Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Making Friends

We went to a pool party on Sunday to celebrate or commemorate the end of Softball Season.  We brought snacks and sat around a pool and watched our young ones splash and swallow water.  At one point a little girl with water wings on climbed out of the pool and proudly walked up to her mother and said, "Mommy, I just pee'd in the pool" and her moms face got really red. 

After about an hour of swimming we heard thunder and so the kids all got out and we headed into the garage to have cake and ice-cream and snack some more.  We stood around inside the garage looking out the doors as the rain poured down.  The kids got medals from their coach.  Another mom handed out pictures.  After about 20 minutes the rain subsided and the kids asked if they could go back in the pool.  Since we had heard no more thunder they jumped in while there were still sprinkles. 

The ladies headed back outside to sit around on wet chairs and watch the swimmers for a few more minutes until it was time to go.  I found myself chatting and laughing and joking around and I realized that I was making new friends.  It felt really good.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer Samosas

A couple of weekends ago we found a beautiful picnic area that had a pond, a swing, picnic tables and sunshine and so I planned a picnic with several other families and we headed out there to enjoy some NC sunshine.  Surprisingly for us, sunshine has been hard to come by lately, with tropical storm Andrea tearing things up with wind and rain I feel like we are living back in Portland with the drippy green trees and standing puddles.  And aside from the millions of ticks that we encountered and kept brushing off while we were there, it was very very nice.

I wanted to make something yummy, picnic-y and easy to eat with our fingers and I decided that samosas was the perfect food.  I looked around online for a good recipe and decided instead to combine 3 or 4 recipes.  And here is the ingredients list I used for the dough:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon sooji (semolina flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 11/2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/4 cup minus 2 tablespoon lukewarm water 
And for the filling:

  • 3 large boiled potatoes, peeled and chopped into very small cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 chopped green chilies (take seeds out)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon amchur (mango powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup green peas (frozen)
Here are some pictures of the process:

I am going to assume you all know how to cook and not walk you through it step by step.  Make the dough.  Make the filling.  Bake or fry, both are delicious.  They turned out very nice and spicy and I paired it with a delicious mango chutney made by Tiger Tiger which can be bought at any international food shop or World Market.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer and Love

My brother and I would go through episodes of tormenting our sister for fun.  It wasn't always easy being the older sister to a set of twins.  One of our famous capers was when we were in high school.  My brother worked in a hardware store that was connected to the local grocery store where I worked.  My sister was going to college in the college town we lived in.

At the college bookstore which was also connected to this small shopping mecca worked a nice young man that I will call Phil.  He had a lisp.  He had helmet hair.  You know exactly what I'm talking about.

We told Phil that our sister loved him and talked about him in her sleep.  We told him that she wanted him.  (to ask her out)  We told him that she wanted to make out with him.  Clearly anyone hearing this story now, would not listen to us but Phil did.  And so Phil asked her out on a date with a picnic dinner and concert tickets in hand. 

My sister said yes.  We couldn't believe our good luck!  He really was a gentleman and defended my sister's honor as we suggested all the fun things he could try on her on their date, double date as it turned out to be.  She never went out with him again and she told him nicely that her brother and sister were jerks and to not listen to them ever again.  He was crushed emotionally or at least that is what we told ourselves and anyone who would listen to a couple of moron teenagers.

The other day a kindergartener in Fiona's class came running up to me and asked, "is it true that Fiona's sister is in love with me?  Because that is what Fiona said."  I stopped in horror realizing what was happening.  I nicely told him that she was not "in love" with him but that she probably thought he was a nice boy and then I firmly told Fiona that it was not nice to make things up about her sister.  Especially to her classmates.  And then I talked Fiona's older sister off the ledge that she was on because apparently having 5 year olds think you are in love with them is grounds for a mental breakdown.

Happy Summer Vacation everyone!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

10 years

On Thursday my Mother-in-Law called and left a message.  In the message she talked about our anniversary on Saturday and what were we going to do and where were we going to celebrate?  We had totally forgotten it was our anniversary and so it was great to have a reminder. 

Yesterday afternoon we went to help a neighbor with their dog and as we were getting ready to leave the neighbor generously offered to watch our kids for a couple of hours since the kids were playing and didn't want to leave.  So we left and went home without the kids and spent a couple of hours of peace and quiet.  It was like recharging the batteries, it was exactly what we needed.

Another set of neighbors generously offered order pizza and put on a movie and take our kids in the evening so we could enjoy a dinner out.  And then they gave us the directions to a fabulous Thai restaurant we had never tried and so we went there and had spicy everything. 

For a couple that had no plans we ended up having a wonderful day.  And that is just how you should spend your 10 year anniversary.  

It was a very spontaneous day with wonderful gifts from new friends.