This will be short.
Thursday was back-to-school night at the august local high school where Isabel is a sophomore. A lot of the other parents seem to have aged dramatically since we met them in first grade. I feel bad for them. I'm so glad that hasn't happened to my husband and me.
During his 10-minute presentation, the history teacher, Mr. Chamberlin, told us he regularly posts "homework assignments" for parents on his web site. The homework consists of a question related to the curriculum that parents should ask at the dinner table to "help conversation sprout and spout."
His words. I thought, that's very charming and idealistic of him.
We came home and it was late.
Ordinarily I use back-to-school night as an excuse to go out to dinner, but after India, it's temporarily lost some of its luster. Earlier in the day I'd made beef and potato curry -- cubed chuck, onions, spices, tomatoes, potatoes -- from Suriani Kitchen and I reheated it, along with the leftover rice from the night before.
Here's what the four of us discussed in a very desultory fashion:
-the history teacher's buff suede shoes
-the English teacher's extensive tattoos
-the kindly science teacher's regrettable speech impediment
-what weapons the kids use in Lord of the Flies
-whether Isabel or Owen would get to take the first shower
It's a little embarrassing when I type it out. And the next morning I had to struggle to remember any of it. I went to the history teacher's web site and the question for Thursday was:
"Are there any countries in the world today that are ripe for revolution?"
What do you think? Not in terms of answers, but about posing such a question at the dinner table? Anyway I'm going to try it. I can imagine the ways an interesting conversation might "sprout and spout" and we can hardly do worse.
About the curry. It was red and spicy, very delicious. I don't understand the nuances of curry, though, and I'm going to try to educate myself. I don't know what the balance of flavors is supposed to be, so I can't tell if it's heavy on the ginger or turmeric-dominant or even what is appropriate. I just know what I like and I liked this. I have a lot to learn about Indian cooking.
Again with the excess water, though. The recipe calls for 8 cups and I cut it down to 4 and cooked it for longer than indicated, but even so it was watery. Isabel doesn't like her foods to touch and the thin sauce ran across the plate, so she had to put up a dam of bread to keep it from touching the rice. Then she ate it all up, curry and rice and bread.