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falling into heaven, making bread

Fell into heaven this morning walking--suddenly I found myself at a spot the tall one likes, a spot with a big white rock and mound of earth that are now covered with wildflowers. It's right by the road, but you can't see the road; instead, you can look out over a valley of wildflowers and bushes.

The air was full of wildflower fragrances and a golden bird--I don't know what it was, maybe some kind of warbler--was startled when I came up, and flew here and there. I had picked some mulberries by the roadside, and here now were just bunches and bunches of ripe black raspberries--and even some very large red raspberries. So Molly and I stopped, and I picked and picked, and felt time melt away.

It was so peaceful, the smell of the plants, the sounds of the insects and the birds and the invisible road, the feel of the sun, the taste of the berries. I felt perfectly provided for, perfectly cared for.

I wish I really could live on just a few berries and some sunlight.

And on a completely different topic, babydriver told me that the hot hood (bonnet, that is, for some of you!) of a car is a great place for letting dough rise. She was making pita bread; I tried it with naan bread.


And when it had risen...

and cooking (deponti, itsalouwelylife, and wondernoon, plus sainath and others... I don't know if you are really supposed to cook naan on a skillet, but that's what a children's "Taste of India" cookbook told me to do, so that's what I do...)

Happy Thing: In the wee hours of this morning, I worked on my story for half an hour :-) The heroine and hero are in the library now, talking about the subtlety of the nightfolk.


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 11th, 2006 03:14 am (UTC)
That's some serious rising. Apparently there's special naan break skillets.
Jul. 12th, 2006 04:14 am (UTC)
Cool! I want to try itsalouwelylife's technique (below) of water on the skillet to see how that works. My naan come out okay, but a little oily because I put oil on the skillet.
Jul. 11th, 2006 04:25 am (UTC)
wow, we eat frozen naan by the bagful (notice my unshrunk waisteline???) Can we steal the directions?
Jul. 11th, 2006 04:11 pm (UTC)
Re: naan
Second that!
Jul. 12th, 2006 04:15 am (UTC)
Re: naan
I'll put my recipe up, next post. And then my Indian lj friends can offer more tips and pointers, or suggest ways to make it more authentic :-)

Jul. 11th, 2006 05:53 am (UTC)
One of the few times I have ever wished I had a car. I enjoy baking bread and making it rise properly is always a nuisance in a cold country.
Jul. 12th, 2006 04:17 am (UTC)
Oh, and here it's only possible now! If I tried to do the same thing in, say, January, I'd end up with frozen dough. Maybe now, while the weather's fairly warm, you could borrow a friend's car for the purpose--or even a random neighbor's. It would be a great way to provoke a conversation (and one hopes nothing worse..)
Jul. 12th, 2006 06:14 am (UTC)
I'd have to come down from my second floor flat in the first place, which would be kind of weird. Anyway, this goes one better on the ancient jokes about frying eggs on the bonnet of a hot car.
Jul. 11th, 2006 03:08 pm (UTC)
I love the way you see the world! I think that if we could all see the "heaven" right here on earth we would be so much happier.

What a great idea for getting dough to rise....wow, it looks scrumptous!
Jul. 12th, 2006 04:18 am (UTC)
Well thanks :-) These things make me happy, and I want to share them!
Jul. 11th, 2006 04:18 pm (UTC)
I want to walk into heaven with you. And make lots and LOTS of naan!

See, out here in the desert, I always tell my husband I feel like a bug on a griddle - no shade, no greenery (except cacti and palo verde trees), nothing soft or inviting to sit upon and just BE.

Somehow, I've GOT to escape this desert crucible. Alas, it seems impossible, unless my husband somehow got a wicked good job offer somewhere else. :(

I try not to complain too much - I know how boring that is. But lately I've been looking at a lot of photos online of the Blue Ridge Mountains, not to mention the forests of Oregon and Washington, and I just ACHE for trees and moss and Indian pipes and found raven feathers.... *sigh*

It is wonderful that you live in heaven, and you KNOW it. :D

I don't often quote the Bible (and I'm about to do it VERY poorly), but I believe somewhere in there God says "My kingdom is spread upon the earth, but men do not see it." But YOU do. Good for you. :)
Jul. 12th, 2006 04:24 am (UTC)
Oh Karasuhaiku, I feel for you. I would love to visit the desert, but I wouldn't want to live there either. I'd shrivel right up. I love water and damp, and greenery--whereas the desert is a spare, sparse aesthetic, all reds and browns.

What you're doing is exactly what I'd do: Try to find things you like about it and focus on the good parts, but I bet it can be hard. Is there really no chance that your husband could find a job somewhere else? Sigh...

The sense of heaven comes and goes for me... the place is always beautiful, and I always love it, but when heaven washes in (or I fall into heaven, whichever), it's like all that and more; it's like everything becomes realer than real and time no longer works the same way.
Jul. 12th, 2006 06:52 am (UTC)
it's like everything becomes realer than real and time no longer works the same way.

I remember what that feels like. It's been awhile. Thanks for reminding me. :)
Jul. 11th, 2006 05:46 pm (UTC)
Quite an uprising that was! Brilliant idea...keeping dough on the bonnet (is that instruction specific to weather conditions in your part of the world?)!

The Naan you made looks lovely too!

Normally Naan would be made in a Clay oven called the 'Tandoor'. It is like this huge urn that has hot charcoal at the bottom. You would roll the Naan out , wet one surface and stick the wet surface to the hot clay oven's side (inside!!). The heat from the wall of the urn would cook the surface that faces away while the heat from the charcoal embers would cook the surface that you can see!

Of course, people don't have clay ovens or tandoors in their homes normally. We would use what's called a Gas Tandoor (a smaller simulation of the original) that can be placed on a gas stove and functions similarly.

Another way of making naans if you don't have the tandoor is to stick the naan on to a skillet (wet one surface of the naan and stick it on the skillet- wet side down) The skillet should be really hot, by the way! Then, take the skillet and turn it around so that the open side of the naan faces the fire and gets cooked in the direct heat. The naan will not fall off as it has been stuck with water. Once it is sufficiently cooked (you can tell from the look of it... , ease it off the skillet. It will come off without much trouble as the water would, by now, have evaporated in the heat!...

Hope this helps... Now i shall wait for an update from you the next time you make those heavenly naans using this method of cooking!

And, oh yes!... what did you have with the naan? Some curry?
Jul. 12th, 2006 04:26 am (UTC)
Re: Wow!!
I really want to try your technique with the skillet. Do you think it will work if my stove is electric instead of gas powered? The rings do get equally hot, but there are no flames.

With the naan we had some chicken in a lime and ginger sauce, as well as some snow peas and cucumbers from our garden!
Jul. 12th, 2006 06:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Wow!!
Well, since I have never used an electric stove for this kind of stuff, I might not be the best person to comment. However, the principle being the same, I am sure it will work! Just watch out for Naans just falling off onto the electrical stove... That may not be great, am I right?
Jul. 11th, 2006 08:48 pm (UTC)
haha! Excellent!

May I please have your recipe? I've tried to make several different kinds of flatbread, but the only kind I can make successfully is pita. Everything else comes out like a frisbee.
Jul. 12th, 2006 04:26 am (UTC)
Gladly! Next post.
Jul. 11th, 2006 11:48 pm (UTC)
This is such an awesome image!

It looks a little like Indian Nam bread.
Jul. 12th, 2006 04:27 am (UTC)
The bowl slid off the hood the first time! Funny, huh!

I think your nam bread must be the same as our naan bread--which is what I was making.
Jul. 12th, 2006 01:16 pm (UTC)
Sorry, that will learn me to read read your posts and then comment a day later!

Yum! My Punjabi friend has made it for me before.

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )



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