Here’s Expectations by Belle and Sebastian.
1 1/2 cups masa harina
1/2 cup flour
2 T softened butter
2 T olive oil
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
warm water – (about 1 cup)
Mix the flours, salt and baking powder in a big bowl. Make a well in the center and add the butter and olive oil. Mix with a spoon till you have a crumb-like consistency. Add enough water to form a kneadable dough. I started with a cup and a half, and poured it in a little bit at a time till I had something I could work with. You want it to be quite soft but not too sticky. Knead for about five minutes till it’s smooth and soft, and then put it into a plastic bag to rest for about half an hour.
When you’re ready to go, warm a griddle over medium heat. Break off a handful of dough, and kneading and turning it, form a disc about 4 inches wide and 1/3 inch thick. (I made five with this amount of dough. I think I’ll make more next time!) Try to smooth the edges as you turn it, so you mend any little cracks that form. Place the patties on the griddle and cook on each side for a few minutes, till light golden spots form. Then take them off and set them on a platter till you’re ready to fry them. When all the little patties are baked in this way, warm about half an inch of olive oil in the bottom of a wok or frying pan. Fry each gordita on both sides till golden and crispy – a few minutes each. Drain them on paper towels or a cooling rack, and then pop in a warm oven (or toaster oven) to keep warm. When cool enough to handle, slice through them lengthwise with a sharp knife, but not all the way – you want to make them into a sort of pocket, like pita.
1 long sweet green pepper
1 long sweet red pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper – cut in half lengthwise – seeds and veins removed
1 big shallot, or half an onion – peeled
1 fat clove of garlic
1 large tomato, top cut off, seeds lightly squeezed out.
drizzle of olive oil and balsamic
1 cup cilantro leaves, cleaned and roughly chopped
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t smoked paprika
1 t balsamic
salt & plenty of freshly ground pepper
If you have a gas burner, you can roast the peppers right on that till the skins are blackened, and then put in a pot with a lid, or a bowl with a tight-fitting plate on it.
I don’t have a gas stove, so I arranged everything on a roasting tray. I drizzled a little olive oil and balsamic on the tomato and shallot.
Then I moved an oven rack close to the top, and I broiled everything. Once the peppers were blackened on all sides (this took about twenty minutes) I removed them and put them in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid, along with the garlic clove. I continued to broil the tomato and shallot till they were soft and collapsing – another ten minutes or so.
After the peppers have steamed for about 15 minutes, you can take them out and chop them up – removing the seeds and tops from the sweet peppers. Dice the jalapeno very fine. Mince the onion and garlic and add them. Then roughly chop the tomato and stir that in. While everything’s still a little warm, add the cumin and paprika and the balsamic. Season with salt and pepper. Right before you serve, stir in the cilantro.
THE PIGEON PEAS AND CORN
1 can pigeon peas, rinsed and drained
2 T olive oil
1 smallish onion – chopped very fine
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 jalapeno – seeds removed, minced
2 t oregano
1 t cumin
1 cup broth or water
1 cup corn – fresh or frozen
1/3 cup chopped tomatoes – fresh or canned
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, cleaned and roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, and cook till it’s translucent and starting to brown – about ten minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and oregano. Cook till the garlic starts to brown, then add the pigeon peas. Stir so that they’re well coated with all of the flavors. Add the cumin and the broth. Bring to a gentle boil, and cook till the broth is reduced. Add the corn and tomatoes. Cook till they’re warmed through and the tomatoes are a bit soft. Season with salt and pepper. Just before you serve, stir in the cilantro leaves.
It’s always a worry, isn’t it, kids in school – especially when they’re so young and, you feel, so vulnerable. Ivan has just started Year 3 (he’s 7) and he’s got a new teacher, who’s new to the school, and when Naomi (Ivan’s mum) met him, she wasn’t very impressed…
I do worry, and of course parents (and grandparents) always do, and it’s so hard. On the other hand, I had to laugh (privately) at Matt, who was so upset when Jimmy (20 months) started daycare a couple of weeks ago, and he was so sure J wouldn’t be able to function at all in such a different environment. He even said one thing that worried him was that Jimmy knows so many words now, and lots of the daycare kids don’t know any – as if Jimmy would revert to wordlessness if he spent time among them. I did point out that perhaps it would be the other way round, and the kids would pick words up from Jimmy, but this did not go down very well. Neither did me pointing out that EVERY parent since the world began has had this exact same feeling. I should’ve known this would not help.