Well, I’m not out of town – Will is. He’s off to Boston to go play with the big dogs at the National Poetry Slam this week. We should see him around Sunday. And Skipper Jane. And Jaquelyn. And Daniel.

Which is to say, it’s just me n’ Man Cub around No. 208 until next week. To be completely honest, we’ll see Jaquelyn’s car, but if she’s home, she’s asleep, and I am not waking her up.*

The Number One Bad Thing about Will being out of town is that, well, he’s not around. Which is a bummer. The Number One Good Thing** about Will being out of town is that Man Cub and I can do some serious bonding. Which is to say, when dad is away, we do stuff that he wouldn’t be terribly interested in.***

Example A: packaged indian food for dinner as many nights as possible. No – seriously – while Will prefers a more varied diet, Man Cub and I could (and very well may, this week) eat packaged indian food every night of the week. We both totally dig the spicy, gushy, boil-in-a-bag goodness from the good-smelling aisle of the grocery (the aisle with the tea and the granola). He especially likes anything to do with lentils. I’m a fan of chick peas. Add steamed veggies (cauliflower is particularly nice, I think), some nan from Trader Joe’s, and make rice, and it’s just delightful.

I was taught by a friend in college how to make this osm rice called pilau. At least, my friend called it pilau. It has no broth involved, even if the wiki says it does. Whatever – it’s super yummy, and I’m sharing!

Seth’s Pilauserves four
2tsp peanut oil
1Tbsp cumin seeds
1tsp green cardamom pods
1tsp whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick, broken into two or three pieces
2c long-grain basmati or jasmine rice
2 1/2c water

1. In a pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add spices, and stir until fragrant, a little less than two minutes.
2. Stir in the rice. When the rice is well-coated, pour in the water (it will sizzle!) and bring to a boil. Pop the lid on, turn the heat down to lowish (like 4 on the dial), and ignore it for 15 minutes. Don’t open the lid – let the steam do its business.
3. After 15 minutes, remove from the burner, and allow to sit for an additional 10 minutes. Nono – leave the lid on. Again, it’s for the steam. After 1o minutes, go ahead and open the lid. You’ll see most of the spices have settled to the top. Pick out the big pieces – the cloves, bay leaf, cardomom pods, and cinnamon stick bits – you don’t want to bite into them. Mix the rest of it up so the cumin seeds are all over, and voilá, dinner!

So, um, yeh – that’s what dinner looks like around here for as long as we have boxes of madras lentils and punjab choley in the pantry. Woot!  /


*’Cos, you know – drinkies happen; and just because you sobered up before you drove home, this does not insure against pounding headaches when woken too early.
**The Second Best Good Thing about Will being out of town is that I can sprawl out in the bed overnight. I shall be sprawling, oh, yes I shall.
***Like play hookey from work and camp tomorrow to go see a matinee of the new Harry Potter movie!