I love to cook. Not in the dictionary sense of the word, which is just heating food up in a pan until it’s warm, but in the more abstract sense of the word. I love the act of cooking. I love turning on some good music, throwing my hair up, and stirring and mixing and chopping and slicing in a room that smells like heaven. I love the taking my time, savoring the full sensory experience that is cooking. That said, most of my “cooking” while in college is me throwing some vegetables in the microwave, squeezing some lemon juice on them, and calling it a day. Every now and then, though, I get inspired to create, which is how the recipe below came into being. It’s super easy (like literally so easy), but it tastes like heaven and smells like a spice market–perfect for a chilly fall evening.
What You Need:
a can of coconut milk
a can of chickpeas
a can of pumpkin
extra virgin olive oil
a day-old loaf of bread
some garlic powder
How You Make It:
In a large saucepan, heat up about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
Add the can of coconut milk and mix with the olive oil.
Add the can of pumpkin.
Stir it all together, then add the drained can of chickpeas.
Add at least two tablespoons of curry powder (I added a lot more, but it’s up to your tastebuds to decide), and a dash of salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and cover, cooking for about an hour.
When the curry is almost done cooking, tear the loaf of bread into crouton-sized chunks and spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle on a generous amount of garlic powder.
Place the baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, until the croutons are crispy and slightly brown.
Use a ladle to put some of the curry into a bowl, and top it with the croutons. And you’re done!
I got so hungry while I was typing out this recipe… Let me know if you try it/modify it because feedback is so so appreciated!!
An excerpt from my journal I kept while stuyding abroad:
“Run, jump, climb, skip, dance, just move and be and feel. Don’t become susceptible to the numbness that’s so characteristic of your generation. A computer screen cannot make you happy. Mindless scrolling and clicking and watching and consuming will leave you empty, unhealthy, and so tired. Do things that engage your mind and body, do things that challenge and excite you. You have to do hard things if you want to be a better person. Run a 5K, become a vegetarian, take a painting class, converse in a foreign language, invite someone to coffee. Live fully and wholly, because you’re only 20 once.”
Some of my earliest memories are of my parents reading to me right before I was tucked into bed each night. I was blessed to have been the first-born child of a teacher who believed that a love for reading was the gateway to a love for learning, so I was read to on a regular basis until I was old enough to begin reading on my own. My favorite book when I was younger was Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, so I begged my parents to read it to me almost every night. Other favorites included The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.
Once my siblings were born, my parents had less time to read aloud to me, so I began to read simple books on my own. My elementary school teachers read aloud to me for the first few years of school; my third grade teacher, Mrs. Davis, sticks out especially in my memories for her “famous” reading style. She would read in a way that made the characters and the scene come alive and allow you to forget for a moment that you were sitting on an itchy carpet square in a windowless room. A few of my favorite books from Mrs. Davis’ class were The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and the books from The Boxcar Children series. There weren’t many books I didn’t enjoy reading as a child because I would read any book I could get my hands on. The only one I can remember not enjoying was To Kill a Mockingbird, but only because the first time I tried to read it I was in the fourth grade and didn’t understand its significance or meaning.
Reading has always been extremely important to me, even forming some of my earliest memories. Ironically enough, my mom would take away the book I was reading for a day as a form of punishment because it elicited more of a change in my behavior than did spanking or grounding. I remember reading a book every other day in the sixth grade because I would sit and wait for two hours every day with my mom as my sister underwent extensive physical therapy, and reading was my only form of entertainment. Curling up with a good book is still my activity of choice when I have a free hour, and the love for reading instilled by my parents and teachers has not diminished with time.