. I will, but first I have to decide just how I want it cut. (Thanks for the input, by the way!) I almost called to make an appointment last Saturday morning, but Stuart and I decided to go running instead.
2. I've decided that I really, really like running in cold weather. I'm fortunate that the cold air doesn't bother my lungs as badly as some people. Plus, going outside to do anything when it's 10 degrees out makes me feel pretty dang macho. Especially when I start shedding layers.
3. It finally snowed today. Two weeks ago we had a strange mid-winter thaw for three days that melted most of the snow, and then it got cold again. I didn't realize how much I would miss the snow until it was gone and we couldn't go sledding...or build snowpeople...or shovel random piles in the yard.
4. We may give ice-skating a whirl. There are outdoor skating rinks at parks all over town, and some of them rent ice skates, so Friday afternoon after preschool we've made plans with a friend to try it out. (They've already been, and really like it.) Then again, we may just go sledding instead.
5. I haven't been ice skating since high school. In Kentucky, nothing freezes long enough to skate on (so the outdoor experience is really unfamiliar to me), so if you want to skate on ice, you just go to an indoor rink. I went a few times in high school, maybe with a church youth group (I don't remember for sure) and it took every ounce of energy I had to stay upright. Forget about being graceful. I'm guessing that the passage of more than a decade hasn't improved my skillz one iota.
6. My neighbor tells me that there are ice skates with double blades out there that are kind of like ice skates with training wheels. I wonder if they make those for adults?
7. I also want to try cross-country skiing, which I suspect requires slightly less balance than skating. I hope to rope my friend Claire into teaching me (though she doesn't know it yet...Claire? Whaddaya think?)
8. I think I'm really starting to like Wisconsin winters. Imagine that.
9. Dinner last night was total improv on my part, and it turned out delicious. Even Daniel ate it up and asked for more, and he's the type of kid who won't eat anything willingly that's not a hot dog, a grilled cheese sandwich, or something that came out of a box labeled "Mac'N Cheese." We had red lentils with fresh chapatis. I didn't really measure anything I put in the lentils, but here's my best guess:
Cook 1/2 lb red lentils in 6 cups of water, scooping off the foam when the lentils come to a boil. I had a spice ball with cumin seed and ajwain seed in there as well. When the lentils are soft and cooked through (15 min?), turn off the heat.
Sauté 1 large onion (chopped) in 2 T. oil. When the onion is soft, add a generous amount of chopped garlic (a tablespoon or so), plus 1 tsp. ground cumin, 1 tsp. ground coriander and a dash of turmeric and cook a minute longer.
Add the lentils to the onion mixture, plus 1/2 can of coconut milk (roughly 1 cup), 1 cup tomato sauce (I used homemade, but 1 cup canned would do, or diced tomatoes), plus some salt to taste. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, sprinkle with garam masala, and serve warm with fresh chapati plus cayenne pepper and lime wedges for the grown-ups.
10. Fresh chapatis are so delicious, and so easy. I plan to do a flatbread tutorial on this blog SOON; I hear there is interest. Am I right? Several times a week, we make fresh flatbreads here: flour tortillas, corn tortillas, pita, chapati...even Daniel, who is not yet 5 (not quite) is something of an expert on cooking flatbreads! They are not hard and so very tasty when made fresh, especially compared to pre-packaged varieties. Perhaps this weekend I can take some pictures and/or video to post here.
11. I need book recommendations. I just started Middlesex, which is quite good so far, but soon I'll finish it, and then what? A good novel, that's what I like. Anyone?