Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Hassles with the insurance company this morning. They have offered me $2,800. for my injuries and loss wages. I figure they owe me a minimum of $13,000. and that makes their offer about $10,000. short. I was hoping to settle with them without an attorney but now I have an appointment for next week.

Good news in that I get off work today at 12:00 noon as a Thanksgiving gift from the college. That gives me 4 and a half extra hours to shop and do errands. I really needed some extra time today and I'm happy to be gifted with it. Last night my son came by and used my kitchen to make curd for Thanksgiving. I knew I won't have the time and so he happily obliged. My daughter is making some to. Curd is what my family eats in lew of turkey. I started making it maybe 34 years ago. Curd is made by separating the curds from the whey in cow's milk. I've made it with goat's milk before when I lived in the mountains with goats for awhile. But in India cows are considered sacred and their milk is a staple in everything from sweets to main dishes that are then offered up to Krsna, another deity or spiritual master. After Krsna tastes the food himself it is transformed into Prasadam and is considered holy food that cleanses whoever eats it from their past karma.

You make curd by bringing a gallon of milk to a boil. When the boiling milk starts to rise to the top of the pot you curdle it by adding either buttermilk or lemon juice. I prefer using both. When the milk is curdled you strain the curds from the whey into a cheesecloth and then let it hang overnight. The next day the curd will be a very hard fresh cheese that you can then use in a number of delicious preparations. You can even eat the curds soft and fresh if you like. What we do in my family is slice the hardened curd into thick pieces (think a nice thick slice of tofu that you are going to fry up for a tofu burger, except curd is very firm, much more so than the firmest of tofu--very hard cheese like) and then fry them up in butter (over the years I've taken to frying the curd in a mixture of butter and olive oil.) When the curd is fried to a golden crispy brown on each side, you take it out of the pan and dip it into a bowl of soy sauce and then roll it in nutritional yeast. This part is very nontraditional but incredibly delicious. Then you eat it as you would enjoy your traditional Thanksgiving turkey with cranberry sauce, stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy. Oh, you save the whey from making the curd to make your gravy. Leftover curd can be used to make curd sandwiches with all the other leftovers as one would use the leftover turkey to make turkey sandwiches. I suppose you can tell I prefer to eat vegetarian from all this. Yes, something like 34 years now except not really as I started eating fish about 5 years ago and I even eat eggs now too. Out of my six children that I raised vegetarian, three of them still eat that way. They all love curd on Thanksgiving though.

I'm feeling pretty happy today. Remembering Jerry's and my trip back east to be with his family for Thanksgiving last year which was a first in something like 39 years...If I'm remembering correctly he hadn't been back for Thanksgiving since he was 18 years old but my memory may be exaggerating this a bit. Well, it had been many, many years and we really enjoyed the time with all of his family--his mom and lots and lots of cousins. One of his cousins plays in a band and ended up getting arrested the night before Thanksgiving when the police raided the bar they were playing in. He had a bit too much whiskey in him and didn't stop playing his guitar when the police ordered them to stop the music. His son got upset when his dad got arrested and then he got arrested too. His daughter who was working at the bar had to bail them both out. Jerry and I been at this gig, in fact, Jerry had been playing with them earlier in the night. The bar was miles and miles out in the country but was the one and only happening place that all the college kids congregate when they are home in that neck of the woods for the holidays. It was a huge mob scene that we had the sense to flee before the cops arrived--well, as we we fleeing we actually noticed several police out in the parking lot.

My friend Dan who is in a wheel chair helped me figure out how to get my mom, who is now wheel chair bound, up the stairs into my house so she can spend Thanksgiving day with us and that is a weight off my shoulders.

I'm so grateful for all of the beautiful friends I have in my life and I feel very appreciative to be spending tomorrow with my family. All of our kids and grand kids won't be with us, several are out of town, or have other plans but that's OK, it will make the day a little easier, a little quieter and I'll be a little less exhausted tomorrow night. There will be eleven of us and that's a full enough house for me.

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