Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

Adapting to the pandemic

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The year 2020 can be best described as being stunned – the political, and social turmoil were bad enough but then a war with the virus started. The year 2021 has been about settling in for the long haul. Now that we are approaching 2022, omicron has raised its ugly head. There is no adapting to the multitude of losses that has happened and will continue to happen. Instead, I wanted to take a moment to remember the good moments.

We were six months into remodeling when the pandemic started. Despite all the challenges, our team brought us to the finish line in a timely manner and we were glad to be back in our own space. The new facets of the old house kept us occupied for most of 2020.

The pandemic has turned cooking into a therapy. We celebrated anniversaries and birthdays with homemade cakes and multi-course meals. Like many others we took to baking sourdough loaves too. We have taken up Ottolenghi with a new vigor and each week focuses on one of his cookbooks.

Alice Medrich’s Oat and Rice flour cookies with cardamom (Flavor Flours)
Ottolenghi’s butternut squash, orange and sage galette
Ottolenghi’s beetroot, caraway and goat cheese bread.
Cardamom Cake From Niloufer Ichaporia King (via Food52)

The new trees, planning, sourcing, acquiring, placement, have taken up most of my free time. The courtyard got a Japanese maple. Coming from the nursery, it was all wound up in a narrow format, I added some training weights to spread it out a little.

When the tea tree went into bloom this spring, I stood under the tree and heard the buzzing of hundreds of bees. The tree and I have spent 7 springs together, but the pandemic allowed me the time to explore a little.

Inspired by memories from home, I start nurturing a baby moringa tree. It is now out of the pot and in the soil, but still not out the woods yet. I wonder if it will make it. In hot and humid climate of India, these trees grow up large and with ease. On my visits to India, we have to convince someone to climb their local neighborhood tree and get us some leaves. I have been turning them into south Indian’s style spiced powder – oil roast leaves, dry roast lentils and spices and grind together.

Our plum tree decided to bear 40 lbs of fruit this summer. The fruits ripen about the same time, so two weekends were spent furiously jamming, and fermenting.

The new shower with its gorgeous tiles is a joy to behold. Who says money doesn’t bring happiness!

We also planted some Grecian bay leaf trees. I will never have to buy bay leaves again. And the aroma is divine. I am letting the leaves air dry and it helps retain the fully depth of the green color.

Prior to the remodeling, we had a lot of rose bushes. These bushes had to be taken out. We put in a couple of thornless climbing yellow roses only to have them badly infected and then spending nearly the entire 2021 trying on a variety of fungicides. Fingers crossed!

Last but not the least of the noteworthy has been Einstein’s Tomb by Lebbeus Woods. The exhibition was running at SF Moma the day one of us was scheduled for vaccination at the nearby building. The tomb is a theoretical construct, a proposal for a celestial cenotaph (an empty tomb/monument for a person buried elsewhere), for physicist Albert Einstein. More here. Now if I were Elon Musk or Jeff Besos, this is precisely what I would want for my afterlife.

Einstein’s tomb (1980) by American architect Lebbeus Woods (1940–2012)

Written by locomotoring

December 6, 2021 at 12:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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