Sunday, August 22, 2010

A bite of the Big Apple & a trip to the ER

Ok…so I have a confession to make. In the almost decade and a half that I have lived in the US, I had never been to New York or the Emergency Room…wait a minute that came out sounding not quite right. But I have averaged about 2-4 hours of sleep in the last week, so if my blog sounds fuzzy today, blame it on the fogginess in my head. Let me rewind…

I was in NY on work this week and yes work was busy but I did get a glimpse of the Empire State Building, Central Park, Time Square and some of Manhattan in the short 2 days that I was there. Food wise, I had some really good meals…my favorite meal was all of ten dollars at a food cart called Halal Cart on 52nd and 6th, right next to the Hotel. I had the Chicken on Rice with a liberal sprinkling of a devilishly spicy red sauce and a mild and creamy white sauce….spectacular (I did get to spend a couple hours with my cousin, saw him after 3 years). I also ate a killer spicy red vegetable curry the next day with some great company and a red quinoa salad for lunch that I am itching to recreate (it had I think red bell peppers, cucumbers and dried cranberries with parsley and lemon juice).

I literally came back home to a sick child. K2 had developed a cough and cold. On Friday I got the call from K2’s preschool that he was running a fever and I needed to pick him up…the long trek late afternoon from the office to K2’s pre-school and the rush to hit the last pediatrician appointment was nerve wracking. Friday evening and Saturday was a blur of repeated cycles of Motrin, Tylenol and Cold Compress (and I can’t forget the antibiotics)…early on Sunday Morning (about 2.00 AM) K2’s fever was almost 105 and my panic mode was on red alert…we rushed K2 to the ER (yes that was my first trip to the ER…) and honestly I was pleasantly surprised at how humane all the doctors and nurses were …they did a battery of blood tests and cooed over how amenable K2 was to the blood draws and exams…finally red eyed and exhausted, we made it back home about 5.00 AM…a couple hours of restless sleep and we are not really out of the woods – K2 still has a high fever but I think we are finally in the “cope” mechanism where we are able to take care of him without me hitting panic button.
For the past 2 days, sustenance wise I went back to my roots for comfort food – the humble Khichidi. I made it twice this weekend and it is seriously a 10 minute effort and one of the most nourishing meals and the most prescribed Ayurvedic meal for nourishment and recovery. Here is one of the Khichidi recipes (of course it was a grab what is in the pantry and cook fast kind of a deal).

Butternut Squash Khichidi
½ Cup of Brown Basmati Rice and (¼Cup of Red Lentils and ¼ cup of Moong Dal) – Soak for ½ hr and rinse and keep aside.
1 Carton (Imagine Organic Butternut Squash Soup – 16 Ounces)
Ghee, Cumin, Hing (Asafoetida) and Turmeric
  1. Heat the Ghee in my pressure cooker (Don’t have a pressure cooker, then make it in your Dutch/soup pot)

  2. Add in a pinch of the Hing, Cumin and Turmeric. When it smells fragrant, I added in fresh chopped garlic and fried it till it carmelized).

  3. Add in the Rice and Dal mixture. Fry till the Rice and Dal mixture smells nutty

  4. Add the soup and additional water depending on how soupy you want the Khichidi.

  5. The consistency totally depends on you. Some people like their Khichidi firm. Personally, I like to make my Khichidi soupy (so I keep it in the pressure cooker longer and I make the proportion of liquid to the rice and lentils 3:1 instead of 2:1).

This meal helped us keep our balance during the over-the top weekend. I know that the next week will be hard but I am ready for it (Dear God – just grant me a couple extra hours of shut eye this week and I will be a happy camper…and please make my little trooper better).

How was your weekend?

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