Sunday, March 08, 2009

Let It Go! + Curry Recipe

It's no wonder I struggle with weight: I can't let ANYTHING go.

Yesterday morning I took Daisy over to Cadman Plaza, one of the nice things about Brooklyn Heights. It stretches on forever & has an astroturf playing field, a running path, lanes of lime trees, nice plantings in warmer weather. I took up a position in a lane of trees -- off the turf, as required, off the running path, as is polite. She began to bark wildly. A father with two young kids, a toddler + razor bike, a post-toddler riding his bike on the astro, was standing some twenty feet away. The boy hopped off his bike & started to bawl at Daisy's barking & running. A ricochet off a tree sent her scuttling under a bench to retrieve it, at which the boy began to scream.

"Would you leash your dog, please?" the father said. "This isn't a dog run."

"Actually, it is a dog run," I told him. "From 9 - 9, dogs are allowed off leash."

"Where does it say THAT???" he demanded.

"Just read the signs."

It was over that quickly & if he looked around that moment he would have seen twenty dogs flittering around the park. I did not sayy, "Just read the signs that include a rule against bikes on the astroturf," for which I'm both mildly sorry & mildly proud of myself. I didn't swear or raise my voice. But I wanted to stuff my correctness down his throat. I wanted to tell everyone I saw what had happened so they could tell me how right I was & how bad he was. I wanted him to apologize.

If you want to hate people, walk a dog.

Or live in a thin-walled studio apartment next to the Loathsomes, neighbors who scream about FDR while playing Trivial Pursuit at 11 p.m. on a Friday until I got so frustrated I yelled out, "Hold it down." My bell rang, Daisy went into a barking frenzy, I stumbled up out of bed & my neighbor was at the door, which Daisy slipped through & tried to go join their party. "Are we being too loud?" "Yeah." "Sorry." "Sounds like Trivial Pursuit?" "Yeah," he laughed.

I got what I wanted -- a reasonable decibel level -- but did he HAVE to rile Daisy up, haul me out of bed in my flannel nightgown, & thus waken me further & make a nuisance out of my previously peacefully sleeping dog?

The point here is that I am still seething over this shit. I want to let it go. So what? I mean, I have writing to do here, a recipe to share, a desk to dismantle, laundry to do.

Early abstinence, my friends, is a time of housekeeping. I struggle to get as much of the food as I need during the week into the house & prepared so that tiredness doesn't send me to the deli or dialing for expensive take-out, & it's a nervy, prickly time when lovely character defects show up.

This is why I do not play competitive games or take IQ quizes on Facebook. I want to be right, & that means someone else must be wrong.



OK. Moosewood's Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant Eggplant, Red Pepper & Spinach Curry, adopted for my food plan (low on oil) & the crock pot.

Place 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1" cubes into a colander. Sprinkle with salt & give it a swish every once in a while in the next 20 - 30 minutes to sweat out the water.

Into the crockpot goes:

1 large Spanish onion, chopped
2 red bells peppers, cut into 1" cubes
1 T grated peeled ginger root (or powdered ginger, if lazy or budgeting weirdly)
1 T ground cumin seeds
2 t ground coriander seeds
1/2 t turmeric
1/8 t cayenne
1/8 t cinnamon
1 T s/f peach jam or applesauce

Rinse the eggplant and shake the water off. Add to crock & cook on low for 6 - 12 hours.

A half-hour to an hour before you're going to eat, add:

10 oz. spinach
1 T lemon juice.

You really want to wilt the spinach more than you want to cook it. When I made a second batch, I added about four carrots I decided I didn't want to live here any more. You always take liberties.

The spices have the following properties:

Ginger: helps digest high fat foods & breaks down protein, making it good for digestion which is probably why it is helpful in controlling nausea, morning & motion sickness. It is also thought to be good against arthritis.

Cumin: good for dementia-fighting power.

Coriander: along with cinnamon, it help regulate blood sugar. It also fights headaches & depression.

Cinnamon: see coriander above for its obesity & diabetic-fighting pwers. It is dense in manganese, iron, calcium, Vitamins A & C, & fiber, which protects the heart and colon. The calcium and fiber bind to bile salts, which neutralizes the salts' damage to the colon. When the body has to replace the bile salts, it has to break down cholesterol. It is a strong antiseptic with microbial and clotting fighting powers. It demonstratively improves cognitive functioning and motor speed and is an immune booster.

Turmeric: a immune booster and anti-inflammatory, it is cancer fighter and also reduces the chance of gallstones.

Cayenne: a source of Vitamin A & a strong appetite suppressant/satiety-booster. It's also a depression-fighter, stimulates circulation & the digestive process. It not only makes you feel full faster but helps burn calories.

Cardamom: good for heartburn & stomach problems, which may be one reason why curries are survivable.

So the moral of this post is -- you tell me.


Cindy said...

Wow, thanks for the recipe!! You handled that guy really well, pefect in fact. Sometimes I find people with toddlers to be very self righteous but I don't want to get into that.. thanks for the recipe and the post!Sometimes I find the food prep to stay on my plan overwhelming and if I don't do it right after shopping I may not do it at all..

Anonymous said...

The moral of the story, as I read it, is that you are working flat out to do the right thing for yourself, your animals, and the universe -- it's *hard* and you deserve a lot of admiration and support, not petty remarks and other barriers thrown in your way which, I agree, might seem small on one level but on another level are not small at all. I think you deserve a big medal for coping with everything, and especially for your moderate reaction to the dad-with-toddler! He *should* have apologized. (I agree with the previous poster: folks with small kids can be a bit, well, on the self-focused side -- and I say that as a parent who was probably just as bad back then although I hope not.) Anyone who can come back from that and make a delicious-sounding eggplant curry is on the side of the righteous. Keep on taking care of yourself - you deserve the best!

Anonymous said...

The moral for me is...warming food heals. Kids are kids. Dogs are dogs. Thank you for the recipe! C/

Unknown said...

Great blog and very motivating. I read about your blog on another weight loss blog ( I'll visit again soon. Happy losing!

Anonymous said...

Your recipe sounds good. I have one for you:

Butternut squash soup with Indian flavors:

peel and cube one butternut squash
chop half an onion
mince one or two cloves of garlic.

Saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil. Lightly crush four cardomom pods and add to the oil. Toast for a minute or two.

Add 4 cups of chicken broth. Cook until the butternut squash is quite tender. Add some curry powder. Allow to cool some, puree, and add about two cups more chicken broth, and re-heat.

you can dust the top of the soup with garam masala if you like that sort of thing when you dish it out.

SeaShore said...

If you want to hate people, walk a dog.

Now that actually made me laugh out loud. It's what my husband and I would say... have said.

I'm both mildly sorry & mildly proud of myself.

Oh, I understand that too! And then there are the times I've gone overboard and felt both ashamed and proud. Go figure.

Have to add: you would appear to have the same slow cooker I do. Rival from the '70s. The insert is identical, at least.

Annimal said...

Just catching up on your posts--Friday you wrote about a deep corn? I'd get a second opinion. Look up "Morton's neuroma" it's a common occurrence and remedied with surgery.
Your "high road" approach with the Dad is commendable. I would have brought up the AstroTurf thing, then it would have turned into a snarl-fest.
I too, need to learn how to let go of "wrongs" and the need to be reassured that I am right.
Thanks for putting it on paper. Helps me to identify my own issues.

Anonymous said...

Patt J:
One thing I always remind myself when someone upsets me is that I didn't know what happened to them 5 minutes before I got there, Meaning, I guess, that we all carry heavy loads, and sometimes we lash out at the first person who comes along. It helps take some of the sting out of awful remarks.
I enjoy your writing so much!

Bea said...

Once again I realize why I choose to live in the middle of no-where. Got a recipe to jazz up porkchops?

Cindy said...

PS I love the Brooklyn Bridge photo