Tuesday, May 27

Ethnic dining

I am the queen of cool ideas. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but I have been known to come up with some good ones, with lots of excitment and passion to go along with them. One of my biggest problems, though, is failure to follow through. I have studied enough about personalities to know this is a textbook problem of the otter, sanguine, ENFJ, Type seven on the enneagram...or any other test I've taken over the years to try to figure myself out. Sometimes, my "firstbornness" wins and my great idea is carried out to completion. However, unfortunately, much of the time it fails to materialize or, more accurately, it materializes as a mist--here for a minute, and then gone. Well, I am proud to say, one of my latest good ideas has been going somewhat strong for over a month now :)

In my personal journey towards....Jesus? Health? Whole living? ALL OF THE ABOVE....I came up with the idea to have either an ethnic or "simple" meal once a week. I have a great cookbook put out by Mennonite Central Committee called Extending the Table that has tons of great meals from all over the world. I thought I could take recipes from this cookbook as well as make more soup and homemade bread and with this regular mealplan, we as a family could learn to appreciate our food more and different cultures around the world as well. So far, I would say the idea has gone really well. When you're weekly introducing ethnic food and/or soup to three young boys, I wasn't sure what kind of mutiny would ensue. Luckily, I have been mostly pleasantly surprised. Thus far, our menues have consisted of:
Vegetable soup
Locros (from Paraguay)
Everyday Rice and Lentils with Chapatis (from India)-pictured
17 bean soup (from Trader Joes :) )
and coming this week...
Peanut soup (recommended by our friend, an MK from Bolivia)
Kind of cool, huh? If you like unique cooking or are trying to teach your kids (or yourself!) about other cultures, this is a GREAT book. Actually, MCC has now put out three cookbooks, all with a different theme, and I love them all! More-With-Less was their first, then came Extending the Table, and in '05 they came out with Simply in Season. Because I've been working so hard, and at my hubbies prompting, I'm treating myself to More-With-Less to complete the triad so I can stop checking it out at the library. I can't wait. Anyway, you have permission to ask me if the new tradition is still going on in another month or two, but right now, I'm really pleased with the progress we've made thus far! I encourage anyone interested to try it for themselves...and pass on to me any great recipes they find.


Carpenters said...

Before kids and craziness completely bumped it from my head, I had thought what a great idea doing a monthly ethnic food night would be. I will definitely be picking up a copy of Extending the Table. Maybe I'll even start a new tradition this month. Thank you so much for reminding me of this. Your meal this week looks yummy.

With Love,

the Steiger's said...

That is a great idea. I will have to look into that cookbook as well.

jeny said...

What a wonderful idea! I'll have to check out the cookbook too. Thanks for the encouraging post ;)

Kristine said...

I love this idea and way to follow through. I'll have to look into those cookbooks.

See ya soon.

Lori said...

Sounds great. I also think it would be great for our children to try new things. We will have to look into this cook book. When we are out to visit again will have to share ideas.
Thanks for sharing.

Britney said...

That's a great idea, Danielle. And it looks really yummy. I'm going to the library tonight, so I'll have to see what I can find. :)

Alyssa said...

Everyone else is commenting on the genius of your ethnic dining. While my heart is certainly warmed at the sight of your boys eating foods from around the world, and inspired by the "just do it"ness of my older sister, what really gets me is my nephews' long hair. They are SOOOOOOOO cute! Danielle, I LOVE their hair at this stage! You have the cutest family in the entire world, just so you know. Te quiero mucho (TQM in Paraguayan teen language)

Sara said...

I'm not sure I ever returned a response when you posted on my blog. That was probably like two months ago by now! Hope your adoption continues to go well. We love the name Mia, by the way, and hope for more Mia's in the world. We had chosen Mia as a name for our oldest son, had he been a girl. We had no idea about the meaning of the name at the time. Besides the obvious fact that "mia" is the word for "mine" in both Italian and Spanish, it also means "wished for child!" When we decided to adopt, we knew that this was the PERFECT name for our little girl.

Love your ethnic food! We do ethnic all the time around here. My husband and I love it (probably has something to do with having lived in LA for many years and sampling from the vast selection of ethnic restaurants there). My favorite "go-to" meal is Indian curry. Whenever I just can't decide what to make for dinner, or whenever there's nothing in my pantry but garbanzo beans, curry is what I make. My boys roll their eyes at it, but the adults here love it. I use Patak's brand curry paste. You can literally throw whatever food you have lying around in your refrigerator at a pot, cook up some basmati rice, and call it a meal - and a yummy one at that!

kristin said...

that is a cute fun family!