“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first of September was crisp and golden as an apple.”
Last night the first storm of the season came. The sky darkened and the wind picked up. By 11pm, lightning, thunder and rain. Luckily we’d gotten home from my husbands birthday BBQ celebration before 10pm. It poured down most of the night. The kitties were restless and playfully chased each other, running around the apartment in the dark (while we tried to sleep) until they tired and took their usual spots at out feet on the bed.
It was still wet and grey when we awoke. We take long walks every Sunday morning. My husband and I usually follow the seawall, a highly used walking and bike path that hugs the ocean around the perimeter of the city. However, his Autumn Baseball league games started today so I took advantage of my solo walk to do a little shopping I needed and walked just over 6 kms to my favourite beauty boutique listening to Enya’s The Celts album on my iPod. I remember finding the CD years ago at Sonic Boom Record Store (a Seattle landmark) on a rainy evening. It conjures the mists, grey ocean and haunting spirit of that city. I took the photo below from aboard the Bainbridge Island Ferry. https://www.sonicboomrecords.com
This is the song The Sun In The Stream, my favourite off the album
I walked along, through quiet tree lined neighbourhoods, up busy South Granville street where I stopped to shop for beauty supplies. I then took a shortcut through the woods on my way back. That’s the magic of Vancouver. You can be in the middle of the city and just as quickly find yourself in nature. Some of the trees are already changing colour.
I thought the rain had given up because of how much it fell last night but as I made my way back home, it started falling again. They say the way to identify a real Vancouverite is to watch for the people that don’t carry umbrellas. I’m one such local and luckily it was just a misty rain and the tree canopy sheltered me.
I opened the door and walked into my warm apartment and lit candles straight away. It’s something I always do whenever I get home. I love the ambiance candles create and I like to burn scented candles that represent the present season. This Macintosh Apple scent is my current mood in honour of the Harvest. This week I visited a friend who gifted me organic apples and grapes from her garden. After a quick lunch, I wrote out a grocery list and headed back out to shop for the ingredients I’d need for dinner. I tried my hand at Indian Food tonight. https://www.yankeecandle.com/
Back from the store I took a moment to clean out the fridge of any spoiled food and chop bananas which I then freeze for my breakfast smoothies. Freezing them means none go bad in the fruit basket.
Indian Lentil Dhal for dinner tonight with spiced oven roasted cauliflower. To make Dhal I use red and green lentils, coconut milk, curry powder, ginger and garam masala. It’s a fragrant dish, warming for the soul. The way the clouds sat over the city all day, low and grey I think it made an ideal meal. Rain, the Football game on T.V. (Go Seahawks!), good food and even better company.
Indian Lentil Dahl Recipe
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 large or 2 small onions, finely chopped (I run mine through the food processor)
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- A 2 inch piece of gingerroot, finely grated
- 2 tablespoons curry powder (use a good quality one from a brand you trust)
- 3 vegetable stock
- 1 400 mL (13.5 oz) can of full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 cups dried red lentils
- 1/2 cup dried green lentils
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- Sea salt, to taste
- Fresh cilantro, yogurt, chili flakes and cooked basmati rice or quinoa for serving
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter (or coconut oil) in a deep pot (I use my Le Creuset Dutch Oven) on medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and starting to brown (5-7 minutes).
- Add the garlic and grated ginger and continue to cook, stirring regularly. Don’t let the garlic burn!
- Stir in the curry powder and let it cook for about 30 seconds. Be careful to not let it burn.
- Add the vegetable stock coconut milk, tomato paste, and the can of tomatoes.
- Stir in the lentils.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer until the lentils are very soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed. This will take about 30-40 minutes, but the time will depend on the lentils you use.
- Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter (and more if you want to make this dahl a little richer), lemon juice, garam masala and salt (about a teaspoon of sea salt).
- I served my Dahl with saffroned vegetable rice and garnished with plain yogurt, sliced lemon and cilantro. You can also serve Dahl with quinoa or Naan Bread.
- Leftovers will last for a good 3 days in the fridge or can be frozen for a quick heat and serve dinner for those lazy days.
For the Cauliflower I just sliced it into bite sized pieces and set the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, garlic powder and tumeric. Toss to coat and bake in the oven for 30 minutes flipping the cauliflower over at about 1/2 way. Garnish with cilantro.
This is one of those recipes that taste even better the next day.