Monday, September 20, 2010

Candidacy and Curry

Look what came in the mail Friday:


I am now officially a Candidate for Holy Orders in the Diocese of Texas! This is equal parts exciting and terrifying. In January, I’ll take a few days worth of exams, and in April, I’ll have a few more interviews. Unless I fail something, I’ll graduate with my Masters of Divinity in May. Then, in all likelihood, I’ll be ordained to the transitional diaconate in June.

This has all just now started to hit home. When I first started my discernment process, it felt like the end-goal was to get them to let me go to seminary, preferably in the same location where Joe matched for residency. Now that I’m closing in on graduating, it’s like an actual reminder that the end-goal was ordination all along. I even bought my first clericals, which are surprisingly flattering given what I had heard about how hard it is for women to look fashionable in clericals.

And then there’s this curry (how’s THAT for a transition):


I’m on a bit of a vegetarian (except for the fish sauce) curry kick right now. Honestly, I think it has to do with the weather. It’s still warm, but I’m in a fall mood, so spicy curries are just the thing to scratch that itch without being too heavy. I wish I had looked at the original recipe, which called for cinnamon, because while I was eating this, I kept thinking, “This would’ve been really good with some cinnamon.” I thought maybe I was being delusional and was a little too heavily influenced by this Curried Red Lentil Soup, but then I looked up the original recipe which called for cinnamon and cloves. So I’m going to post that version, since it’s the one I wish I had made.

Also, can we agree that peeling and chopping up butternut squash is NOT fun? I was glad that I did that in the morning before I left for school, because if I had to face that task after coming home, I don’t think this curry would’ve been made. Ugh, if I didn’t like squash so much, it wouldn’t be worth it at all. Evelyn suggested baking it for a few minutes, and I also read that microwaving it for a little bit helps with that. I’ve got a lot of CSA squash taking up my kitchen island, so I’ll let you know if that works out next time.

What kitchen prep task do you absolutely hate?

Southeast Asian Squash Curry

source: Gourmet via Bakin’ and Eggs


  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (do not stir), divided (I used light coconut milk.)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons Thai Kitchen red curry paste
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 (2- to 3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (5 cups packed) (I used kale.)
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup salted roasted cashews or peanuts, chopped
  • lime wedges
  • jasmine brown rice


    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Sauté squash with cumin and 1/4 teaspoon salt until beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

    Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to skillet and cook onion over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup coconut milk from top of can and cook, stirring, until fat starts to separate and look glossy, about 2 minutes. Add curry paste and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.

    Add squash, water, cinnamon, cloves, and remaining coconut milk and simmer, covered, until squash is tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook, covered, until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in fish sauce. Sprinkle with cashews or peanuts. Serve over brown rice.