Samosa Sunday - FamilyEducation

Samosa Sunday

January 26,2009
Professor Mom
Aliki McElreath

Aliki is a writer and college English teacher. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two children (ages seven and ten), a dog, a cat, a rabbit, and too many fish.

While I really do love Sundays, there is something a little soulful about them. Everyone is happy to have slept in, to stay in pajamas, and eat pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast, but there's a pinch of discontent in the air because, as the day wears on, we all know that Monday is just around the corner. Sundays are busy days for me--and for Scott, too. Because of how much juggling we do, Sunday evenings are almost always turned over to work, with the added weight of having to prepare the kids' things for school the next day, and line up childcare provisions for meeting weeks. Yesterday morning I took an extra-long hot shower and thought about how the week coming up is going to be unusually crazy and busy. The weather was cold yesterday, the sky gray and heavy, the kids a little cranky/clingy, and I just knew we needed a cooking project to lift our spirits or the day was going to go downhill. I also knew this much: I craved something warm and doughy; something familiar from the past. Something that would conjure up times with old friends, and a hot dinner to warm us up, inside and out. I also knew I needed to find just the thing in my oldest cookbook--the first cookbook I ever owned. Do you remember yours? Mine was this one: Moosewood And when I met Scott we merged his first cookbook with mine and we had suddenly lots of strange recipe choices. Scott's first cookbook was this: Beginner's Cookbook We have it still, and while I almost never really cook from it, it has yielded the odd recipe here and there. I also did consult it once years ago, when I actually never knew how long you needed to boil an egg before it turned hard-boiled. For although I could whip together a mean calzone out of the Moosewood, I really didn't know how to cook a hard-boiled egg. I've also used the cookbook when I've needed to make potato salad and wasn't sure exactly what you do to make one (potato salad is one of those things that you think you should know how to make--it's that easy--but then you end up confused about the actual ingredients, and how much of them you need). And one time I made Scott some cookies out of the cookbook called "Dad's Cookies" because I just couldn't resist the title. They were really good--with coconut and brown sugar and all the usual cookie ingredients. I love my Moosewood. Even now when I crack it open, I feel a rush of memories come flowing out of the pages. For me the Moosewood is our small Silver Spring apartment and my job at NPR. It's evening commutes and a warm apartment at the end of it all. It's our move to Rochester, New York and our graduate school days. It's the young(er), newly-married me, striking out on my own. It's the smells and and tastes and moods of another time, wrapped up into every familiar and well-worn recipe. So when I craved just the right sort of food project for our cloudy and cold and slightly grumpy Sunday yesterday, I thought immediately of the Moosewood samosas. The recipe is one of my all-time favorites. I have made them dozens of times in the almost 13 years Scott and I have been together, but I haven't made them in years. And despite the many times I've rolled out the dough and stuffed the circles, the best samosa experience was when my good friend J. made them for us (because even better than making your own Moosewood samosas is when someone else makes them FOR you). Yesterday we made them for Family Cook Night, listened to a mix CD J. sent us last week (along with her copy of book #4 in my guilty pleasures series), and thought of good friends far away--the kind of friends who are just always there for you, no matter how far away life has taken you. Kneading Fun things you can do while the filling coolsFillingReady to Bake!Perfection