Its fun staying with family and a different kind of fun when its that side of the family that you haven’t had a chance to spend much time with.
My mom’s parents and her brother and his family stay in Toronto and these days I am staying with them. Since Canada was never much in our holiday destinations, I hardly got to meet my uncle or his family much while growing up. Now, I will be with them for more or less two months, while my course is going on.
My uncle is a fun person. Being the youngest of the three children, and having two elder sisters to pamper him, he is still a kid in many respects and loves pulling everybody’s legs and making everyone laugh. My mom’s sister’s daughter also stays close by and when she comes home, its a laughing riot in the house. Each family member is goofier than the other, messing up normal things and giving others some fodder to laugh about. Well, what would you expect from a family of Sardars, but this.
I do miss home and V and my friends back in Arizona, but I like the change that comes with this place. I especially like that I am with family and have this time to bond with my mom’s side of the family, which I never could growing up.
I also enjoy all the stories that my grandmother and uncle share with me about my mom and how she was as a child. My uncle tells me my mom hardly ever got angry and was generally a very calm person, but on the one or two occasions that she did lose her temper she could be really bad. My brother is like that. Or well, used to be like that. He hardly ever lost patience with me, even though I would test him a lot by irritating him, but when I would finally manage to tip him over there was hell to pay for it. And that is when I would feel really bad about myself and apologize for days for being such a prick.
My grandmother tells me even though my mom was intelligent, she was slow in writing her paper, and thus even when she knew the answers, she couldn’t complete the paper and thus lost out ona lot of good opportunities. Her brother tells me how mom was amazing at mental maths. While her elder sister would count on fingers a math problem, my mom would have already solved the problem in her head and given my grandmother an answer. Today, too, if you ask her something, she will quickly solve it mentally and tell us the answer. No wonder she is a champ at Sudoku. Maths has always been her friend.
I also got to know that my grandmother can be very feisty if she needs to be. She is very protective of her two daughters and son. My uncle told me how once a guy in the neighborhood troubled my mother once. But my mother being a quiet person did not tell anybody about it. The same day, the same guy troubled my aunt as well, and my aunt being more bold made sure she told my grandmother about it. My grandmother then went with a stick to beat the boy up and warned him that if ever he troubled her daughters again she would beat the heck out of him. It’s nice to know behind that sweet face is someone who would stand up for you when the need arises.
I am enjoying all these little tidbits from my mom’s past. I don’t know if you are interested in hearing about it, but this space has always been my place to document things, and I really do not want to lose these memories and hence all this gibber gabber. But since this space is also my place to document recipes, here’s another one for you today.
I took this recipe from a friend’s facebook wall. She hadn’t personally tried this but they sounded good so I thought of trying them out. I used ground chicken instead of the ground beef called in the original recipe. To make the dish healthier, I used wheat and black bean blend tortillas instead of flour or corn tortillas. These were really simple to put together, and they tasted great as well.
A quick weeknight meal or in fact great for the weekends when you want to spend maximum time talking to your family rather than cooking in the kitchen. Plus, there is hardly any clean up with these. A little salsa and lettuce on top of these baked tacos gives a crunch and tang to the dish. And even though not required, it’s difficult to say no to sour cream! So add that too, if you like.
- 1.2 lbs ground chicken
- 1 (16 oz) can refried beans
- 1 (1.25 oz) packet taco seasoning
- 1 (8 oz) small can tomato sauce
- 8 tortillas ( I used artisan's wheat and black bean blend)
- Shredded mexican cheese, to top
- Sour cream, lettuce, salsa, sriracha (optional, to top later)
- Brown the ground chicken making sure the water dries up and the chicken is cooked.
- Add refried beans, taco seasoning and tomato sauce. Mix together and scoop into taco shells. Stand each taco shell up in a casserole dish.
- Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake at 375 for 10 minutes.
- Serve with salsa and sour cream. Add some lettuce and sriracha, if you want.