Happiness is... having a staff. All of those people who used to shake their heads and offer (unfounded) pity at my having my "hands full with all of those children" should see me now! Those days of caring for five children, birth to seven years, have paid off. Allowing them to be underfoot in the kitchen, begging for the chance to "poison test", has brought them happily into my arena, and now I can choose to kick back and let them do it all if I'd like. Hooray!
Yesterday after running errands, we returned to start dinner. I quickly cleaned a chicken and put it into the oven. That was the extent of my role in dinner prep. I should give an honorable mention to the yummy Lebanese 7-spice gifted to me by a friend in Alabama. I carefully ration this valuable ingredient, and I'm so glad to have it with me in Moz. Mixed with a few other choice ingredients, it brought salivary bliss to our mealtime experience.
The original plan was for Caelyn to make abobora/lentil soup. "Abobora" is a Portuguese word, the meaning of which is interchangeable between butternut squash and pumpkin. We are fans of different varieties of curry, and Caelyn does amazing things with a butternut, a bag of lentils, a can of coconut milk, and some curry. Sadly, we forgot to buy lentils on our errand, and we were out of coconut milk. Thankfully, my daughter is a genius in the kitchen. While I've tethered myself to my growing collection of cookbooks, Caelyn requires no such trappings. When she gets a taste in her head, her hands go to work, and a good time is had by all. Having to forego the soup, she made a lovely puree/soufflé-type item, topped with a bit of Feta (my new universal cheese option) -- a perfect accompaniment.
Our second dinner obstacle was the fact that I was also missing a key ingredient for the Naan that I had planned to make. What to do? Wheat bread is wonderful, but it's not exactly prime fare for sopping and scooping an eastern chicken and abobora ensemble. Again, my Kitchen Genius saved the moment. Why not use the delicious ginger waffles left over from the truck-load of them that Craig Grayson made for breakfast (no doubt in hopes of a repeat today)? Bravo!
Gabriela finished our meal prep with one of her amazing Greek salads, and we all lived happily ever after.