Quick veggie curry

I don’t know that this resembles the traditional curries of Indian cooking in any way, but it’s quick and tasty in a pinch. In fact I sort of threw it all together one night when all I had in the house was a few potatoes, some onions and a bag of frozen veggies. My first attempts at a veggie curry used tomatoes and came out very bland. I think this is better because it uses butter and enough curry powder to make a very aromatic dish.

Quick Veggie Curry

4 small potatoes, cut into 1-inch slices
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 bag of mixed frozen vegetables
2 T. butter
2 T. vegetable oil
2 T. curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. half and half

Heat the butter and oil in a skillet over medium heat. Toss in the potatoes and onions and saute for a few minutes. Cover the pan to help the potatoes steam.

Toss in your veggies and mix everything together.

Season with a good amount of salt and pepper, then add the curry powder and stir.

Let the veggies cook for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are nice and soft. You’ll probably have to taste one to make sure you have the right flavor and texture. You can always add more spices, or more oil if it gets too dry.

Pour the half and half into the mixture and let it thicken for a couple of minutes before you remove the pan from the heat.

Serve over rice or just plain.

Clearing the clutter from my desk

A long time ago I decided that all the little doo dads in my office were getting cluttered so I needed some little containers for paperclips, thumb tacks, rubber bands, etc. I found some tins with clear lids at a paper store for about 50 cents apiece and bought 10 or so, then filled them up and tossed them in a basket on my desk. Which meant that every time I wanted a stamp or an address label I had to go rifling through the basket to find the right tin. Not much of a solution.

So, finally, during one of our many, many trips to Home Depot (see previous post) I picked up a 12-inch square sheet of stainless steel on which my little tins could stick. I knew I had some magnet sheets with adhesive backing that I could cut to size, making my tins like the little spice jars on my fridge.

The only problem was that the stainless steel sheets you get at a hardware store have really sharp edges. So I dropped a few more bucks on a metal file and filed down the edges. So it only took several years, but I finally de-cluttered my desktop and I think my little stainless steel wall-o-goodies is pretty darn cute.

Garden beginnings

Over the weekend while I struggled mightily to figure out how to cut old glass bottles and remake them into some sort of glass votive, Mike got started on our garden. (By the way, that task is much more difficult than I ever thought it would be.) We’ve had various incarnations of a fence around a square of dirt in the backyard, and it usually works fine at keeping out the bunnies, chipmunks, and other critters who will otherwise nibble our plants to the roots.

But this year, Mike went all out and built us a respectable garden fence. This started a few months ago when we trekked to Home Depot and picked out wood boards and I whined about having to be there. Then he stained them to seal out the water. After they dried we went back to Home Depot in search of staple gun staples and I whined some more about having to be there. What is it about that place that instantly turns me into a 5-year-old?

Finally he got to staple on the chicken wire, arrange the fence around the dirt, and stake it to the ground. Doesn’t it look great?

He also decided to pitch our old compost bin, which was a great idea (basically a plastic tube on a bar that you could turn to mix the compost), but it just never quite functioned properly. Instead he built this two-part cinder block wall (one side for older material, one side for new). After we went to Home Depot. Again.

If you would like to build your own compost area, Mike has built an online model that you can copy.

Soon we’ll have actual plants!