Sunday, February 24, 2008

Housekeeping - Recipes and wind damage

We're supposed to have another night of wind. Oy. There was about an inch of sand near our doors this morning. I have pictures for you all. I suited up like a Muslim fourteen year old and went on a quick neighborhood tour with P2.
There were many disenfranchised plastic chairs and more than one tattered flag. None of the basketball hoops on the street survived.

The house with the white car in front is ours. Note the reflective window film on the nursery window. Also not the clouds piling up at the foot of the Tehachapi and Sierra Mtns.

This was the first casualty we encountered. It used to be a tree that was at least twenty feet tall. I believe it was an ashe tree. Jake is 5ft tall. He's standing on a fallen limb which lifted him another two or three feet.

A debris pile that was moved off the street. Remember, P2 is 60 inches tall.

Compare the trunk to the height of the stop sign.
The wind gusts, by our measurement, topped out at 72 mph. I guess it was too much for the trees in this neighborhood. We also must've had some significant down drafting because there were spots where you could tell the ground, houses, and fences were ripped clean of vegeation and stucco.

I owe a few folks some recipes that they've asked for.
The first being Coconut Rice. The kids love this and it's a great alternative to sugary and processed side dishes. The key is to make sure you're using basmati or jasmine rice. If you use instant rice, it will taste horrible. This recipe is enough for the six of us to eat with seconds. You can also refridgerate the left overs and eat it with mixed berries (like oatmeal) the next day or put a bit more coconut milk on it and eat it cold--- like tapioca pudding.

2 cups long-grain (preferably jasmine) rice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (you can sub in extra virgin olive oil or grape seed oil if you prefer)
1 (13- to 14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup water
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick (you can TRY using ground cinnamon, but it gets kind of funky)
1/4 teaspoon salt (don't overdo this)
Rinse the rice in water to get the excess starch washed away. This rice will be sticky enough without it. Warm your butter or oil in a sauce pan. Add in your rice and stir it around until the rice gets kind of opaque (2-4 minutes). Add your coconut milk, water, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for five minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick (unless you want to use it as a garnish) and serve. If you like, you can add some toasted coconut on top for added sweetness and texture.

Pumpkin Carrot Raisin Bread
3 c. flour (I prefer to use unbleached, but this is up to you)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. baking soda
1.5 tsp. salt
1 small jar of Gerber Applesauce
1.5 cups sugar (I like to use brown table sugar, but you can certainly use white sugar if you so desire. I've been known to take this down to a half cup of sugar...but, if you're not used to unsweetened baked goods, then I would start with a cup and a half. It's easy to start reducing it one your kids get accustomed to it).
15 oz. of pureed pumpkin (you can buy this in cans or bake down a small, post Halloween gourd)
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (if you omit the applesauce, you'll need a full cup of oil)
1/2 cup (at most) of water (there are times when I just omit this...if you think your batter is 'runny' enough, then you can skip it. If your mix is to dry to pour, then start adding water a teaspoon at a time)
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup golden raisins
Preheat over to 350. Spray and flour two loaf pans. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Cream together the sugar, appplesauce, pumpkin, eggs, oil and water in a large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in carrots and raisins. Spoon battered into prepared greased pans.
Bake for an hour. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes before serving.

If I missed a recipe you wanted,...just let me know. :)


SWE said...

Wow-that's a lotta wind. Hang in there, eh? And no leaving for Oz without some notice, okay? :-)

I think we're going to have to give the muffins a go-they look fantastic!

vamp said...

Wow you told me about this tree and now I see what you mean. I thought it would've been uprooted, but breaking off in the middle? WEIRD!

And how funny, Halo asked me, just yesterday, if I knew how to make what she called "sweet rice", and this sounds like something we'll have to try together. Thanks.

Katie said...

That first picture looks remarkably like one of my recent natural disaster paintings with the angles and set up of the houses.

Sara said...

PMomma, I haven't tracked back to your discussion of school lunches (which is what brought me to your blog - rock on!) and thought this would fit here as well:,0,6648044.story

It's about local mothers who hate what has become "school lunch" and their efforts to document and change. We got lunches packed that had fresh stuff and to this day I am more likely to pack a lunch (today, sandwich, veggies to nuke, and cuke-orange salad) than buy something.