The Hot Pot Blog

October 16, 2012

My Dad, Play-Dates and Pictures

Backyard with hose_MG_1422October 15, 2012

For a stock broker in a conservative, small Mid-western town, My father is a very New Age-y person.  He’s been doing yoga since before it was cool.  He meditates twice a day.  He’ll tell you about his guru in Hawaii and the amazing patchouli oil soap that he found on a mountain on Maui that, to his amazement, he can now find at Whole Foods.  As he well knows, it gets to be a little much for me sometimes.  As a teenager I rebelled by refusing to try yoga and talking a lot about the standards for scientific inquiry instead.

Backyard with hose_MG_1413October 15, 2012

Still, having grown up in a house where Dad made us visualize my PR cross-country race, “practice our hahaha’s” and repeatedly, aggravatingly, asked “where are you?” (Correct answer: “here”) and “what time is it?”  (Correct answer: “now”) every single time we ever tried to complain about anything, it’s hard to not internalize at least a little bit of that “be the change…” kind of attitude.

I love my Dad and this has all been a long way to go for what I’m about to write, but ever since I wrote that woeful post about finding my tribe here in Delhi, we’ve been meeting all sorts of wonderful people on the playground, organizing play dates and outings, planning a baby group, a Halloween party and more.  It’s a little too soon to say that we’ve found our tribe here, but things are coming together now.  It seems sometimes boldness really is genius and that when it rains it really does pour–although, in this case, only metaphorically as we haven’t seen a cloud here since the monsoon season ended a month ago. Anyways, I’m giddily friend-crushing on a girl who I met at the pool with her 3 year old (I totally waited 3 days before texting her for a play-date) and I’m oh-so-eagerly looking forward to this lovely lady’s return to Post.

We did brunch last weekend which was fun and cozy and, true to form, I forgot to take a single picture.  Thank goodness for our menu board in the kitchen.  Half of the meal from the Smitten Kitchen website and the other half I made up as I went along.   What would I do without Deb Perelman?  I’ve had her cookbook on pre-order since August.  Most of the time I google recipes online if I use them at all–which makes my purchase of the Smitten Kitchen cookbook a pretty weighty endorsement if you ask me.

Backyard with hose_MG_1398October 12, 2012

We’ve had a few low-key days around here lately.  Will’s been getting new teeth and getting repeatedly shot up by nurses determined to keep his love for stray dogs from giving him rabies, japanese encephalitis and the chicken pox–or something like that.   Which is all to say that he’s not been feeling (or sleeping!!!!!) so well and we’ve been sticking close to home the last few days to do important things like play with the garden hose, chase every man, woman, and child on a bicycle, and hang out with the neighborhood kids who like to help me “weed” our garden after school.

Backyard with hose_MG_1443October 15, 2012

Backyard with hose_MG_1417October 15, 2012

Backyard with hose_MG_1469October 15, 2012

Backyard with hose_MG_1498October 15, 2012

Backyard with hose_MG_1444October 15, 2012

How was your weekend?  What exciting things have you been up to?

0 responses to “My Dad, Play-Dates and Pictures”

  1. Kate says:

    I am so so so excited for the SK cookbook. I’m also one of those “google if necessary” cooks, so this is a big step. I don’t think she’s ever steered me wrong.

    • Dani says:

      Yes, exactly Kate! I haven’t ever made a single one of her recipes and though, “hmm I don’t really like that.” So excited for this book to get here!

  2. Liz says:

    Gorgeous photos! How great that you’ve been able to connect with so many new friends. It’s one of the challenges of being an expat that’s daunting but so rewarding too.

  3. Natasha says:

    I LOVE Smitten Kitchen! I also love the menu board idea. Did you make that yourself? It is on my list — I saw a DIY version on “Our Yuppie Life.”

    • Dani says:

      hehe didn’t make the menu board! Bought it at Ikea in China before we left. I would change the bottom of it if I could but it works!

  4. So happy for you that it’s coming together socially for you. In the overall scheme of things, it really didn’t take long at all. And Will is suddenly looking like a little boy more than a baby, like overnight. I see Chris in him in certain expressions or angles (feels weird to say since I’ve never even met Chris). I’m sure everyone loved your brunch. Everything sounds delicious on your menu. We desperately need to entertain soon, especially to show appreciation to our sponsors and others who helped to make our transition so smooth. Brunch is a great idea!

    • Dani says:

      I know! He looks so much more like a little boy now! (Sniffle, sniffle!) I was hanging out with a 6 month old yesterday and just kept thinking, was Will ever really that small and baby-like? He does look a lot like Chris. The blue eyes and blondish/red hair throw people off but especially in the picture of both chris as a baby and Will as a baby hanging on our fridge, they look nearly identical. Brunch is my favorite way to entertain. It’s a good, relaxed time of day. If people are having fun, it can stretch out well until the late afternoon or if people have things to do, it’s totally ok to get up to leave saying you have errands to run or this or that. Plus, you can make dishes that really can be done ahead of time. I always set the table the night before (just stacks of plates and silverware and napkins so that people can grab a plate and then go chase their kids). I made the challah dough and the cinnamon rolls dough and the quiche crust and the quiche filling, the salad dressing and the granola all a day or two ahead of time and washed all of the lettuce and produce the day before. Then, the morning of, I just assembled the quiche, threw things in the oven one right after another and cut up some fruit. Makes things as stress-free as possible!

      • Kate says:

        What was your verdict on the challah? Worth it?

        • Dani says:

          I liked it. Not too eggy and the peppery/date combo was really really nice. I subbed dates for figs, used lots of extra zest and quite a bit of pepper. It was really nice a sort of mellow sweet taste followed by a hint of bitter from the orange and then a nice peppery zing to finish-balanced the richness of hte dough nicely. It was work of course but not that bad. My strategy with breads is always to make the dough and shape it all one day and then bake the next. Dividing up the work makes it more manageable for me.

  5. sara says:

    I’m super impressed with your father. Especially being from the mid-west. We also visualized my sports performances and I have to say, it helped. I love that you are making friends. Having girl crushes is so funny isn’t it? I have definitely had a few here and there too. It’s so great to find someone you can click with.

    I adore Smitten Kitchen as well and you were the one to introduce me to Deb. The book looks fabulous and her website is so user friendly for recipes. I tried her cream biscuits the other night to serve with soup and YUM! You can’t go wrong with smitten kitchen. Next brunch I do I am trying her mushroom herb layered crepe recipe.

    The chalk board menu really touches my heart in a special place. I love how nice and modern yours looks. I was worried that my brunch guests might have thought I was trying too hard with my menu but in the end I didn’t care. It satisfied my hostess obsessions.

    Oh and I love Will with the hose. What a doll!

    • Dani says:

      My dad is a very special guy. Sometimes we dont see eye to eye, but he’s still incredibly inspiring to me. And that mushroom layered crepe recipe–yes! I’ve been wanting to tackle that for a long time too! You’ll have to try it and post about it! I love having a menu board–honestly it’s more for me than for the guests. Otherwise I’m liable to forget something! It is a fun, nice touch though for when people come over and want to know what they are having!

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