In the fog before sunrise, we gather loose pages and slow to the speed of drifting clouds; thankful in the midst of deadlines and sickness and sleeplessness and (here of all places) hunger, for the little moments like those captured as lists and snapshots.
Paper days hang on string.
A bite of kicking curry.
Geese bathing in a pond.
Small hands hold pine cones, rocks, and plastic eggs.
Gertrude Stein's famous line A rose is a rose is a rose (in other words, things are what they are).
We tear a piece from each day – and see more clearly.
Now for a nap.
(The pages can wait).
adapted from Ivy Manning's Paneer Curry with Peas in Bon Appetit, April 2010
Yield 6 servings
3 tablespoons flour (all purpose, white spelt, or whole wheat pastry flour)
1 pound extra-firm tofu (cut into 1-inch cubes)
5 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee (divided)
1 large onion (cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves (minced)
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on desired spice)
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (with added puree)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 cups frozen peas (thawed)
1 teaspoon garam masala or curry powder
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Steamed basmati rice
Place flour in medium bowl. Rinse tofu; gently press out excess water. Add tofu to bowl; toss to coat with flour. Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Shake excess flour from tofu; add to skillet and cook until browned in spots, turning occasionally to coat all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer tofu to plate; set aside. Reserve skillet.
Place onion pieces in food processor. Pulse until finely chopped but not watery. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons coconut oil in reserved skillet over medium heat. Add cumin, coriander, and mustard seeds and stir until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add chopped onion and cook until beginning to brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add minced ginger, minced garlic, and cayenne pepper; stir 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes with puree, 1/2 cup water, turmeric, and honey; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium low; cover and simmer until mixture thickens slightly and flavors blend, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Add thawed peas and cooked tofu; gently fold to incorporate evenly. Cook mixture over medium-low heat until peas are tender and tofu is heated through, folding occasionally, about 5 minutes. Fold in garam masala and cilantro. Season curry to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with steamed basmati rice.